Cast & Crew
In New York City in 1965, Julius Orlovsky, a catatonic schizophrenic, is released from a mental institution in the care of his nonconformist brother Peter. Recruited for a film about homosexuality and psychopathology, Julius remains silent and withdrawn, unable, or unwilling, to respond to the questions put to him by Peter, by a psychiatrist, or by poet Allen Ginsberg, who lives with the two brothers. Julius accompanies Peter and Allen on a poetry-reading tour of Kansas. As a result of his reticence, Julius is replaced in the film by actor Joseph Chaikin. Aside from depicting Julius' life, the film incorporates experiences of other people directly or indirectly associated with Julius. Julius disappears during a visit to San Francisco; he gets lost and is returned to a mental institution. Though electric shock treatment and Thorazine do not fully restore Julius to reality, they partially restore his speech, and he is again released in Peter's care. When asked about his reaction to the movie camera, Julius hesitatingly replies, "It's a reflection ... of the real truth."
Roscoe Lee Browne
Philippe La Prelle
Production on the film began in 1965.