Bukowski, directed by James Franco

So is this going to be Ham on Rye?

Strange that they would call it a bio-pic. But then maybe the idea of a novel that is based in parts in true events is harder to spin than "bio-pic"
Apparently, the film is being sourced not from Ham on Rye, but from an 'undisclosed biography' ...?

And Franco is currently filming his Charles Bukowski biopic, which he stresses is not based on the poet-writer’s thinly veiled autobiographical novel Ham on Rye, but is similarly concerned with Bukowski’s bleak Los Angeles boyhood, using an undisclosed biography as source material. Picking up on other favorite Franco themes of isolation and abuse, Bukowski’s upbringing was riddled with bullying from his classmates and beatings from his father, but Franco insists he will cleave to the wry, funny tone with which Bukowski tells his own sad stories. “The thing about Bukowski is that, as hard as his life was when he was a child and adult, it all turned into work, work that is harsh but humorous,” wrote Franco in his occasional rambling blog for Huffington Post. “He always casts himself as the loser, but in the end he is the winner because he turns his losses into art.”
(article from may 17th)


Founding member
Wherever it's from, it isn't likely to be some unpublished thing we've never heard of. Nothing in the works that I know of that goes into Bukowski's childhood, so undisclosed is just a red herring. Or they made an agreement that doesn't allow the filmmaker to cite the source. It happens.
As you once wrote he didn't become Bukowski until he was 35. So unless you care about who he became, this film could be seen as a generic depression era tale of a shitty childhood. That being the case they can pull from many sources that are not Buk-centric.
Would the Motorcycle Diaries have been as interesting if the kid doesn't become Evel Knievel?
Wherever it's from, it isn't likely to be some unpublished thing we've never heard of. Nothing in the works that I know of that goes into Bukowski's childhood, so undisclosed is just a red herring. Or they made an agreement that doesn't allow the filmmaker to cite the source. It happens.
I agree with you, MJP; besides, Bukowski's childhood has been very well covered in his own works, not to mention the various biographies (which, in large part, culled their information from his own writings). Whether this film will fly or fail will depend upon the perspective, talent, and skill of the screenwriter, director, cast, and crew.
OMG! And I was so much hoping for a good movie.

Here's my one cent:
'HAM' is an excelent novel and well worth to be picturized.
While the number of pages that Sounes devoted to the same time that's covered by the novel is 12!
Trivial TWELVE PAGES will make the basis for a whole movie?!
Why would anyone want collection prices to go up?????
Then again was Basketball Diaries wasn't more than 12 pages long too-after that movie Carroll was making Ginsberg money-so there is hope.
HOR is an excellent novel. Thats enough for me. Watching someone else adapt alter embellish interpret those words may be entertaining but it will always fall short....It's like Tom Waits reading Bukowski-sure it may be cool but give me Buk reading Buk or Buk writing about Buk
I'd pay big bucks to see this movie open with him dressed in that indian outfit his parents bought him surrounded by 5-6 kids dressed as cowboys and just cleaning fucking house with that little tomahawk. All before you roll a single intro credit.
You haven't seen Barfly? Are you kidding me? You have to put Barfly on the top of your to do list. My own personal viewpoint is, is if you don't like it there must be something wrong with you. I watch the Barfly once or twice a year. I always drink beer or wine during it and by now after all of these years I have the whole movie memorized. I hope you watch it soon and report back to us your observation said person who is, "alone with the God's."

I hope Franco doesn't release this movie until he has a total masterpiece on his hands. We the Buk people of the world need another really good Buk type movie. I still haven't bought Factotum I'm busy buying Buk books to read. I will buy Factotum soon but I think it is too clean and neat compared to the rough dirt and grime of Barfly. I really love the scene in Factotum where he is in the factory putting brake pads into boxes and the guy says, "whatever you do don't smoke up here." Whats does Hank do? He immediately lights up a smoke and opens the only window there and he stands and looks out the window. The camera is now outside and we are treated to a scene whereby this brick bldg. has one window only and Hank is there and he is speaking some of his poetry over the scene. I thought that was one really good scene in Factotum.
Factotum was pretty crappy. I don't like Matt Dillon as it is. And he was about as effective in that role as a one legged man is in an ass kicking contest.
I am so looking forward to this. It is going to be so strange walking into a theater at this late point in time to see a Bukowski related film. The theaters are probably going to be virtually empty, I would imagine, but the people in the seats are probably going to be well read Buk fans. Happy Days are here again.


Founding member
Well I saw Shannen Doherty's name and thought, perfect, she's half-mad in real life anyway, but then I see she's playing the mother. But so is another actress who is only a few years older than her? I'm confused.

But not as confused as I was to see these:

Bukowski age 6:


Bukowski age 12-13:


Eh, okay.

BUKOWSKI: The story of a lovable mop-top and his wacky parents! In 3D!
Brutal. The kid at age 12-13 has the look of somebody who would've made Bukowski's life a living hell, imho. I skimmed the cast at imdb and noticed there is no "Becker" and no "Kong" (the football scene in Ham on Rye). Because of that, I will proceed with caution.


Wait wait...isn't this the movie where Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern prat-fall on all the Bud empties in the foyer of Bukowski Manor, and conk heads while Sher Beedi-smoke-screened?


...and this guy as Late teens bukowski.

Looks like Franco is trying to test out himself playing Bukowski in the sequel "Post Office"


The story of Bukowski growing up handsome and popular. Girls wanted to be with him and boys wanted to be him...


and while I'm complaining... Josh Peck from Nickelodeon's Drake & Josh is in this and being given top billing? They are not saying who he is. Young adult Bukowski? oh my....


Usually wrong.
I didn't know Bukowski was a curly haired pretty boy. That changes everything. The acne vulgaris was just a plot device designed to elicit sympathy from the reader. His old man didn't beat him; on the contrary, he was always bragging to the neighbors: "My Hank, he's good boy! He cuts the lawn perfectly! Not one blade of grass left standing!" This is going to be the best Bukowski inspired film ever. I can feel it in my bones.


I can see the proud Henry Sr. proudly and lovingly tussling those long curly locks!

I bet Hank Jr. was popular in high school. Looking like a young Johnny Depp must have made him a chick magnet....
One looks at those phots erases any hope I had for this film. At least Mickey Rourke or Matt Dillon could be ugly as sin if you wanted them to be. These kids look like they just got their asses freshly wiped.