October 11th 2013
  • Drama,
  • R,
  • 101 min,
  • Other
  • Cast: Alan Rickman, Stana Katic, Malin Akerman, Ryan Hurst, Johnny Galecki, Rupert Grint, Ashley Greene, Ahna O'Reilly, Bradley Whitford, Kyle Gallner, Justin Bartha, Donal Logue, Mickey Sumner, Freddy Rodríguez, Joel David Moore, Michael Massee, Josh Zuckerman, Estelle Harris, Taylor Hawkins, Richard de Klerk, Darin Heames, Peter Vack, Julian Acosta, Dominic Bogart, Tom Nowicki, Steven Schub, Aaron Munoz, Cheetah Chrome, Keene McRae, Jared Carter, Arthur Bridgers, Evan Alex Cole, Katherine DuBois, Holly Hubbell, Parker Gant, Luke Dressler, Danielle Shaw, B. Todd Johnston, Max Reinhardsen, Bronson Adams, Caleb McCotter
  • Director: Randall Miller
  • Writers: Jody Savin, Randall Miller
  • Producers: Randall Miller, Brad Rosenberger, Jody Savin
  • Co Producers: Lisa Kristal Burgman, Andre Danylevich, Natalie Ige Muldaur, Ray Muldaur, David Paddison
  • Associate Producers: David Orr, Richard Pagano, Kevin Foley
  • Executive Producers: Michael Arougheti, Gerry de Klerk, Melanie de Klerk, Kevin Foo, Nick Gant, Karen Hameed, Yusuf Hameed, Andrew Herwitz, Don Mandrik, Irene Nelson, Jay Sedrish, Michael Smith
  • Art Direction: Randy Moore
  • Casting: Richard Pagano
  • Costume Design: Jillian Kreiner
  • D.O.P.: Mike Ozier
  • Editor: Dan O'Brien
  • Makeup: Lynn Barber
  • Production Design: Craig Stearns
  • Set Decoration: Kristen McGary


CBGB follows the story of Hilly Kristal's New York club from its conceit as a venue for Country, Bluegrass and Blues (CBGB) to what it ultimately became: the birthplace of underground rock 'n roll and punk.

When Kristal had difficulty booking country bands in his club on the Bowery he opened his doors to other kinds of rock music. Kristal had one demand of the acts he booked; they could only play original music.

No top 40's, no covers. It was the credo he lived by, support the artist at whatever the cost. Hilly Kristal ironically became known as the godfather of punk giving a chance to such bands as Blondie, Television, Ramones, Talking Heads, Dead Boys and The Police.

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Filming Locations: New York City, USA; Savannah, USA
  • MPAA Warning: Language throughout, some sexual content, drug use, and a scene of violence
  • Production Budget: $10 million
  • Production Companies: Unclaimed Freight Productions, Rampart Films
  • Production Schedule: 25 June 2012 - 28 July 2012

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2013 Guide Analysis: "It wasn't much to look at from the outside, but throughout the 1970s and 1980s a little club in Manhattan's the Bowery became famous in its own right. The disco palace of Studio 54 was known around world, but CBGB built its own reputation as a smaller, darker and more gritty counter-culture counterpart for bands that couldn't get gigs anywhere else.

Now, "Bottle Shock" and "Nobel Son" writer/director Randall Miller is re-teaming with Alan Rickman for this feature exploring how Hilly Kristal's New York club underwent a transformation from a country and blues club, to the birthplace of underground rock 'n roll and punk. Kristal had difficulty booking country bands, so he opened his doors to other kinds of rock music with one caveat - bands had to play primarily original music, no covers were allowed even though one or two usually did slip through.

As a result Kristal essentially helped discover such famed music acts as The Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, Beastie Boys and The Police. This allows for Miller's film to include a bunch of colorful cameos including Malin Ã…kerman as Debbie Harry, Rupert Grint as Cheetah Chrome, Stana Katic as Genya Ravan, Kyle Gallner as Lou Reed, Joel David Moore as Joey Ramone, Taylor Hawkins as Iggy Pop and many more.

Though some filming took place in Manhattan, much of this indie drama was shot in Savannah, Georgia including redressed buildings to resemble the club exterior (the original CBGB building is now a John Varvatos fashion store). Funded completely independently by financier and distributor Unclaimed Freight, Miller and his wife and co-scribe Jody Savin have full control to make the film they want. Here's hoping we don't have another letdown like "54"."

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