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Film / Where the Buffalo Roam

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"Get a grip, Thompson"

Where the Buffalo Roam is a 1980 American drama/comedy movie staring Bill Murray as Hunter S. Thompson and Peter Boyle as his attorney Carl Lazlo. The movie loosely depicts Thompson's rise to fame in the 1970's along with his friendship with Oscar Zeta Acosta (Called Carl Lazlo in the film).

The film begins with Thompson trying to meet a deadline for an article he is writing on the now missing Carl Lazlo. From this point forward the film is mostly told through flashbacks that depict the adventures Thompson had with Lazlo.


The film provide examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Thompson is seen drinking large amounts of alcohol throughout the film. Even giving his dog a little at the end.
  • Berserk Button: When a press secretary insults Carl Lazlo while on a plane, Thompson gets up from his seat, punches him in the face, and empties a fire extinguisher in the cabin.
  • Fat and Skinny: Carlo Lazlo is the fat to Hunter S. Thompson’s skinny.
  • Knife Nut: Thompson carries a large hunting knife around throughout the film. Mostly to cut Grapefruits.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Subverted. Thompson gives a fellow journalist drugs in order to steal his clothing to board a plane.
  • Off-into-the-Distance Ending: After Thompson and Lazlo are kicked off a plane, Lazlo just walks off into the distance. He's never seen again.
  • Only Sane Man: Thompson’s editor, Marty Lewis.
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  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Averted. Thompson switches clothes with another reporter to board a plane and it works up until Lazlo also gets on said plane.
  • Percussive Maintenance: In order to get a fax machine to stop beeping, Thompson shoots it with a revolver.
  • Ransacked Room: The hotel room that Thompson checks into during the Super Bowl ends up as this.
  • Reality Ensues: After a teen gets sent to jail for possession of Marijuana, Lazlo throws the rather smug prosecuting attorney in the stand. It gets him arrested for contempt of court.
    • Thompson’s erratic behavior eventually gets him kicked off a plane during the 1972 Presidential Campaign.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Thompson is rather unsafe with the revolver he carries. Also one of Lazlo’s friends fires an assault rifle willy-nilly.
  • Re-Release Soundtrack: The soundtrack was infamously replaced with generic '80s music on most home video releases. The only known exception is the original VHS and Betamax release.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Thompson is seen walking around his house with a revolver strapped to his side.
  • Self-Defenseless: Thompson carries a can of mace around throughout the movie. He even sprays one of Lazlo’s friends while rambling on about how he is a “Weapons Expert”.
  • Smug Snake: The prosecuting attorney from the beginning of the movie and the press secretary from the end.
  • Stout Strength: Carlo Lazlo is noticeably overweight, but is strong enough to throw a grown man into a courtroom stand.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Hunter S. Thompson is constantly seen throughout the film with a Bloody-Mary and Grapefruit.
  • Tragic Keepsake: After Lazlo’s disappearance, Thompson is seen with various treasures from their adventures around his house, such as the Nixon mask Lazlo gave him during the Super Bowl and an IV stand they stole from a hospital.

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