George Hickenlooper Passes Away At 47, Soon To Be A Part Of The Criterion Collection

Earlier today we learned that sadly, George Hickenlooper, an incredibly prolific filmmaker and documentarian over the past 20 years, passed away in his sleep in Denver. Hickenlooper was currently making the festival rounds for his film Casino Jack starring Kevin Spacey, about the lobbyist Jack Abramoff. No cause of death has been given yet, as many sites are reporting the news as it is made available.

Hickenlooper’s documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, documenting the the Apocalypse Now production, was one of my favorite supplements on the Apocalypse Now release from 2007. While I haven’t seen much else from his filmography, Criterion Collection fans will have the opportunity to see another of his works next month, when we get the America Lost and Found The BBS Story box set.

In 1991, George Hickenlooper directed Picture This, documenting the making of The Last Picture Show, and the film will be included as a supplement on the upcoming Criterion release of the film. This little piece of news was actually teased at in the comments section over on Hollywood Elsewhere, months ago before Criterion had officially announced the box set.

Director George Hickenlooper’s award-winning documentary about the making of The Last Picture Show (director Peter Bogdanovich’s 1970s classic) ultimately turned the lives of those involved upside down. The movie follows Bogdanovich to Texas, where he reflects on the demise of his marriage, his affair with star Cybill Shepherd and the murder of his girlfriend, Playboy playmate Dorothy Stratten — among other traumas.

If you can’t wait until November 23rd to see this film, you can head over to Netflix where Picture This is streaming on Watch Instantly. If you’re looking for another piece of Hickenlooper’s work to check out, friend of the show West Anthony suggests The Man From Elysian Fields, also streaming on Watch Instantly.

Our thoughts go out to his surviving family members, and all who knew him.


  • Art, Acting, and the Suicide Chair: Dennis Hopper, 1988
  • Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, 1991
  • Picture This: The Times of Peter Bogdanovich in Archer City, Texas, 1991
  • Ghost Brigade (aka The Killing Box), 1993
  • Some Folks Call it a Sling Blade, 1994
  • The Low Life, 1995
  • Persons Unknown, 1996
  • Dogtown, 1997
  • The Big Brass Ring, 1997
  • Monte Hellman: American Auteur, 1997
  • The Big Brass Ring, 1999
  • The Man from Elysian Fields, 2001
  • Being Mick, 2001
  • Mayor of the Sunset Strip, 2003
  • Bizarre Love Triangle, 2005
  • Factory Girl, 2006
  • Speechless, 2008
  • Out in the City, 2009
  • ‘Hick’ Town, 2009

The Last Picture Show

Peter Bogdanovich 1971

Featuring evocative black-and-white imagery and profoundly felt performances, this hushed depiction of crumbling American values remains the pivotal film in the career of the invaluable director and film historian Peter Bogdanovich.

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
  • Two audio commentaries, one featuring director Peter Bogdanovich and the other featuring Bogdanovich and actors Cybill Shepherd, Randy Quaid, Cloris Leachman, and Frank Marshall
  • Picture This, a 1990 documentary by George Hickenlooper
  • ‘The Last Picture Show’: A Look Back, an hour-long 1999 documentary
  • 2009 interview with Bogdanovich
  • Screen tests and location footage
  • Theatrical trailers and more!

Ryan Gallagher

Ryan is the Editor-In-Chief / Founder of, and the host / co-founder / producer of the various podcasts here on the site. You can find his website at, follow him on Twitter (@RyanGallagher), or send him an email: [email protected].

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