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Pull My Daisy

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Pull My Daisy
Directed byRobert Frank
Alfred Leslie
Written byJack Kerouac
Narrated byJack Kerouac
Release date
  • 1959 (1959)
CountryUnited States

Pull My Daisy is a 1959 American short film directed by Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie, and adapted by Jack Kerouac from the third act of his play, Beat Generation.[1][2]

Kerouac also provided improvised narration. It features poets Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso, artists Larry Rivers and Alice Neel, musician David Amram, art dealer Richard Bellamy, Delphine Seyrig, dancer[3] Sally Gross, and Pablo Frank, Robert Frank's son.




Based on an incident in the life of Beat icon Neal Cassady and his wife, the painter Carolyn, the film tells the story of a railway brakeman whose wife invites a respected bishop over for dinner. However, the brakeman's bohemian friends crash the party, with comic results.

Originally intended to be called The Beat Generation, the title Pull My Daisy was taken from the poem of the same name written by Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Cassady in the late 1940s. Part of the original poem was used as a lyric in Amram's jazz composition that opens the film.

The Beat philosophy emphasized spontaneity, and the film conveyed the quality of having been thrown together or even improvised. Pull My Daisy was accordingly praised for years as an improvisational masterpiece. It was filmed in Alfred Leslie's loft at Fourth Ave. & 12th St. in Manhattan.[4]

Leslie and Frank discuss the film at length in Jack Sargeant's book Naked Lens: Beat Cinema. An illustrated transcript of the film's narration was also published in 1961 by Grove Press.


Pull My Daisy was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 1996, as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Allan, Blaine (1988). "The Making (and Unmaking) of "Pull My Daisy"". Film History. 2 (3): 185–205. ISSN 0892-2160. JSTOR 3815117.
  2. ^ Glaister, Dan (2005-05-20). "'Lost' Kerouac play resurfaces after 50 years". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
  3. ^ Cohen, John (8 August 2008). "Is Pull My Daisy Holy?". Photo-eye. Retrieved 2 January 2009.
  4. ^ Kerouac, Jack (1961). Pull My Daisy. Grove Press. p. 17.

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