Is the movie Kill Your Darlings (2013) based on a true story?

Avery Davis Avery Davis May 22, 2023 · 3 mins read
Is the movie Kill Your Darlings (2013) based on a true story?
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Yes, the movie Kill Your Darlings (2013) is based on a true story. It explores the relationship between Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, and Lucien Carr during their time at Columbia University in the 1940s, and the murder of David Kammerer by Carr in 1944 which was a significant event in the Beat Generation movement.

What is the true story behind the movie Kill Your Darlings (2013)?

Kill Your Darlings (2013) is a biographical drama film that tells the story of a group of young writers who became known as the Beat Generation during the 1940s. The movie focuses on the relationship between three of its most prominent members: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William S. Burroughs. It also explores their involvement in the murder of David Kammerer, who was killed by Lucien Carr, a close friend of the writers.

In the summer of 1944, Carr was attending Columbia University, where he met Kammerer, a former teacher and an older man who had become infatuated with him. Kammerer followed Carr to New York City and often tried to get closer to him, which Carr found uncomfortable. On August 13, 1944, Carr killed Kammerer by stabbing him in Riverside Park. Carr then confessed to Kammerer’s murder to Ginsberg, who helped him dispose of the murder weapon. Kerouac and Burroughs were also present during some of the events surrounding the murder but were not directly involved in the killing.

After a series of legal procedures, Carr was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to serve one to twenty years in prison. However, he served only two years and was released on parole. Ginsberg, Kerouac, and Burroughs went on to become highly influential writers, and their work formed part of the Beat Generation literary movement, which emphasized spontaneity, personal expression, and experimentation with drug culture.

Are there any books about the true story behind the movie Kill Your Darlings (2013)?

Yes, there are books that offer a deeper exploration of the true story behind the movie Kill Your Darlings. Some of them include:

  1. Kill Your Darlings: The Untold Story of a Murderous Literary Circle by Lucinda Hawksley – This book provides a comprehensive account of the events leading up to the murder of David Kammerer and the subsequent trial of Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg.

  2. Burroughs: A Biography by Barry Miles – This book delves into the life of William Burroughs, one of the central figures in the Beat Generation, and explores his relationship with Kammerer and the events of that fateful night.

  3. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America by Charles Kaiser – This book provides a broader historical context to the events depicted in Kill Your Darlings, exploring the emergence of the gay rights movement and the cultural and social changes that paved the way for it.

  4. Jack Kerouac: Angelheaded Hipster by Steve Turner – This biography of Jack Kerouac explores his life, writing, and relationships with other Beat Generation figures, shedding light on the complicated dynamics that led to Kammerer’s murder.

You can try an audible free trial and search for audiobook versions of those

Avery Davis
Written by Avery Davis
Unleashing potential with passion and purpose.