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INDIWIRE NEWS announces the DVD / STREAMING launch…


Out of Print Cult Classic ‘Hands on a Hardbody’ Finally Receiving Home Release


For years, S.R. Bindler’s 1997 documentary “Hands on a Hardbody,” has been unavailable to its fans beyond asking prices in the hundreds for DVDs and prints of the long lost film. But now, fans can finally get their hands on a completely remastered version of the film, when it is released on DVD and available for download April 1.

The film documents a yearly endurance competition in Longview, TX, in which twenty-four participants attempt to hold onto a pickup truck by hand for the longest period of time. Upon its release, it won the audience award at the Los Angeles Film Festival and played at an Austin theatre for 16 months before going out of print and becoming unavailable for the last 15 years.

“Hands on a Hardbody,” has since become something of a cult classic, gaining the attention of Robert Altman, who was planning a feature adaptation before his death, and Ira Glass, who dedicated an episode of his series “This American Life,” to the film and its participants, among others. A musical adaptation is also currently in previews on Broadway.

The new release of the film will include 86-minutes of new material and the complete remastered film. There are currently plans for the film to tour theatrically through Texas in April, with a national theatrical campaign beginning this summer. For additional information on screening information as it comes, check out the film’s website.

Check out a trailer for the film below:

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In development for many years, the musical adaptation of Hands On A Hardbody will head to Broadway and the Brooks Atikinson theater; previews begin February 23rd and the run beings on March 21st.


“Hands On A Hardbody’ Sets Broadway Opening Date

By Patrick Healy

Another new movie-turned-musical has confirmed its opening for the 2012-13 Broadway season: “Hands on a Hardbody,” about a group of Texans in an endurance contest to win a new truck, will begin preview performances on Feb. 23 at the Brooks Atkinson Theater and open on Mar. 21, the producers said on Tuesday. The Broadway cast will be the same performers from last spring’s production of “Hardbody” at La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, including Keith Carradine (a Tony nominee for the title role in “The Will Rogers Follies”), Hunter Foster (“Urinetown”), Mary Gordon Murray (a Tony nominee in 1982 for “Little Me”) and Connie Ray (“Next Fall”).

Based on a 1997 documentary by S.R. Bindler and Kevin Morris, the musical has a book by the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright (“I Am My Own Wife”), music by Trey Anastasio of the band Phish and Amanda Green (the new musical “Bring It On”), and lyrics by Ms. Green. The musical staging in La Jolla was by Benjamin Millepied, perhaps best known for his choreography in the movie “Black Swan”; because of a scheduling conflict, he has been replaced by the Broadway choreographer Sergio Trujillo (“Jersey Boys”). The director is Neil Pepe, the artistic director of Off Broadway’s Atlantic Theater Company.

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Unavailable for more than ten years, HANDS ON A HARDBODY is being re-released on DVD in early March, 2013. Restored and remastered from the original Hi8 tapes, the movie will be available at the Brooks Atkinson Theater in New York during the musical run, on the film’s Official Website (DVD and streaming) and at

The film has been restored, recolored and rebuilt shot-by-shot from the original footage by the film’s producers. The new DVD has the fully restored film, never-before-see material (master interviews) from the original film, and all new design and artwork by Dustin Stanton and J.W.Nickles.



HoHB_digipak_3 copy


Available at last: ‘Hands on a Hardbody’

The 1997 documentary has been impossible to find for years, but this month it became available digitally and on DVD. Coincidentally (or not), a musical based on the film opens tonight on Broadway — with tunes by none other than Anastasio.

Hands on a Hardbody follows a group of hard-working Texans who compete to win a truck by seeing who can keep their hands on it the longest. The insanity lasts for 77 hours and shows that some folks really will do anything to sit behind the wheel of a new pickup. (Sample quote: ”My husband and I have been praying for a truck, and I believe this is what God wants us to do.”)

For $10 you can grab a digital download right now; $5 more will get you a bunch of bonus features. I’d say it’s worth it — I haven’t seen the movie in years and am eager to watch it again.

This week the original Hardbody doc also embarked on a screening tour, with stops in San Francisco, Tacoma and multiple cities in Texas. Get the full schedule here.

As for the musical, a few preview audio and video snippets are on the official site.

Whitney Matheson, USA TODAY4:35p.m. EDT March 21, 2013