Stoned | The Wild and Wycked World of Brian Jones
This was the official website for the 2005 film about Brian Jones called Stoned, also known as The Wild and Wycked World of Brian Jones in the UK.
Content is from the site's archived pages as well as from other resources.
Brian Jones was more than just "a Rolling Stone," he was their founding member, in 1962. His blonde hair, ambiguous glamour and obvious talent inspired enormous curiosity, making him the face of the Sixties revolution. In "Stoned," Stephen Woolley charts the rise of the precocious Cheltenham teenager to fame and fulfillment, and then re-creates the nightmare of his chaotic plummet to a mysterious death, drowned in the swimming pool of his secluded country estate.
The film is a cinematic work of historical fiction, taking as its premise the idea that Jones was murdered by Frank Thorogood, a builder who had been hired to renovate and improve Jones's house Cotchford Farm in East Sussex. The film also paints a picture of Jones's use of alcohol and drugs, and his relationships with Anita Pallenberg and Anna Wohlin.
This is the tale of debauched 1960s rock icon, Brian Jones, the charismatic guitarist who co-founded the Rolling Stones but was fired in 1969. A few weeks later he was found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool.
Rating: R (for drug use, sexuality, nudity and language)
Directed By: Stephen Woolley
Written By: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade
In Theaters: Oct 18, 2005 wide
On Disc/Streaming: Jul 4, 2006
Runtime: 97 minutes
Studio: Screen Media Films
Brian Jones was the consummate artist, pop star, fashion icon & womanizer. During the seven short years of his glittering rise to stardom and fateful plummet between 1962 - 1969 he became a music legend, creating The Rolling Stones one of the greatest rock and roll bands ever. Having reinvented the Blues, he nonchalantly turned his back on the world of pop and found more pleasure in scoring movies and recording ethnic music in Morocco. This is not a film about one of The Rolling Stones - this is a murder mystery about the death of one of the most talented musicians of the 60's who couldn't or wouldn't write pop songs. Brian Jones was more than just "a Rolling Stone". He was their founding member in 1962. Jones (played by Leo Gregory) was their leader, their visionary, their most gifted musician His blond, ambiguous glamour and obvious talent inspired enormous curiosity.
Brian was the face of the Sixties revolution, resplendent in the sumptuous fabrics and furs, scarves, hats and jewelry with which he fearlessly blurred the distinction between male and female acceptability. A true pied piper of fashion, he daringly led and legions followed. Just a few years later, at the age of 27, Jones was dead in the deep end of his own swimming pool. Officially, he drowned by misadventure under the influence of drink and drugs. Director and Producer Stephen Woolley has spent the last 10 years researching the events surrounding Brian's ill-fated dip on the night of Wednesday July 2, 1969. In "Stoned," Woolley charts the rise of the intelligent Cheltenham teenager who excels in music and girls as wholeheartedly as he resists the disciplines of his grammar school. Moving to London at 19, Jones finds fame and fulfillment as he steers The Rolling Stones to their first great musical successes, but it's a short-lived happiness.
Re-creating the nightmare as it plummets out of control, with the fragile but tempestuous and increasingly unpredictable Jones hounded by the authorities, busted for drugs, embroiled in controversies and indiscriminate sexual encounters, passionately, bizarrely and sometimes violently besotted with his great love Anita Pallenberg (Monet Mazur), who abandons him for Keith (Ben Whishaw), and finally fired by the band he had formed and obsessively nurtured to their coming of age. His final days are played out at Cotchford Farm, Jones' East Sussex country retreat and the former home of Winnie the Pooh author AA Milne, who Brian Jones revered. He shared his idyll with latest flame, Anna Wohlin (Tuva Novotny). Still closely monitored by the Stones' organization, who regarded him as a loose cannon, Brian decides to make some home improvements and on the advice of his road manager Tom Keylock (David Morrissey), he hires Frank Thorogood (Paddy Considine), to carry out the work.
January 24, 2010
Alex Z ** ½
Extremely dissapointed. Being a big Rolling Stones fan, this really had nothing to do about the Stones but primarily focused on Brian Jones....which is ok i suppose. But damn, this movie wasn't done right. Most parts were boring and unecessary....too much nudity in the movie also made this become a huge turnoff. Although it was meant to be like that, it still was very unpleasent. Other then that, it showed what it was like for Brian Jones (and the Stones) during their young careers and mostly near the time of Brian's murder. The end was probably the most interesting part. Although this does have alot of info, pass on this one because music fans and Stone fans will be disappointed
January 7, 2010
*** Mikko L
Surprisingly amusing, considering the film is 90% about a guy who gets stoned and shags birds. Anyway, quite interesting also to find out about the founding of The Rolling Stones. The other day however. When I was visiting my mother and I mentioned that I had just watched Stoned, her response was that the film was really just fiction and I shouldn’t think that by watching it that I really understood that period of time. I should note my mother was a flower child in college during the 60’s. So I asked her to educate me. She looked up from her computer where she was searching for the best deal on bulk paper towels for the restaurant of a friend and said let me finish this purchase. I have found the best online store for janitorial supplies. They sell to both the wholesale and retail market. Jen, her restaurant partner, is going to love this find. Check it out. So we got distracted for about an hour minutes while we looked at all sorts of paper products. Who knew there were so many options available. Finally she finished and we returned to a critique of Stoned. Apparently my mother had seen stoned when it first came out, being a Rolling Stone fan and all. Let me put it this way, my mother said: It is almost so bad it's good. Almost... Let's face it, the facts and theories be damned, this movie is one long, lingering licentious look at '60s-style rock star depravity, a voyeur's delight which is enlivened by abundant and gratuitous nudity, male and female, furtive sex acts and plentiful drug and alcohol abuse. None of the actors even vaguely resembles the Rolling Stones they are portraying and there were only three Rolling Stone songs. Apparently the film maker could not get licensing permissions to use more of the band's song. Based on the 1994 book "Who Killed Christopher Robin," "Stoned" supposedly tells the story of Jones' death, never very well explained, as murder. It's better that you watch such films about the Rolling Stones such as Charlie Is My Darling (1966), Shine a Light (2008), a career-spanning documentary on the Rolling Stones, with concert footage from their "A Bigger Bang" tour, Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones (1973) a concert film taken from two Rolling Stones concerts during their 1972 North American tour, or her favorite, Gimme Shelter (1970), a harrowing documentary of the Stones' 1969 tour, with much of the focus on the tragic concert at Altamont." I promised I would check them out.
December 11, 2009
*** John G
I had strange flashbacks as I was watching this that made me realize about 3/4 of the way through that I had, in fact, already seen this, which sort of troubled me as far as my memory goes, but then I figured memory loss is just getting into the spirit of things, so it's all okay . . . it's not the best, but I thought it did a pretty good job of conjuring up the period on a limited budget by staying at Jones' country estate and Marrakech . . . I also like the principals Leo Gregory as Brian, Monet Mazur as Anita Pallenberg, and Paddy Considine as Frank Thorogood, the bloke who confessed on his deathbed to drowning Brian after everyone thought he od'd for decades…
November 29, 2009
I was surprised at the ending as it didn't tally with my knowledge of events, although everything else really did, then i saw that there had been a confession so, in fact, this is pretty historically accurate which makes this a pretty fine film.
February 21, 2013
*** ½ Alex r
This film of the final days of one of the founding members of The Rolling Stones, Brian Jones was a fairly good attempt at capturing the essence of the icon. However it is a film that could have been much better and it had the potential of being so much more than what it turned out to be. I really liked the film, and I do think it is underrated and it doesn't deserve the flack it has received. Acting wise, there are some good performances and it is nonetheless a worthwhile film to watch even if it is not perfect. I have seen far worst biopics than this, and Stoned is at least well acted and tells a compelling story that should appeal to fans of the band. If you're a casual film viewer, you may not like this as much, but for Stones fans, this is a great viewing. I really enjoyed the way this film was made, but like I said before, it could have been done better. The potential was there to really make this a high caliber biopic about an icon, but in the end, it is viewed more as a curiosity than anything else. Stephen Woolley directs a confident cast that do their best with the material and they pull something quite good. With this one, don't listen to the critics, make up your own mind about it and go in with an open mind and you may enjoy it. The performances alone save this one from being a total dud, and the lead actor Leo Gregory is very impressive in the part of Brian Johnson. For what it is, it's a watchable biopic that overcomes its weaknesses by its cast, and that's the most important part.
May 28, 2011
** Zane T
It seems that every rock band from the 1960s and 1970s had that one member that self-destructed. The Doors had Jim Morrison. Led Zeppelin had John Bonham. The Who had Keith Moon and the Rolling Stones had Brian Jones. Jones was one of the founding members of the Stones but he was kicked out after his substance abuse and legal problems became a problem. Jones is portrayed as a prima donna, demanding that a worker Frank Thorogood, be his gopher, cooking his meals in addition to making a fence, which he tells the worker to tear down and move, which they do, then telling them to move it back to the original spot. The problem with this movie is that it's all been seen and done before a lot better. The acting is subpar and it's somewhat laughable seeing unknowns playing young versions of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards as almost parodies. This movie takes a stance on Jones' mysterious death by saying that Thorogood killed Jones, even though Thorogood was never arrested. What's worse about the movie is that it is more about Thorogood than about Jones.
August 3, 2010
½ Barbara R
I find the real story of Brian Jones to be much more interesting than this poorly done reenactment. There are ways to make movies about the '60s and there are ways not to make a movie about the '60s. This tries to be the classic Midnight Cowboy and fails. I found the artsy deluge of drugs, sex, and music spun together in phantasmagoric cinematography to be jarring, clichéd and annoying. The '60s style filming every now and then was irritating as well. The only good thing was the artful display of male and female nudity instead of the usual female only shots. The story was just all over the place. I feel that if someone else had taken on this story it would have had the potential to be great.
Stoned': From the Pool of Sex, Drugs & Rock-and-Roll
By Desson Thomson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 7, 2006
Its title may ring with pun and promise, but "Stoned" is a flat riff on the short life of Brian Jones, the Rolling Stone who died in his swimming pool on July 3, 1969.
Based on three books about Jones's life (and the supposed 1993 deathbed confession of a household workman), the movie fails to evoke his tragic and colorful history. You'll get the highlights of Jones's life but no sense of what made him special -- or what really haunted him.
For debuting director Stephen Woolley, a longtime producer for Neil Jordan, this is a grand opportunity missed. In his heyday, Jones, of course, was the Stone to Watch, the Carnaby Street mod who kissed the girls and made them pregnant. A brilliant musician who played piano, clarinet, saxophone, guitar, even the dulcimer, he put the bluesy scratch and otherworldly mojo into Stones tunes. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, in the beginning at least, had to share in the limelight.
The sitar in "Paint It Black"? The cuckoolike recorder in "Ruby Tuesday"? All Brian Jones. But for all his brilliance, he was a screw-up -- and drugged up. He passed out at studio sessions, when he showed up at all. He was forbidden to tour the United States because of his drug arrests. He was AWOL, literally and figuratively. It was just a matter of time before they found him floating. He was 27.
Unfortunately, the deepest insight offered by "Stoned" is that Jones (played by Leo Gregory) made a terrible boss. The story centers on Frank Thorogood (Paddy Considine), a building contractor, who's intrigued to be hired by the flamboyant pop icon. Brian lives in a state of constant bacchanalia in his Sussex farmhouse -- once owned by "Winnie the Pooh" author A.A. Milne. Blondes come and go. Grass, cocaine and booze are freely available. And Brian, who welcomes Frank with childlike joy, seems to want to be his friend.
The job description, Frank rapidly discovers, involves more than building garden walls. He finds himself cooking for Brian, driving him to London to pick up girls, and keeping him company when the women are gone. It's fun for a time, but it becomes increasingly edgy. On one occasion, Brian -- always one for mind games -- offers Frank sex with one of his girlfriends if the builder performs 100 push-ups. He orders Frank's crew to dismantle and move a wall they've just built, then tells them to put it back in the original spot. As Brian's relationship with his band deteriorates, so does the bond between him and Frank.
Scripted by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (whose résumés include three James Bond films), the film succumbs all too often to cliche: the drug-woozy sequences of hedonistic romps in bed and LSD tabs on yanked-out tongues (cue Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit"). What these scenes tell us about Jones, other than the external lore of his life, is anyone's guess. If this was all there was to him, why are we watching this?
The movie is no more enlightening about the relationships in Jones's life. His girlfriend Anita Pallenberg (Monet Mazur), who befriends him at a Munich concert in the early 1960s, follows him to Sussex and Marrakech, and plays bondage games upstairs, is supposed to be a significant figure. But we never understand what draws them together. We know what pulls them apart, though. (He starts to hit her a little harder and she doesn't like that -- there's your character growth.) His romance, if that's what you call it, with Anna Wohlin (whose book "The Murder of Brian Jones" is another sourcebook) is even less revelatory.
As for Mick and Keith, they're relegated to the periphery. Played by Luke de Woolfson (Jagger) and Ben Whishaw (Richards), they're reduced to background roles. We see them cooling heels while Brian makes a phone call. There they are again, sitting in a cloud of hookah smoke in Morocco. Occasionally, they speak! Watching this movie, you could be forgiven for thinking they were just the roadies.
Woolley has said in interviews he wanted to make a Brian Jones film, so he did not seek participation or cooperation from the Rolling Stones. Nor, he said, did he license their 1960s-era songs -- for which Jones wasn't credited -- so the few Stones tunes on the soundtrack were recorded by other artists.
British actor Gregory certainly looks the part -- and vamps it up with aplomb. But the screenplay never allows him to be more than one-dimensional. (There's got to be a part for him in the next Austin Powers flick.) Considine, who has shown such versatility in films including "In America," "My Summer of Love" and "Cinderella Man," finds new chords again. As Frank, he's a convincingly tormented outsider, who evolves from enchantment to gloomy disillusionment. But as the only believable person (with the exception of David Morrissey, as Brian's cocky driver and troubleshooter) he's faced with a peculiar conundrum: Among these Rolling Stones, what's the point of gathering moss?
Stoned (103 minutes, at Landmark's E Street Cinema) is not rated; it contains nudity, drug use and profanity.