Release dateNovember 5, 1967 (USA) Music directorRavi Shankar, Philip Glass CastJean-Louis Barrault (Dr. Benoit), Conrad Rooks (Russel Harwick), William S. Burroughs (Opium Jones), Allen Ginsberg (Messiah) Similar moviesYesterday Girl (1966)
Chappaqua is a 1967 American drama film, written and directed by Conrad Rooks. The film is based on Rooks' experiences with drug addiction and includes cameo appearances by William S. Burroughs, Swami Satchidananda, Allen Ginsberg, Moondog, Ornette Coleman, The Fugs, and Ravi Shankar. Rooks had commissioned Coleman to compose music for the film, but his score, which has become known as the Chappaqua Suite was not used. Ravi Shankar then composed a score.
The film briefly depicts Chappaqua, New York, a hamlet in Westchester County, in a few minutes of wintry panoramas. In the film, the hamlet is an overt symbol of drug-free suburban childhood innocence. It also serves as one of the film's many nods to Native American culture. The word "chappaqua" derives from the Wappinger (a nation of the Algonquian peoples) word for "laurel swamp."
Jean-Louis Barrault as Dr. Benoit
Conrad Rooks as Russel Harwick
William S. Burroughs as Opium Jones
Allen Ginsberg as Messie
Ravi Shankar as Dieu du Soleil
Paula Pritchett as Water Woman
Ornette Coleman as Peyote Eater
Swami Satchidananda as The Guru
Moondog as The Prophet
Ed Sanders, Tuli Kupferberg, Ken Weaver and three others as The Fugs