GenreDocumentary, Music Initial DVD releaseOctober 28, 2008 CountryUnited States
Release dateOctober 14, 2007 (2007-10-14) (NYFF) CastTom Petty (Himself), Ron Blair (Himself), Mike Campbell (Himself), George Drakoulias (Himself) Similar moviesWhitesnake: Made in Japan, AC/DC: Live at River Plate, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Live In Paris, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Soundstage, Garbage: MTV World Stage, Evanescence: Anywhere But Home
Trailer for the tom petty film runnin down a dream
Runnin' Down a Dream is a 2007 documentary film about Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, directed by Peter Bogdanovich. The 4-hour documentary chronicles the history of the band, from its inception as Mudcrutch, right up to the 30th-anniversary concert in Petty's home town of Gainesville, Florida, on September 21, 2006, at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center, University of Florida. The film features interviews with George Harrison, Eddie Vedder, Stevie Nicks, Dave Grohl, Jeff Lynne, Rick Rubin, Johnny Depp, Jackson Browne and more. Petty's solo career is also touched on, as is his time with The Traveling Wilburys.
The film was commercially released as part of a four-disc box set. The film spanned the first two discs, while the 30th anniversary concert and a CD of rare tracks were the components of the remaining two discs. On October 28, 2008, a two-disc set of the film, featuring previously unreleased bonus performances, but not the Gainesville concert or audio CD, was released to the public. Runnin' Down a Dream was released on Blu-ray Disc on November 15, 2010.
The film received mostly positive feedback from film critics. The film won a Grammy for Best Music Film. The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 100% of critics gave the film a positive review based on 5 reviews, with an average score of 8.1/10. Nick Schager of Slant Magazine reviewed the documentary saying, "Employs a warm and leisurely, though never sluggish, pace that's upfront about Bogdanovich's intention to take his sweet time tackling every topic of relevant interest." Ronnie Schreib of Variety, reviewed it saying: "A feast for Petty fans and a joyous confirmation of the vitality of the collective creative process." Dan Lybarger, of eFilmCritic.com, said: "Peter Bogdanovich's new documentary about the life and career of Florida-born rocker Tom Petty runs nearly four hours and never fails to engage or entertain."
Tom Petty – vocals, guitar
Mike Campbell – guitar
Benmont Tench – keyboards, backing vocals
Ron Blair – bass, backing vocals (on Disc 3, and Disc 4, tracks 1–5 & 9)
Scott Thurston – guitar, synthesizer, harmonica, vocals (on Disc 3, and Disc 4, tracks 8 & 9)
Steve Ferrone – drums, percussion (on Disc 3, and Disc 4, track 9)
Stevie Nicks – vocals, tambourine on "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around", "I Need To Know", "Insider", "Learning To Fly", "Don't Come Around Here No More" & "American Girl" (on Disc 3)