A Re-Release for New York Doll

We just got word from Greg Whitely, the director of the excellent documentary New York Doll, that the film is being re-released with some mormon-y bonus footage, and it’s watchable online.

If you haven’t seen the film, get on it–it’s the perfect combination of modern mormonism and early NYC punk. The movie follows Arthur “Killer” Kane, bass player of seminal punk band New York Dolls, as he navigates life as a 55-year-old Mormon obsessed with family history and temple work, and the possibility of a return to rock glory. The best part of the film is the wealth of great commentary from icons like Morrissey, Iggy Pop, Chrissie Hynde, Mick Jones…the list goes on. If that doesn’t get you going, you don’t love mormonism, or you don’t love rock and roll. Watch the movie! Share with friends!

As part of the re-release, Whitely is offering free MP3s of New York Dolls lead singer David Johansen singing “Come, Come, Ye Saints” and “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief.” And if you’re in New York City this weekend, IFC Center will have a special midnight screening at midnight Friday/Saturday. (Technically Saturday, but you know…midnight ambiguity).

If you’ve already seen the film, leave your review in the comments.


  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE this film– recommended to us by hubby’s 70-odd-year-old dad! Favorite scene: Arthur Kane in his “Joseph Smith” jacket during London concert…with sacred choir music dubbed over (sweetly sacred scene!); or Arthur in his JS jacket leading the Dolls in prayer before the concert… Or…Arthur’s lovely strong-silent presence in the band… Or… I could go on and on and on. Touched by the commentary, especially by Morrisey, who seemed touched by the whole thing.

    Rock on, Arthur Kane. We were blessed.

  2. Heinz Mahler says:

    Love this movie…one of my favorites…

  3. I found Arthur Kane’s conversion story so fascinating and moving. It really is a wonderful film.

  4. I LOVE this movie. I already have it on DVD and bought a copy for my mom. It’s just the best. I need to check out these MP3s!

  5. wonderdog says:

    This movie is a testimony to the power of the atonement.

  6. Kevin Barney says:

    I too have the DVD; highly recommended!

  7. I enjoyed the film and would recommend it to anyone. It goes to show that I can be interested in ANYTHING as long as there is some kind of Mormon angle to it! Teryl Givens discusses it well in his book, People of Paradox — the mixing of things sacred, glam, stuffy, naive, crusty, etc. I also loved the huge, live, diagram of the genealogy of rock, showing the different branches and which artists influenced which artists. I have tried to find a poster like that to no avail.

  8. There’s more than one way to be a faithful Mormon, and this film shows it. Like the other commenters, I highly recommend it.

  9. own it. love it. recommend it heartily. one of the best “and I’m a Mormon” videos.

  10. I can’t say enough good things about this film. Watched it in a Mormon Lit class in 2010, and I just loved it. Such a wonderful conversion story-I think it was an unconventional story that needed to be told. Just great.

  11. Wish he were still around to make an “I’m a Mormon” commercial!

  12. Many favorite scenes from the movie, but David Johansen’s rendition of “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief” at the end of the movie hit me emotionally like almost nothing I have ever seen in a film. We own the DVD, and saw the movie when Whitely showed it in Seattle about 4 years ago.

  13. David Elliott says:

    So many wonderful scenes, but easily one of my favorites was the two elderly sisters in the Family History Center volunteering to be Arthur’s groupies.

  14. I saw this movie at a screening hosted by the director, and I loved the air-travel graphic used in the movie. I loved the shout out to true home teaching. But mostly I’m with kevinf, with the weather-beaten old rocker’s acapella rendition of hymn.

  15. Love this movie, own the dvd, recommend it to everyone I know. It’s breathtaking. Now I’m excited about the new extra footage.

  16. One of my favorites–funny and sad and sweet and redemptive. Really shows the church at its best, as well, including the loving bishop and home teachers who help coach Arthur through his comeback jitters. Also a great reminder to look closely at people–even those who seem unremarkable at first glance. Even if they’re not former rock stars, they may have a remarkable spiritual story to share.

    I first saw the film in 2005 as a prelude to a live KUER radio broadcast in which KUER’s Doug Fabrizio interviewed Greg Whiteley about the film. I’ve lent my DVD of New York Doll out to many people over the years and they’ve all loved it. So this re-release with its bonus features–will it eventually be available for purchase (rather than just pay-per-view)?

  17. Daniel Fielding Smith says:

    I hope that the DVD of the newer version of the film with the bonus features is available for sale, because, I dount we will see it in theatres in the mid-west anytime soon.

  18. Seen and purchased. A gem. “Well, I keep seven or eight of the commandments. Maybe six.” (Can’t remember the exact quote.)

  19. I didn’t know what was going to happen at the end. It hit me like a ton of bricks and I just wept. I love it.

  20. Yes, it’s a powerful film. It makes me wish we had more pairings of Mormonism and rock ‘n’ roll. I loaned the DVD to my bishop’s family. When the bishop’s wife returned it, she said that David Johansen should sing all the hymns. I couldn’t agree more. Could anyone out there get Johansen to record an album of LDS hymns. I think there’s a market for it.

  21. I was Arthur’s home teacher a year or two before he died. He really was a great guy and I miss him. I think Greg did a great job of capturing who he was and everyone should go out of their way to see this.

  22. I’m getting the sense that this movie is generally liked.

    And let my voice be added to the chorus of praise for the movie. In my mind, it’s the apex of Mormon cinema.

  23. I saw this quite a few years ago. It’s really well done, and a really powerful documentary. I’ll have to see it again.

  24. Jeremy Jensen says:

    Probably my favorite documentary ever. I bawl like a baby everytime I hear “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” in the film.

  25. I’ll follow Margaret with my favorite quote. One of Arthur’s friends describes Arthur’s first contact with the Church, which was his calling a number on a billboard to get a free copy of the Book of Mormon, and which got him an unexpected visit from the missionaries: “What Arthur didn’t understand is that they don’t send you the book, they bring you the book.”

  26. Jennifer in GA says:

    Oh, that movie is SO powerful. I cried like a baby because I didn’t know what happened at the end.

  27. It really was a sweet movie. Bro. Kane seemed like such a kind man. But if anyone hasn’t seen it & has DirecTV, it’s shown pretty regularly on the Documentary channel. Of course, to balance things out, they also have quite a few showings of ‘8: Mormon Proposition’. Not a film for the faint-hearted.

  28. I really loved this film, haven’t seen it for years though.

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