Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon


Action / Biography / Documentary / Music


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October 13, 2014 at 11:41 AM



Sharon Stone as Herself
Michael Douglas as Himself
Robert Redford as Himself
695.38 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 25 min
P/S 4 / 27

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Steve Pulaski 9 / 10

Thoroughly human and uncommonly entertaining

If you pay an obsessive amount of attention to film, as I do, you may have noticed the absence of comedian Mike Myers in films in the last few years. For the last couple years, Myers has been invested in making his directorial debut, a documentary by the name of Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, chronicling the life of Shep Gordon, a renowned talent manager who managed everyone from Myers himself to stars like Alice Cooper, Teddy Pendergrass, and Jimi Hendrix. In just eighty-five minutes, Myers, and Gordon, who narrates practically the entire documentary, gives us an in-depth look at the life of a person who likely enters our mind a total, abstract figure and emerges as someone we probably wouldn't mind having drinks with at any given time.

In the beginning, Gordon, who looks like a cross between Seinfeld co-writer Larry David and former Canadian Football League coach Marc Trestman, talks about his experiences as a sociology major at the University of New York, Buffalo, which lead him to venturing out to the west coast to become a probation officer. After a traumatizing experience at his first day on the job, Gordon went back to his hotel room, dropped acid, and proceeded to relax and unwind before believing he heard the screams and cries of a woman being raped. When he ran outside to "rescue" said woman, he was punched in the face by none other than Janis Joplin, who was doing drugs with Jimi Hendrix. It didn't take long for Gordon to become their manager, predominately based on the qualifications that Gordon was indeed high and knew the drug world all too well.

Gordon eventually got connected with Alice Cooper, functioning as his manager by staging outrageous shows that would make headlines and selling drugs in the audience to keep the crowd coming back for more in both the performance and the social aspect of the show. Gordon talks about how he realized early on that kids loved anything their parents detested, so he tried to get Cooper arrested on stage one night by having him perform naked in saran wrap, to which Gordon would respond by calling the police pretending to be an angered parent. By the time the police had arrived at the venue Cooper was performing at, the saran wrap had fogged up from the heat of the massive crowd and the police questioned why they were even called.

Gordon is filled with those kinds of wild and crazy stories, and Supermensch is a time when those stories are released and a character is revealed. One of the stories he shares is how he and Cooper sort of pioneered audience participation and liveliness within crowds at rock concerts, going as far as throwing a live chicken in the audience, which would later come back to Cooper a mangled and bloodied mess, or how feathered pillows were scattered throughout the concertgoers. In addition,Gordon talks about how him and Cooper, who have remained lifelong friends since they were first acquainted with one another, recorded Cooper's song "I'm Eighteen" in Canada because Cooper's own Straight Records label didn't want to be affiliated with the song. This propelled "I'm Eighteen" to be a huge hit in Canada and its success eventually bled into the United States, becoming one of Cooper's most recognized songs.

The ideology behind Gordon's business practices revolves around three kickers. One is his basic philosophy, which is "get the money, remember to get the money, and never forget to always remember to get the money," in reference to receiving the promised paycut for the plethora of shows he scheduled for his clients. The second is conducting what he refers to as "compassionate business," where nobody wins and nobody loses but everyone wins and everything works out in the end. Finally, Gordon believes in a system that uses "coupons," or asking favors and repaying them through incalculable kindness, such loaning out his home to people he has known for years, or simply chipping in financially to fund someone's lifestyle at this given time. For somebody who has partied enough and undoubtedly seen every racy, cut-throat side of business there is, the fact that Gordon remains so tender and human is astonishing.

Finally, Myers doesn't neglect what the future held for Gordon, as he ventured into culinary arts after meeting French chef Roger Vergé. Gordon states how he enjoyed the freedom and liberation brought forth by the field of culinary arts because once you finished a meal, that was all that needed to be done, whereas managing talent and numerous different acts required constant contemplation of how to approach the next rodeo in a way that would mirror or best the success of the previous venture. In addition, Gordon's tireless work ethic has deprived him of the one thing we see he has needed most in his life - a wife and kids. Watching Gordon in his later years, we see a man not concerned with the party and debauchery lifestyle as he once was, but one looking to settle down and produce somebody who can go on to optimistically live the same kind of caring and open-minded life his father has done throughout his life.

Supermensch is a wonderful documentary, thoroughly human and uncommonly entertaining, with numerous celebrities like Tom Arnold and Michael Douglas weighing on what Gordon has done for them. At a simple, eighty-five minutes, Myers chronicles just about all we need to know about Gordon to come to the consensus that this is a man responsible for a lot more than what we have credited him for, and a soul just as charismatic as the talent he manages.

Directed by: Mike Myers.

Reviewed by MovieLord23 8 / 10

A funny and entertaining documentary about a very nice guy

It has been a while since Mike Myers has done anything relevant which I think it was Inglorious Basterds along with that turd The love Guru. Now Myers is back with a documentary about one of the best managers in the entertainment business: Shep Gordon. Thankfully, Myers contributes a lot of energy into this documentary along with providing a spotlight to a very interesting man.

Good: Shep Gordon is a very interesting guy and that is what makes this documentary work so well and that is the subject matter. Shep's story from unemployed chump to a world class manager for the biggest musicians in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. His interactions with Jimi Hendrix, Alice Cooper, Janis Joplin, and many other actors and musicians are entertaining and with the addition of reenactments provide plenty of funny moments. It also paints the man as a very humble person along with some serious moments help provide some well placed drama.

Overall, this is a very entertaining documentary about a very interesting man as well as being a good comeback for Mike Myers.

Reviewed by Paul Allaer 7 / 10

Intrimate and entertaining portrait of one of the 'good guys'

"Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon" (2014 release; 85 min.) is a documentary (written, produced and directed by Mike 'Austin Powers' Myers) about the life and times of Shep Gordon, one of the legendary managers in the entertainment industry. As the movie opens, and after some general introductory comments from people like Michael Douglas, Sylvester Stallone, Alice Cooper and others, Gordon tells in his own words how it all got started, back in 1968 when he really wanted to become a probation officers, and even took and passed the California Probation Officer exam. But when it became clear he didn't fit in with the others at the CA juvenile facility he was assigned to, he dropped out and drove to LA where he checked into the Hollywood Landmark Hotel, and promptly befriended Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. It was Hendrix who 'pushed' Gordon into managing ("You a Jewish boy?" "Yea" "You should become a manager." "Okay", ha!). Gordon's first important client was Alice Cooper, then still toiling into obscurity, but not for much longer. Gordon was 21 at the time, if you can believe it. To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: first and foremost, even if Shep Gordon may not be known to you at all, you are in for a finger lickin' good time with this documentary. The man was arguably one of the most connected people in the Hollywood entertainment scene, and apparently one of the most respected and beloved. Besides managing many stars in the music and movie business, Gordon practically single-handedly started the 'celebrity chef' scene when he befriends French chef Roger Verge and later agrees to manage him and many other chefs. Second, given the 40+ year relationship and bond between Gordon and Alice Cooper, we get to see quite a bit of the Cooper saga with fascinating insights on how Cooper was able to break through, with the ideas from Gordon playing a crucial role (and hence it's a nice compliment/contrast to the recent "Super Duper Alice Cooper" documentary). Third, the documentary does not shy away from the personal side: while we see Gordon having relationships with Sharon Stone and other well-known women, in the end we see Gordon alone. Says his assistant: when he wakes up after the surgery and sees me beside the bed, it's clear that he wishes it was not me, his paid personal assistant, whom he'd be staring at", wow.

This is not a 'dirty laundry' type of documentary, so if you think you'll be hearing/seeing a lot of gossip on the artists managed by Gordon, you will be sorely disappointed. If on the other hand you are interested in getting a portrait on one of the most successful managers in the Hollywood entertainment business, then this is for you. I enjoyed this from start to finish. Quite a nice debut for first-time director Mike Myers. "Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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