Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search For a Kool Place


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Magic Trip is a freewheeling portrait of Ken Kesey and the Merry Prankster’s fabled road trip across America in the legendary Magic Bus. In 1964, Ken Kesey, the famed author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, set off on a legendary, LSD-fuelled cross-country road trip to the New York World’s Fair. He was joined by “The Merry Band of Pranksters,” a renegade group of counterculture truth-seekers, including Neal Cassady, the American icon immortalized in Kerouac’s On the Road, and the driver and painter of the psychedelic Magic Bus. Kesey and the Pranksters intended to make a documentary about their trip, shooting footage on 16mm, but the film was never finished and for nearly fifty years their footage remained virtually unseen. Magic Trip is the product of years of unprecedented access to this raw footage—over 100 hours of film and audiotape. The resulting film is an invaluable document of this extraordinary piece of American history.


Directed by
Alex Gibney & Alison Ellwood

Screenplay by
Alex Gibney & Alison Ellwood

Executive Producers
Robert Belau
David Kowitz
Gareth Wiley
David McKillop
Molly Thompson

Zane Kesey

Original music by
David Kahne
Based on the words and recordings of
Ken Kesey

Will Clarke
Alex Gibney
Alexandra Johnes

Alison Ellwood

Associate Producers
Sam Black
Susan Johnson

Music Supervisor
John McCullough