Watch CBSN Live

Recapturing Beat Generation

Some big stars have given their talents to a small movie called The Source, chronicling the work and lives of the beat generation.

These bohemians, who emerged after World War II in the 1940s, were the alternative people that eventually became the hippies in the 1960s, director Chuck Workman (The Life and Times of Andy Warhol) tells CBS This Morning Co-Anchor Mark McEwen.

"They just decided what they saw around them didn't really apply to what they'd just been through World War II and started a movement that took about 20 years to catch on," Workman says of the beatniks.

Johnny Depp, John Turturro and Dennis Hopper play beat generation writers and founders Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg.

"I wanted really good actors who are sort of representative of kind of alternative way of life and alternative kind of career," he notes.

For example, Workman notes Johnny Depp is a Kerouac fan and does all kinds of alternative things.

Dennis Hopper, who knew William Burroughs, had planned to do a project with him, he says. "Dennis also is alternative; everybody's kind of strange in a way, although very respected now," Workman notes.

Adds Workman: "And John Turturro just seemed like a very strong, interesting actor to do the kind of poetry that Allen Ginsberg did and even looked like Allen Ginsberg did when he was younger and did an amazing job."

Although the three writers featured in the film are no longer around, their work is still very influential around the globe. The Source opens in limited release on Wednesday.

©1999 CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved

View CBS News In