Sunshine Superman: The Journey of Donovan

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
A 180-minute account of the life and career of the folk
ock singer-songwriter Donovan may seem like overkill -- but the beauty of this film is that it ends up justifying its length, precisely by telling a lot more about its subject than most of us thought there was to know (and we were wrong). The basic format is a mix of interview segments with the subject himself (who is a good story-teller) intercut ...
See more details below
Other sellers (DVD)
  • All (4) from $20.93   
  • New (2) from $20.93   
  • Used (2) from $29.26   

Special Features

Extended versions; Concerts, TV Appearances, Unreleased Songs, The Private Donovan, Music Videos
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
A 180-minute account of the life and career of the folk
ock singer-songwriter Donovan may seem like overkill -- but the beauty of this film is that it ends up justifying its length, precisely by telling a lot more about its subject than most of us thought there was to know (and we were wrong). The basic format is a mix of interview segments with the subject himself (who is a good story-teller) intercut with relevant clips of varying lengths, some from period broadcasts and actual concerts, others promotional in nature, and yet others from sources that could very easily include home movies. From the earliest part of his life through to the middle of the first decade of the new century, there's ample visual support for the narrative, though there are also some funny occasional lapses (such as Donovan refers to the catch-phrase for the British television show Ready, Steady, Go as "the weekend begins here," when on the screen in front of us is the correct phrase, "The weekend starts here"). He and the director take their time moving from subject to subject, devoting a full 15 minutes to the so-called Dylan/Donovan feud, which never actually existed, also finding time to point up the irony that Donovan as a youth from Scotland, steeped in folk songs, was probably better versed in aspects of traditional folk music than Dylan was at a similar point in his life and career. The promotional clips become less relevant to the music, but more compellingly steeped in the tone and mood of the latter, as the subject matter progresses out of the folk-revival and into the psychedelic era; and all of the biographical references in the music seem to be explored at length and, themselves, prove fascinating, both as a look at Donovan's creative process and the act of composition in general. Aspiring composers could learn a great deal watching this film. Length would seem to be an issue, what with a three-hour running time, but as it turns out, between his own accomplishments, the people with whom he's worked and crossed paths -- as just one example, Donovan is a nexus between folk music legend Derroll Adams and Led Zeppelin. And his story is a fascinating one, filled with strange coincidences and successes, and odd and memorable digressions, especially in the 1960s, that were amplified in impact and prominence by their timing. In the end, the three-hour work justifies itself and the commitment that it demands, answering numerous questions that even casual fans have had about the artist for decades (especially the reason behind his seeming disappearance from music around 1970-71). The performance clips alone are reason to watch the first two hours, and the rest isn't much less interesting musically. One of the interesting effects of watching this documentary is to remind one of a change that's taken place in the movie business in the last 30 years. Back in 1982, when the film The Compleat Beatles first appeared, it actually ran in theaters around the country, before it ever got to pay-cable, much less broadcast television. That tier in the movie business is gone now, except for a few art-house and repertory venues (such as New York's IFC Center) in perhaps a half-dozen cities, and it's a shame, because somewhere within this 180 minute account of the life and career of Donovan there is a 79 minute edit that, in another time, might have wowed audiences in theaters -- not that the 180 minute version is bad at all; it's just 180 minutes, which demands a bigger commitment of time and energy than most people would be willing to make up front. And they'd be wrong.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/7/2008
  • UPC: 693723000237
  • Original Release: 2008
  • Source: Spv U.S.
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 3:00:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 13,459

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Donovan Participant
Bob Dylan Participant
Pete Seeger Participant
Arlo Guthrie Participant
Mickie Most Participant
Rick Rubin Participant
Jimmy Page Participant
Jeff Beck Participant
Starsailor Participant
Franco Zeffirelli Participant
David Lynch Participant
The Beatles
Technical Credits
Hannes Rossacher Director
Read More Show Less

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Journey of Donovan - The Film
1. Intro [1:07]
2. Childhood [2:36]
3. Early Influences [2:09]
4. Starting To Write Music [:51]
5. Gypsy Dave [:59]
6. Beat Poets [4:42]
7. St Ives [3:26]
8. Going Professional [2:26]
9. Breakthrough [1:16]
10. Catch the Wind [3:06]
11. Dylan vs Donovan [5:34]
12. Newsreel [:20]
13. First Live Performance [2:05]
14. Pop & Protest [4:57]
15. Newport Festival [1:50]
16. Pete Seeger & Derroll Adams [4:13]
17. Sunshine Superman [7:43]
18. Drugbust [3:55]
19. Mellow Yellow [2:39]
20. Popart & Popfashion [2:43]
21. Wear Your Love Like Heaven [1:24]
22. Romantic Poet [4:25]
23. Free Love [1:19]
24. With the Beatles in India [8:38]
25. Hurdy Gurdy Man [3:45]
26. Happiness Runs [3:05]
27. Guitar Maker [3:55]
28. Barabajagal [3:16]
29. Atlantis [4:36]
30. Hollywood [2:00]
31. Isle Of Wight [3:47]
32. Open Road [3:55]
33. Breakdown [3:47]
34. Meeting the Muse [7:26]
35. Desert Days [9:05]
36. Music for the Big Screen [9:10]
37. Touring in the 70's [2:17]
38. Falling Apart [4:55]
39. Coming Home to Ireland [2:01]
40. The Sutras Experience [5:27]
41. Spirituality and India [4:12]
42. With the Eyes of a Child [6:52]
43. A Surprise Visit [4:55]
44. New Collaborations [6:12]
45. Birthday Bash [1:19]
46. On the Road Again [4:09]
47. End Credits [1:55]
48. David Lynch [:48]
Read More Show Less


Disc #1 -- The Journey of Donovan - The Film
   Film Start
Disc #2 -- The Journey of Donovan - Bonus Footage
   Extended Versions
      Danny Ferrington Guitar Maker
      Gram Parsons & Counrtry Music
      The Story Of Lalena
      Interview John Cameron
      Cosmic Wheels in Joshua Tree
      Universal Soldiers
      Isle of Islay
      Play All
   TV Appearances
      Catch the Wind (Hollywood A Go Go/1965
      Sunny Goodge Street (Sweden 1966)
      Give It All Up (Jules Holland/ 1996)
      Play All
   Music Videos
      Sunshine Superman
      Wear Your Love Like Heaven
      Hurdy Gurdy Man
      In An Old-Fashioned Picture Book
      Yellow Star
      Cosmic Wheels
      Columbus Stockade Blues (Hans Theessink, Arlo Guthrie & Donovan)
   Unreleased Songs
      Refugee Of Love
      The Olive Tree
      I Don't Know (Short Version)
      Refugee Of Love (Studio Version)
      Play All
      BBC Concert - Jennifer Juniper
      BBC Concert - Mellow Yellow
      Kodak Theater - There Is A Mountain
      Kodak Theater - Sunshine Superman
      Kodak Theater - Colours
      Kodak Theater - Jennifer Juniper
      Season of the Witch Superjam at the Cutting Room (New York/2008)
      Play All
   The Private Donovan
      Sapphographs (Song: Be Mine)
      Donis Basement
      Donovan's Father Reads Poems
      Maharishi Award
      Doctor of Letters
      Donovan University and David Lynch
      Donovan's Family Album (Captions Off)
      Play All
   Play All
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved it

    I really enjoyed watching Donovan tell the story of his personal journey. It was fascinating and inspirational. The music, performances, and scenery were beautiful. It was a pleasure to watch the evolution of his music and style from the early years to the present time. The booklet that came with this DVD set was a nice bonus. Donovan's music is timeless.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Rewarding on many levels

    The film is engaging on many levels, and it shows that an artist with Donovan's depth and substance can grow older with grace and dignity. Donovan's music was the voice of my adolescence, and watching this documentary is as close to visiting with my old friend as I will ever get. <BR/>In several cases, the archival footage is displayed alongside the current-day poet-musician so that one gets the sense of time past in time present.<BR/>It is evident that the film was made with a great deal of love for its subjects, and it succeeds at de-mystifying its almost mythical hero.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews