American Playhouse: Season 3, Episode 3

True West (31 Jan. 1984)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, Drama
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.6/10 from 396 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 1 critic

A videotaped stage performance of Sam Shepard's play



0Check in

IMDb Picks: August

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in August.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 491 titles
created 09 Jun 2011
a list of 442 titles
created 08 Jan 2013

Related Items

Search for "True West" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: True West (31 Jan 1984)

True West (31 Jan 1984) on IMDb 8.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of American Playhouse.
« Previous Episode | 40 of 163 Episodes | Next Episode »


Episode credited cast:
Sam Schacht ...
Margaret Thomson ...


Austin, a Hollywood screenwriter living comfortably in suburban Arizona, is interrupted by the unexpected arrival of his prodigal brother Lee, whose menacing demeanor and pugilistic attitude draws Austin further and further into conflict until he must finally engage his brother in an intense psychological battle for his ideals, and perhaps even his life. Written by Maria Nicholas <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

31 January 1984 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



See  »

Did You Know?


The teleplay was produced for Broadway and opened at the Circle in the Square Theater in New York on March 2, 2000, ran for 154 performances and Sam Shepard's script was nominated for the 2000 Tony Award for the Best Play. See more »


Austin: There's going to be a general lack of toast in the neighbourhood this morning. Many many bewildered breakfast faces.
See more »


Featured in Being John Malkovich (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Fantastic adaptation of one of Shepard's most mainstream plays
2 September 2005 | by (kansas City) – See all my reviews

I first saw this in college. I read the play first and was very entranced by it. Shepard's writing is hypnotic. This is actually one of his most naturalistic plays.

I was very curious to see what the film would be like and, needless to say, I was completely floored. Sinise and (especially) Malkovich are INCREDIBLE. You will not see acting like this in another movie or TV show, I promise. It is totally out on a limb - hilarious and frequently scary.

In one scene Malkovich is desperately looking for a pencil and can't find one and he (literally) rips a kitchen apart looking. The whole thing is unhinged to the max.

There are parts that will make you burst out laughing and others that are genuinely frightening. It's very hypnotic. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

highly recommended

11 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Painting Churches BKeith57
The cutest thing ever... thslindal
Need help finding the name of a play rgustas
The Great Anerican Fourth of July on DVD? Cindyk610
Hallelujah American playhouse season 11 episode 5 12/22/93 nancymurnane
Working mangos47
Discuss True West (1984) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: