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Stranger Than Paradise (1984)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 20,742 users  
Reviews: 91 user | 63 critic

A self-styled New York hipster is paid a surprise visit by his younger cousin from Budapest. From initial hostility and indifference a small degree of affection grows between the two. Along... See full summary »

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Title: Stranger Than Paradise (1984)

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7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Willie
...
Eva
...
Eddie
Cecillia Stark ...
Aunt Lotte
Danny Rosen ...
Billy
Rammellzee ...
Man With Money
...
Airline Agent
Richard Boes ...
Factory Worker
Rockets Redglare ...
Poker player
Harvey Perr ...
Poker player
Brian J. Burchill ...
Poker player
...
Girl with Hat
Paul Sloane ...
Motel Owner
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Storyline

A self-styled New York hipster is paid a surprise visit by his younger cousin from Budapest. From initial hostility and indifference a small degree of affection grows between the two. Along with a friend, they eventually end up visiting their aunt in the wastelands of Cleveland and then proceed to Florida where they lose all their money gambling before unwittingly gaining a fortune. Written by J.Arnold Free <arnold@mayahtt.ca> and Brian McInnis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 November 1984 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Extraños en el paraíso  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$90,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Jim Jarmusch was dismayed to discover all the money he paid for the rights to Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You" went to the record company, with nothing going to Hawkins himself. When the film earned a profit, Jarmusch took it upon himself to track down Hawkins (who was living in a trailer park, at the time) and give him some money. It was the beginning of a friendship between the two which lasted until Hawkins' death. According to Jarmusch, Hawkins continuously promised to pay him back, despite Jamursch's insistence that the money was a gift. See more »

Goofs

Shadow of a crew member just before the end of the scene where Eva is throwing away the dress. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Willie: Yeah.
Aunt Lotte: [speaks indistinctly in Hungarian]
Willie: Oh, hello, Aunt Lotte.
Aunt Lotte: [replies indistinctly in Hungarian throughout conversation]
Willie: Don't speak to me in Hungarian, please. No, I haven't heard from him, not for ten years. Yeah, I got your letter. Speak English, please! Yeah, my little cousin Eva. Yeah, I know, she's come - coming here and she's gonna stay overnight, when's she coming? Today? Straight from Budapest today? Ah, no. No, I never agreed to that. I can't possibly babysit for her for...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

I Put a Spell on You
Written by Screamin' Jay Hawkins (as Jay Hawkins)
Used by permission of CBS Unart Catalog, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
Performed by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Courtesy of CBS Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Beautiful uncomfortableness
5 June 2006 | by (Ronn Ives/FUTURES Antiques, Norfolk, VA.) – See all my reviews

"Stranger than Paradise" (1984): Jim Jarmusch's first film. Often listed as a "comedy" – and yes, I suppose there ARE a few oddly funny moments – for the most part I find it an intensely bleak film, empty of almost all life but for a few lone cruiser characters who are detached from everyone else. The photography is astoundingly beautiful black & white. They are almost shot as individual stills with minor movements in them, and divided by blatant black divisions, which one can think of as the black pages of an old photo album. The velvety rich blacks, grays, and whites, plus the composed "still" scenes, cause me to think Jarmusch was trained as a static, 2-D artist first. Just a guess. This film is NOT about acting, which is limited at best, but doesn't really need much. We observe an alienated set of scenarios which are only enhanced by the stiff, awkward exchanges and pauses of the characters, and the lack of movement in the camera work. Ambient sound adds to the gritty reality of emptiness. Funny or not, this is a low-key, lost-souls story of detachment and aimlessness.


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