IMDb > Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
Stranger Than Paradise
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Stranger Than Paradise (1984) More at IMDbPro »

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Stranger Than Paradise -- Willie, his pal Eddie, and visiting sixteen-year-old cousin Eva always manage to make the least of any situation, whether aimlessly traversing New York City, Cleveland, or an anonymous Florida suburb.

Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   20,606 votes »
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Up 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Jim Jarmusch (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Stranger Than Paradise on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 November 1984 (West Germany) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A self-styled New York hipster is paid a surprise visit by his younger cousin from Budapest. From initial... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
7 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Still good after all these years See more (91 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Lurie ... Willie

Eszter Balint ... Eva

Richard Edson ... Eddie
Cecillia Stark ... Aunt Lotte
Danny Rosen ... Billy
Rammellzee ... Man With Money

Tom DiCillo ... Airline Agent
Richard Boes ... Factory Worker
Rockets Redglare ... Poker player
Harvey Perr ... Poker player
Brian J. Burchill ... Poker player

Sara Driver ... Girl with Hat
Paul Sloane ... Motel Owner
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Directed by
Jim Jarmusch 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jim Jarmusch  written by

Produced by
Sara Driver .... producer
Otto Grokenberger .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
John Lurie 
 
Cinematography by
Tom DiCillo 
 
Film Editing by
Jim Jarmusch 
Melody London 
 
Production Design by
Matt Buchwald (production assistant)
Sam Edwards (production assistant)
Louis Tancredi (production assistant)
Stephen Torton (production assistant)
 
Production Management
Sara Driver .... production manager
 
Sound Department
John Auerbach .... sound editor
Jack Cooley .... sound re-recording mixer
Ollie Cotton .... sound recording engineer
Greg Curry .... sound
Drew Kunin .... production sound mixer
Melody London .... sound editor
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Paul Gibson .... assistant camera
James Hayman .... assistant camera
Frank Prinzi .... gaffer
Frank Prinzi .... grip
Li-Shin Yu .... assistant camera
 
Editorial Department
Tim Brennan .... negative matcher
John Dowdell .... hd colorist (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Jill Jaffe .... musician: viola (The Paradise Quartet ) (as Jill B. Jaffe)
Eugene J. Moye .... musician: cello (The Paradise Quartet ) (as Eugene Moye)
Mary Rowell .... musician: violin (The Paradise Quartet ) (as Mary L. Rowell)
Kay Stern .... musician: violin (The Paradise Quartet )
 
Production Department
Guido Chiesa .... production assistant
Tom Jarmusch .... production assistant
Una McClure .... production assistant
 
Other crew
Matt Buchwald .... production assistant
Guido Chisea .... production assistant
Sam Edwards .... production assistant
Suzanne Fletcher .... title designer
Tom Jarmusch .... production assistant
Una McClure .... production assistant
Louis Tancredi .... production assistant
Stephen Torton .... production assistant
 
Thanks
Paul Bartel .... special thanks
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
89 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Started out as a 30-minute short subject film (shot in 1982) and was later expanded into a 3-part feature. The first section, "The New World," takes place in New York, the second, "One Year Later," in Cleveland, and the last, "Paradise," in Florida.See more »
Goofs:
Boom mic visible: During the first shot of the motel room in Florida, a boom mic can be seen in the reflection on a window between the curtains.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...
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
References Dekigokoro (1933)See more »
Soundtrack:
I Put a Spell on YouSee more »

FAQ

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23 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
Still good after all these years, 3 December 2005
Author: Eric Rose from Sydney, Australia

I just finished watching Stranger Than Paradise on DVD - the first time I'd seen it since its year of release. I'd always recalled the film with fondness, although I could never remember why I liked it. Several years after seeing the movie I came across the John Lurie soundtrack and bought it without stopping to listen, and been slightly taken aback by it. The haunting pieces were more emotionally esoteric than I expected, and it took some time for the album to grow on me.

Seeing the movie again, I understand why. The only piece of popular music in the film is Screamin' Jay Hawkin's "I Put a Spell on You" and, although I had forgotten that it was there, I guess that I had expected the soundtrack to be more like those of mainstream movies and have songs and such-like. I think that Lurie's music is perfect in situ and, as I've said, the soundtrack has also grown on me as standalone pieces.

The movie itself is a masterpiece. The black and white images present a starkness and a clarity that heightens the alienation of self in a land that was supposed to be the new hope for immigrants from a decaying old world. Instead we see Eva walking through a deserted ghost world of New York where the graffiti says "Yankee go home". America is only a dream, a collective vision of a better world; paradise somewhere on earth.

As Willie and Eddie journey west after winning some money, we see that the supposedly beautiful city of Cleveland is cold and desolate with a frozen lake. The further trip to Florida ends in the middle of nowhere next to a bleak and windswept ocean. Paradise is still somewhere out of reach. I think that's why the movie appeals to me. It shows that the America of popular mythology - the home of the brave, land of the free, protector of the downtrodden, guardian of democracy in the free world - is merely a construct. Too many people these days believe in the child's fantasy of America being some paradise that Iraq and Afghanistan should emulate. Jarmusch reminds us that it is people who give meaning to a symbol, not the other way around. He allows for the ability of people to make their own meanings and evolve beyond the stagnation of popular culture.

At a time I originally saw this movie I had recently left home and got my first job, moving from the country to the city, and maybe to some extent I identified with Eva - moving from Budapest to America. It was also my first taste of grownup film, if I recall correctly, and confirmed me with a lifelong fascination with the cinema. I have a lot to thank Jim Jarmusch for.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Eva's sneakers in the motel pshu4
a thought xartinis3
So simple and so powerful Naidox
For those wondering what became of Eszter Balint garko-1
Corgai? Korgai? (One of those posts that will prob. get zero replies) teapotasterism
Stranger Than Paradise roadtrip farka002
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