Swimming to Cambodia (1987)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  April 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,604 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 17 user | 32 critic | 9 from Metacritic.com

Spalding Gray tells about his participation in the film, "The Killing Fields" & the background story about the troubles of Cambodia.



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Cast overview:
Additional cast from 'The Killing Fields' (archive footage)
Ira Wheeler ...
Additional cast from 'The Killing Fields' (archive footage)


Spalding Gray sits behind a desk throughout the entire film and recounts his exploits and chance encounters while playing a minor role in the film 'The Killing Fields'. At the same time, he gives a background to the events occurring in Cambodia at the time the film was set. Written by Peter Goldsack <peteg@hpsqf.sqf.hp.com>

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Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

April 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Spalding Gray's Swimming to Cambodia  »

Filming Locations:

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$1,092,911 (USA)

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Did You Know?


[Fantasizing about his Perfect Moment]
Spalding Gray: Look! I had a vision of myself right now, as a kind of wandering bachelor mendicant poet, wandering all the way down the beaches of Malaysia, eating magic mushrooms all the way as I went until I reached Bali and evaporated in a state of ecstasy in the sunset.
Spalding Gray: But I wasn't telling Renee that.
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References Patton (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

The best monologue ever captured on film
5 June 2001 | by (Austin, TX) – See all my reviews

Spalding Gray calls his version of performance art a "talking cure." The facts, opinions, insights, fears and hopes drawn from the epiphany he received from his experiences in the Asian Rim shooting "The Killing Fields" and his education of the plight of the Cambodian people circa early to mid seventies is overwhelming. This is a story of the human condition as told by a master. He is Dr. Frankenstein creating the monster that is ourselves through a tapestry of wordplay that never seems overwrought or cumbersome in the slightest. This movie is one man reading from a standard notebook, behind a plain table accented with a glass of water and shadowed by a ceiling fan and selection of maps. Demme's use of lighting and Laurie Anderson's soundtrack provide all the dramatic power needed to sustain Gray as he literally helps us all better understand life, humanity and our responsibilities to each other while we spend time on this planet. Intense, funny, heartbreaking and invigorating; this movie inspires and changes all who watch it.

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