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Mystery Train (1989)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  7 November 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 17,159 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 60 critic

Three stories are connected by a Memphis hotel and the spirit of Elvis Presley.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Masatoshi Nagase ...
Jun (segment "Far From Yokohama")
Mitsuko (segment "Far From Yokohama")
Screamin' Jay Hawkins ...
Night Clerk (segment "Far From Yokohama")
Cinqué Lee ...
Bellboy (segment "Far From Yokohama")
Man in Station (segment "Far From Yokohama")
Sun Studio Guide (segment "Far From Yokohama")
William Hoch ...
Tourist Family (segment "Far From Yokohama")
Pat Hoch ...
Tourist Family (segment "Far From Yokohama")
Joshua Elvis Hoch ...
Tourist Family (segment "Far From Yokohama")
Reginald Freeman ...
Conductor (segment "Far From Yokohama")
Beverly Prye ...
Streetwalker (segment "Far From Yokohama")
Luisa (segment "A Ghost")
Dee Dee - Charlie's Sister (segment "A Ghost")
Newsvendor (segment "A Ghost")
Man in Arcade Diner (segment "A Ghost")


A Japanese couple obsessed with 1950s America goes to Memphis because the male half of the couple emulates Carl Perkins. Chance encounters link three different stories in the city, with the common thread being the seedy hotel where they are all staying. Written by Ed Sutton <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

7 November 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

One Night in Memphis  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,800,000 (estimated)


$367,879 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film contains some of the last known footage of Stax Records. See more »


After Charlie drops the liquor bottle, the position of the glass fragments change between shots. See more »


[Mitzukoand Jun hear a loud noise outside]
Mitzuko: Was that a gun?
Jun: Probably. This is America.
See more »

Crazy Credits

For Sara See more »


Referenced in Brows Held High: Dead Man (2013) See more »


Blue Moon
Written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
Performed by Elvis Presley
See more »

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User Reviews

Memphis Soul Stew
8 May 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Jim Jarmusch's follow-up to 1986's "Down By Law" is an engrossing trio of stories revolving around one night in a run-down Memphis hotel. Continuing his tradition of casting musicians as actors, he enlists Joe Strummer as a British Elvis and the late Screamin' Jay Hawkins as the hotel night clerk. R&B great Rufus Thomas appears in the train station, and Tom Waits is the voice of the radio DJ. John Lurie provides the score, along with a fabulous soundtrack of classic Memphis music (from Elvis Presley to the Bar-Kays). The stories are intertwined, with certain events being shown from the perspective of each of the three sets of characters. The town has fallen a bit since its heyday as a musical hotbed, but the spirits of its past can be sensed in the delapidated buildings and landscapes, all lovingly embraced by Jarmusch's lens. All of the night shots were actually filmed at night, and some scenes are subtitled in Japanese and Italian. As is typical with Jarmusch's work, the action unfolds at a leisurely pace, and not without some humor. The film's juxtaposing of cultures is a popular theme with the director, and one he would use again in his next anthology piece, "Night On Earth."

28 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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