Mystery Train (1989)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  7 November 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 17,208 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?


The book Luisa is reading when she is approached by the man with a story about Elvis' ghost is "Orlando Furioso" (The Frenzy of Orlando), an Italian epic poem by Ludovico Ariosto. See more »


Where Will parks his truck relative to Earl's Cadillac changes from when he enters the bar to when he leaves. See more »


Night Clerk: [after hearing the bellboy complain about his uniform] Well, you should do like I do, shit, go over and buy your own damn clothes over at Lansky's, somewhere like that; I mean, you know it's like they say: the clothes make the man. I mean look at that damn hat on your head, you look like a damn mosquito-legged chimpanzee, I mean-
[he abruptly breaks up]
See more »

Crazy Credits

For Sara See more »


Referenced in Fargo (1996) See more »


Mystery Train
Written and performed by Junior Parker
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User Reviews

Jarmusch's slice of Americana
16 August 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Jim Jarmusch (Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, Broken Flowers) delivers films that are true indy's. They don't fit any norm, and this one is over before you even realize it.

It is three stories that are tied together by a seedy motel. The characters never intersect. There must be a point there somewhere, but I sure missed it.

I did like the picture of America that we usually don't see unless we go looking for it. Most cities are lit with fast food signs and an endless string of car lots. Getting down on the back streets with stores shuttered, bars where everyone knows your name, and seedy motels that should have closed long ago, is an adventure that most do experience.

The blues music and the Elvis theme that runs through the movie is an exciting backdrop. Steve Buscemi is fun to watch as always, and I really liked the Japanese teen, Youki Kudoh, and, of course Robby Müller's (Paris, Texas) cinematography is always good.

Jarmusch fans will love it.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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