7.1/10
7,146
54 user 23 critic

The Indian Runner (1991)

A Vietnam vet comes home to his small town and finds himself in conflict with rules that his brother has vowed to uphold.

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Frank Roberts
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Dorothy
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Mrs. Roberts
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Caesar
...
Randall
Enzo Rossi ...
Raffael
Harry Crews ...
Mr. Baker
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Mrs. Baker
Trevor Endicott ...
Brandon Fleck ...
7-Years-Old Frank Roberts
Kathy Jensen ...
Lady at Carwash
James Devney ...
Deputy #1 (as Jim Devney)
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Storyline

An intensely sad film about two brothers who cannot overcome their opposite perceptions of life. One brother sees and feels bad in everyone and everything, subsequently he is violent, antisocial and unable to appreciate or enjoy the good things which his brother desperately tries to point out to him. Frank understands the atrocities of life as a big picture; Joe does not. Joe is content to enjoy smaller pleasures: children, family, routine. Joe mistakenly believes he can straighten his little brother out and convince him that life is good. Frank is a cursed man. He is cut between his love for his brother and his repulsion at self-indulgent contentment. The result is a painful story of heartbreak, heartache, disappointment, despair, and the tragic side of love. Written by kwedgwood@hotmail.com

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Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language, and some drug use | See all certifications »

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 »
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Details

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Release Date:

20 September 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Indian Runner  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$191,125 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Partially filmed in Omaha, Nebraska at the now demolished Delmar Hotel. See more »

Goofs

Frank's prison tattoos change position throughout the movie. See more »

Quotes

Joe: [about how he used to own farmland] I burned.
Frank: Land must churn
Joe: I burned!
Frank: It's always turned.
Joe: I burned!
Frank: They took what you earned.
Joe: [Grins] Lesson learned.
Frank: [Smiles back] Meetin' adjourned.
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Soundtracks

GREEN RIVER
Written by John Fogerty
Performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Courtesy of Fantasy, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
One of the greatest debut films of all time.
10 June 2016 | by See all my reviews

Sean Penn is a great actor, the best of his generation, so it would seem a bit much to think that he would be a great director. This is what I had in mind when I went to see 'The Indian Runner'. I couldn't be more wrong. Featuring great performances all around, Penn manages to succeed on almost every level. Bold, moving, tough, full of tender sadness, this film is a unique take on brotherhood and loss. Penn proves that he is not only an amazing director, but he is also a very brave screenwriter. The issues he chooses to feature are far from safe and he treats his characters so tenderly, even if they are broken beyond repair, that demonstrates a fascinating voice of his own, something very rare in a debut film. His latest film,'The Last Face', is facing terrible reviews but that doesn't mean Penn isn't a courageous artist. Using his fierce need for truth on what it means to love, to suffer, to exist, we might live long enough to see Sean Penn deliver his masterpiece. But even if we don't, we will always have 'The Indian Runner', and that's no small deal.


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