7.1/10
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154 user 61 critic

My Own Private Idaho (1991)

R | | Drama | 20 July 1991 (Japan)
Two best friends living on the streets of Portland as hustlers embark on a journey of self discovery and find their relationship stumbling along the way.

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9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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William Richert ...
Rodney Harvey ...
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Carmella
Michael Parker ...
Digger
Jessie Thomas ...
Denise
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Budd
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Tom Troupe ...
Jack Favor
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Sally Curtice ...
Robert Lee Pitchlynn ...
Walt
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Storyline

Mike Waters lives on the street and befriends the somewhat older and streetwise Scott Favor who shows him what is necessary to survive. Waters suffers from narcolepsy and can fall asleep at any moment and in almost any circumstance. Favor comes from a rich family and is rebelling against his own background. They travel together extensively - Waters is driven by the need to find his biological mother - and spend time in Italy. Later in life however, Favor has joined mainstream society and has little time for his old friend. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This road will never end. It probably goes all around the world. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sensuality, language and drug use | See all certifications »

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 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

20 July 1991 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

A Caminho de Idaho  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$6,401,336 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Alphacine)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

River Phoenix drew some inspiration for Mike's homosexual feelings from his interactions with Bobby Bukowski, his cinematographer on Dogfight (1991). See more »

Goofs

In Scott and Bob's final scene together, Bob says Scottie's wearing a three-piece suit, but we see him wearing a two-piece suit. See more »

Quotes

Mike Waters: Walt.
Walt: Yeah, Mike?
Mike Waters: You think, um, that you could spot me ten more dollars?
Walt: Ten dollars? What's the matter, you can't get it from your dad?
Mike Waters: My dad and I don't get along too well, you know that Walt.
Walt: We're not getting along that well either now, are we?
Mike Waters: No we don't get along too well... or else he wouldn't have gone out and drowned himself at Boxcar Canyon.
Walt: Again? He hit the water this time?
Mike Waters: He survived the first time, this time...
Walt: Oh, God.
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Mauvaises fréquentations (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

When the Saints Go Marchin' In
Music Composed by J.M. Black
Performed by Elliot Sweetland, Richard Letcher and Vernon Dunn
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User Reviews

 
My Own Private Idaho
5 December 2007 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Mike (River Phoenix) has narcolepsy, and whenever he feels super-stressed he suffers what I interpret to be attacks of cataplexy, that is, sleep triggered by heightened emotions. His friend, would-be lover and fellow male prostitute, Scott (Keanu Reeves), has a rich dad who's going to leave him a hefty sum when he turns 21. These two characters are the main focus of "My Own Private Idaho" which deals with common and uncommon themes, such as home, sexual identity and love. Van Sant throws in some Shakespearean language plagiarised straight from Henry IV and a non-linear narrative and you've got one very cute surrealist indie film.

The credits to this film are it's director and star, River Phoenix, whose understated and moving performance lifts this film above the trash it easily could've been in another director or actor's hands. Van Sant uses symbols to represent emotional states and his use of special effects is limited and effective. There is some really heartfelt dialogue in this movie, especially the much-mentioned camp-fire scene.

This film can be irritating; sometimes the Shakespearean dialogue doesn't work (and it's okay to admit that a near-perfect film like this has flaws) and Reeves is sometimes a little stiff. The film is mostly redeemed by its bitter-sweet ending and fun opening titles.

I'm not going to tackle any issues in this film because I just don't have the energy. Just appreciate the film for what it is and have a nice day. :)


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