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My Own Private Idaho (1991)

R  |   |  Drama  |  29 September 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 34,370 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 151 user | 54 critic | 18 from

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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Cast overview, first billed only:
William Richert ...
Rodney Harvey ...
Michael Parker ...
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Tom Troupe ...
Jack Favor
Sally Curtice ...
Robert Lee Pitchlynn ...


Surreal character study focusing on the friendship between two male hustlers, Mike and Scott, in Portland, Oregon. They live on the streets, do drugs, and sell themselves to men and women. Mike is quiet, gay and suffers from narcolepsy. Abandoned as a child, he is obsessed with finding his long-lost mother. Scott is the rebellious son of a high-ranking family, who lives this life mostly to embarrass his father. Mike is in love with Scott, who still maintains he is straight and insists that his wild lifestyle on the streets is only temporary. Together, they embark on a quest to find Mike's mother, traveling from Portland to Idaho to Italy, with Scott picking up a beautiful girl along the way. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's not where you go, it's how you get there. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

29 September 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Caminho de Idaho  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,500,000 (estimated)


$6,401,336 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Because River Phoenix's agent refused to show him the film treatment for 'My Own Private Idaho', in late 1990 Keanu Reeves rode his motorcycle from Canada to Phoenix's hometown of Gainesville in Florida to hand deliver it himself. See more »


When Bob approaches Scott in the bar near the end of the film, two marks of black gaffer tape can be seen on the floor. See more »


Mike Waters: This road never ends. It probably goes all around the world.
See more »


Too Many Colors
Words and Music by Aleka's Attic
Performed by Aleka's Attic
Courtesy of Island Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

"Wherever, whatever, have a nice day, River Phoenix"
28 May 2004 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

I watched this film on TV 5 years ago, when I was only eleven years old, and I remember that I was especially impressed by River Phoenix's magnificent performance. I had already watched "Stand By Me" (one of my favorites), and it was very interesting watching him older in such a daring film. I think he was the best actor of his generation but, unfortunately, he died too young.

"My Own Private Idaho" is a poetic and bittersweet road movie, one of Gus Van Sant's best. Here in Brazil it received a bad title, "Garotos de Programa" (something like "Rent Boys"). Yes, the main characters are rent boys, but this is not what defines them. "My Own Private Idaho" (what a beautiful title!) mostly deals with loneliness, virile sexuality and friendship, and paternity. It's much more than "a film about rent boys". Besides, watching it the so-called "modern boys" would realize that Keanu Reeves isn't Neo from "The Matrix", but a versatile actor; and, perhaps, they'd discover that boyish friendship may be truly sincere. 10/10.

82 of 109 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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