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My Own Private Idaho (1991)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 30,995 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 147 user | 52 critic | 18 from Metacritic.com

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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Title: My Own Private Idaho (1991)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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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
Mickey Cottrell ...
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

29 September 1991 (USA)  »

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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Alphacine)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Keanu Reeves' character was partially based on a hustler named Scott whom Gus Van Sant met. The real Scott was an acquaintance of the real Mike, and like in the film, Scott came from an upper-middle class family. Van Sant says he "was very taken with the odd juxtaposition of all these poor, cast-off street children being peers with a boy who could quote Fyodor Dostoevsky." See more »

Goofs

At the campfire scene, whenever the camera shows Scott, Mike's hands are hanged to each other, but whenever the camera shows Mike, he is playing with piece of wood. See more »

Quotes

Bob Pigeon: I'm afraid if I shared your wine, I might catch this awful disease you appear to have. My jacket would grow little zippers all over it and my toes would have jingle bells on them like those there.
See more »

Connections

Edited into My Own Private River (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Eyes
Music Composed by Elton John
Lyrics by Gary Osborne
Performed by Elton John
Courtesy of Geffen Records and Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Odd, touching, River Phoenix is intensely brilliant..
10 June 2001 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

This is the movie that I sincerely hope River Phoenix will long be remembered for. His performance as the narcoleptic and confused street-hustler Mike is so perfect and touching and realistic that it makes me cry every time. Gus Van Sant's films often have a strange aura about them (see Drugstore Cowboy, To Die For) and never has it been more evident than in this oddly affecting road movie/drama. The camera shots of long horizon-spanning roads and skylines, fast-motion clouds, surreal and symbolic shots of houses and rushing rivers provide the film with a strange almost other-worldly charm. Interspersed with the gritty realism of life on the streets of Portland Oregon in the early 90's, and (stranger still) Shakespeare. Some of the plot (Bob and Scott mainly) is based on the Shakespeare play Henry IV (with Keanu Reeves playing the Prince Hal character of Scott, and William Richert playing the Falstaff-like role of "King-Of-The-Streets" Bob.) It's a fascinating, touching and very successful blend of styles overall. The big themes (the search for love and belonging) are conveyed in a very interesting and genuinely moving manner. I particularly enjoyed the symbolism and pathos the film flittingly suggests. The performances are uniformly excellent, and this movie remains one of my all-time favourites. One of the greatest (and most unique) indie movies of the 1990's.


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