7.1/10
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My Own Private Idaho (1991)

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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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2,976 ( 51)
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 ...
...
Carmella
Michael Parker ...
Digger
Jessie Thomas ...
Denise
...
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

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Wherever, whatever, have a nice day. See more »

Genres:

Drama

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:

 »
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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

Gary: Hey man, did you get into that Sinead O'Connor concert last night?
Mike Waters: To the Sinead? What?
Gary: You know, the chick with the bald head.
Mike Waters: I've never been to a concert before, dude.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Lawrence Kasdan (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Getting Into the Outside
Words and Music by Conrad 'Bud' Montgomery
Performed by Conrad 'Bud' Montgomery
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User Reviews

 
Uneven, uncertain, untenable
24 December 2006 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

I had heard some good recommendations on this film but am lost as to why the overall rating (6.9) on IMDb is so high. Am I missing something?

I watched the whole movie intently, even though my attention was flagging a lot. Those long (metaphoric?) cloud scenes with houses falling apart, reminiscent to me of the Kansas tornado in the Wizard of Oz, lonely stretches of road reminding the protagonist (over and over) of a face, yeah we get it, we don't care. And on. River Phoenix, in the lead playing Mike, is remarkable and eerie too - so much of James Dean in him, the short intense and talented life.

This is loosely based on Shakespeare's Henry IV part one, and it transfers huge chunks of the play into the movie script, some of it sounding forced and odd. An experiment that for me, fell flat on its face.

Keanu Reeves, playing Scott, plays a street hustler in an act of rebellion against his father the mayor of the town. He befriends Mike, a narcoleptic prostitute who falls asleep on the job all the time, and who to all intents and purposes falls in love with him. They go on a road trip to find River's mother who abandoned him when he was small.

The details of Mike's parentage are appalling and the road trip takes them to a rather weird Italy and then back again to the streets where Scott turns his back on his old ways, abandoning Mike.

Uneven and actually frustrating, the dialogue was very muddy and hard to understand at times and the shifting of script from modern to Shakespeare not successful.

4 out of 10. Could be to some tastes, but not to mine.


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