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My Own Private Idaho (1991)

R | | Drama | 20 July 1991 (Japan)
2:36 | Trailer

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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.



3,458 ( 240)
9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


Some people take your heart, others take your shoes, and still others take you home. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

20 July 1991 (Japan)  »

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?


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 »


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: 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.
See more »


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


America, the Beautiful
Music Composed by Samuel A. Ward
Performed by Bill Stafford
See more »

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User Reviews

River Runs Wild Forever
31 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"My Own Private Idaho" is the movie, in my opinion, that showed the true talent of River Phoenix. I was sitting on the couch one night flipping through the channels and saw that River was in it and I thought "Why not? Hes a good actor". This movie absolutely blew me away. Its this sad and heartful story abut a young boy who is abandoned and is thrown into a life he never should of fathomed of having. He has to sell him self just to get a meal. This movie has touched so many hearts and inspires so many!! River isn't the only great actor, Keanu Reeves does a wonderful supportive job. His character is a rebel against his political dad (trying to make him look bad...typical teenager!!). His and River's paths of live cross and they become traveling buddies!!Its a movie that you'll never forget and i think it becomes more powerful as the years go on. I have to say, movie lovers really do miss River Phoenix. He was a great person and hopefully he adchieved all that he wanted to.

34 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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