A struggling young musician and devoted fan of Ricky Nelson wants to be just like his idol and become a rock star.



Watch Now

$0.00 (SD) with Prime Video

1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

When Billy returns from reform school he has to attend a different high school at the other side of town. He tries to start with a clean slate but his old rival doesn't make it easy on him ... See full summary »

Director: Sandy Tung
Stars: Ricky Schroder, Brad Pitt, Carrie Snodgress
Cutting Class (1989)
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

A murderer is loose in a high school in this 'whodunit' movie.

Director: Rospo Pallenberg
Stars: Donovan Leitch Jr., Jill Schoelen, Brad Pitt
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Traveling in search of a cure for a rare skin disease, a man finds freedom and love along the way.

Director: Bozidar 'Bota' Nikolic
Stars: Guy Boyd, Brad Pitt, Cheryl Pollak
The Favor (1994)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Kathy is married to Peter. Now she can't help but wonder how things could have been if she got together with her old boyfriend, Tom. Being married prevents from doing that so she asks her ... See full summary »

Director: Donald Petrie
Stars: Harley Jane Kozak, Elizabeth McGovern, Bill Pullman
Too Young to Die? (TV Movie 1990)
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An abused 15 year old is charged with a murder that carries the death penalty in this fact-based story.

Director: Robert Markowitz
Stars: Michael Tucker, Juliette Lewis, Brad Pitt
Cool World (1992)
Animation | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A comic strip vamp seeks to seduce her cartoonist creator in order to cross over into the real world.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Kim Basinger, Brad Pitt
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Christopher is an ambitious college freshman, striving to become a writer. Through a computer fault he's assigned the same room as Alex, a real party freak and... a girl! He's annoyed and ... See full summary »

Director: Mel Damski
Stars: Patrick Dempsey, Helen Slater, Dan Schneider
Kalifornia (1993)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A journalist duo go on a tour of serial killer murder sites with two companions, unaware that one of them is a serial killer himself.

Director: Dominic Sena
Stars: Brad Pitt, Juliette Lewis, Kathy Larson
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Al Fountain, a middle-aged electrical engineer, is on the verge of a mid-life crisis, when he decides to take his time coming home from a business trip, rents a car, and heads out looking ... See full summary »

Director: Tom DiCillo
Stars: John Turturro, Sam Rockwell, Catherine Keener
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story about two sons of a stern minister -- one reserved, one rebellious -- growing up in rural Montana while devoted to fly fishing.

Director: Robert Redford
Stars: Craig Sheffer, Brad Pitt, Tom Skerritt
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Joe and Mary have been living together in Manhattan for six years. Joe is an actor, who has no agent and no thesping credits, but whose ambitions are very high. He works as a waiter at a ... See full summary »

Director: Tom DiCillo
Stars: Matthew Modine, Catherine Keener, Daryl Hannah
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Film about filmmaking. It takes place during one day on set of non-budget movie. Ultimate tribute to all independent filmmakers.

Director: Tom DiCillo
Stars: Steve Buscemi, Catherine Keener, Dermot Mulroney


Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Boes ...
Man in Tuxedo
Cheryl Costa ...
Woman in Alley
Michael Luciano ...
Mr. Clepp
Calvin Levels ...
Freak Storm
Ralph Marrero ...
Wilfredo Giovanni Clark ...
Flip Doubt
Ron Vawter ...
Dennis Parlato ...
Mrs. Fontaine
Michael Mulheren ...
Fred Business
Wayne Maugans ...
Ned Business


A struggling young musician and devoted fan of Ricky Nelson wants to be just like his idol and become a rock star.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Keeping up an image can be a full time job.


Comedy | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and elements of sexuality | See all certifications »



| |


Release Date:

22 April 1992 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Джонни-замша  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A few weeks into filming, Tom DiCillo fired the original director of photography after finding all of the footage shot to be worthless. When confronted with this, DiCillo claims the DP confessed to deliberately sabotaging the film due to jealosy. See more »


When Johnny takes the pistol cartridge out of the coffee cup and loads it into the revolver, you can see that the primer has a dent in it. This indicates that the cartridge has already been used, and that a bullet was simply pressed into the case, creating a dummy prop round. See more »


Johnny Suede: [to the hand] Cut the caveman act man, don't you know you hold onto something tightest with an open hand?
See more »


References Taxi Driver (1976) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A quiet, oddly captivating slice-of-life comedy-drama
13 September 2001 | by (Jersey City, NJ) – See all my reviews

"Johnny Suede" is not a film for all tastes. Not because it's a very strange piece, but because it's not an example of that in-your-face cinema that many are accustomed to. This is Tom DiCillo's directorial debut. I saw one of his recent films, "The Real Blonde," and I found it to be very impressive. So I felt quite curious about checking out his early work. There's not even a hint of flashy direction, and it's obvious throughout that the makers of the film were running on a low budget, but I didn't worry about those things.

Brad Pitt (before he became a household name) is great--and perfectly cast--in the lead role. Next to his role as Tyler Durden in "Fight Club" I would say this is one of the best performances of his career. I just felt, in every aspect, he was made to play this character. Even the pompadour looked perfect on him, and I couldn't imagine any other actor wearing it better. His character, Johnny Suede, is so utterly likable that you feel obligated to scurry along on his little journeys. Johnny is not the smartest guy on Earth, not the classiest either and certainly not the most successful. He lives a pretty simple life in a ratty apartment, listening to vintage records by rock and roll legends. He has dreams of becoming a rock and roll legend himself, and is the leader of a band. However, the band never quite takes off. None of that "I dream of becoming a rock and roll star and the next minute I'm staring at crowds of screaming fans chanting my name" garbage we see repeatedly on VH1 as one of the "Movies That Rock." This is the life of a real struggling artist, who does have talent and potential, but can't quite get off the ground. Well...not yet. His love life isn't all too successful, and that's what's hindering his ability to proceed in his daily endeavors. First he falls in love with a beautiful girl whose current boyfriend likes to beat her. He has every right to believe that the sparks are flying between them, but suddenly she just blurts out, "I don't love you, Johnny." Then he falls in love with Catherine Keener. Things go well between them at first, but like in his previous relationships things also get shot to hell eventually. And we feel sorry for this poor guy. He may not be smooth or unusually charming, but that's the point. He's a nice, unpretentious average Joe who seeks true love and quite frankly he's doing everything in his power to make these relationships work. I've always admired Brad (A.K.A. Mr. Handsome), but I considered this performance especially unique. Though he's just as handsome as he was in "Legends of the Fall" and "Meet Joe Black," he's not on screen to portray his now-proclaimed status as the "Sexiest Man Alive." He just plays a normal guy, living a normal life and seeking a normal relationship. Though we may not all go for the "pompadour" look or listen to classic oldies on an old record player, we can all relate to his character in some sort of way. And speaking of music, I love that line where he says, "Real music has no time." When you listen to great songs by great artists like Bill Haley and the Comets or Ricky Nelson, you don't think about what time period they came from because they're timeless. At first, I thought this movie might've been set in the 1950's, but in all actuality it just involves a man who happens to be fascinated by the trends of the 50's, and I'm down with that.

Don't expect a plot, because this is strictly a character-driven effort. And with a strong central character like Johnny Suede, I felt amazingly captivated and had an unspeakable urge to keep on watching. I guess you can call it a slice-of-life comedy-drama. I highly suggest people check out this overlooked gem. You'll laugh. You'll have fun. You'll have a good ol' time.

My score: 7 (out of 10)

29 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Loved the song radiokoofachalus
Tina Louise Looks Like A Scarecrow! radiokoofachalus
DVD came out yesterday (January 15 2008) parisdeb
Is the new DVD worth buying? clay-brown
Shoe symbolism MaryLouStalin
ricky nelson natej88
Discuss Johnny Suede (1991) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: