165 user 31 critic

Benny & Joon (1993)

A mentally ill young woman finds her love in an eccentric man who models himself after Buster Keaton.


(as Jeremiah Chechik)


(story), (story) (as Leslie McNeil) | 1 more credit »
3,944 ( 304)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Garvey (as C.C.H. Pounder)
Claudia (as Liane Alexandra Curtis)
Waldo Larson ...
Irvin Johnson ...
Shane Nilsson ...


In Spokane, Washington, Juniper Pearl - Joon to those that know her - is an artist. She is also a mentally challenged young woman who requires around the clock care, as she could cause harm to herself or others. Her brother Benny Pearl, who owns and operates a garage and who is her only living relative since their parents died twelve years ago in a car accident, has made the decision that she would live at home with him, in the process sacrificing being able to have a personal life of his own. He has hired full-time housekeepers to provide that care when he isn't around. However, he has exhausted the list of housekeepers, who keep quitting because Joon is too much to handle. As such, Benny makes the decision that perhaps it would be best for all concerned if Joon were to live in a group home, something he is hesitating telling her for fear of her reaction. Into their lives comes Sam, the eccentric cousin of Benny's friend Mike, Sam who they obtained from Mike in a losing hand of poker... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A romance on the brink of reality.


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for theme, a scene of mild sensuality and one use of harsh language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

23 April 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Corazones en conflicto  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,285,063, 18 April 1993, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Winona Ryder was set to play Joon, and at the time was dating Johnny Depp. Ryder dropped out of the project upon her break-up with Depp. See more »


When Sam and Joon are on the bus, in one shot Sam has his arm on his cane, but the next shot his arm is around Joon. See more »


[first lines]
Randy Burch: So we're planning our next vacation, right? I want Australia, she wants Italy. I like snorkeling, she likes garlic. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, she says to me: Do I need her? Jesus, Benny. What kind of a question is that? I mean, "need?" What does it really mean to need someone?
Eric: Benny, fuel line!
[and the phone begins ringing]
Benny: Hey Waldo, could you answer that phone?
Waldo: Hello?
UPS Man: [walks in] I need a check, Benny. COD.
Benny: In a minute. Meet me in the office.
UPS Man: All right...
Benny: [...]
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References Lust for Life (1956) See more »


Written and Performed by Pinetop Perkins (as Joe 'Pinetop' Perkins)
Courtesy of Antone's Records and Tapes
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Sweet, funny, absolutely fantastic
5 July 2006 | by See all my reviews

A highly underrated movie with a shining Johnny Depp. He is simply one of the best actors of our time. It's one of my all-time favorites.

This movie deals honestly and caringly with Benny (Aidan Quinn), his mentally ill sister Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson), and Sam (Depp), who comes unexpectedly into their lives. It is at once laugh-out-loud funny, honest, and touching.

I've always appreciated that Joon's character is treated as (as Sam says) a person who is normal, "except for her mental illness." The situations are just a tad this side of wacky, but they feel very real.

Seriously, if you haven't seen this movie, watch it. The writing is spot-on, the stars shine, and even the bit players (from Dan Hedaya to CCH Pounder) make the movie all the more memorable.

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