IMDb > Benny & Joon (1993)
Benny & Joon
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Benny & Joon (1993) More at IMDbPro »

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User Rating:
7.2/10   40,551 votes »
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Up 42% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Barry Berman (story) &
Lesley McNeil (story) ...
View company contact information for Benny & Joon on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 April 1993 (USA) See more »
A romance on the brink of reality.
A mentally ill young woman finds her love in an eccentric man who models himself after Buster Keaton. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
whimsical and affectionate, like its characters See more (157 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Johnny Depp ... Sam

Mary Stuart Masterson ... Juniper 'Joon' Pearl

Aidan Quinn ... Benjamin 'Benny' Pearl

Julianne Moore ... Ruthie

Oliver Platt ... Eric

CCH Pounder ... Dr. Garvey (as C.C.H. Pounder)

Dan Hedaya ... Thomas

Joe Grifasi ... Mike

William H. Macy ... Randy Burch

Liane Curtis ... Claudia

Eileen Ryan ... Mrs. Smail
Don Hamilton ... UPS Man
Waldo Larson ... Waldo
Irvin Johnson ... Orderly
Shane Nilsson ... Orderly
Leslie Laursen ... Admitting Nurse, Emma Sherman Memorial Hospital
Faye Killebrew ... Video Customer
Ramsin Amirkhas ... Video Clerk at American Classic Video Store
Lynette Walden ... Female Customer
Amy Alizabeth Sanford ... Young Joon
Brian Keevy ... Young Benny
John Grant Phillips ... Policeman
Tony Lincoln ... Local
Noon Orsatti ... Patron
Dan Kamin ... Patron
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gregory Cook ... Guy in the Park (uncredited)

Aaron Haedt ... Bicyclist (uncredited)

Directed by
Jeremiah S. Chechik  (as Jeremiah Chechik)
Writing credits
Barry Berman (story) &
Lesley McNeil (story) (as Leslie McNeil)

Barry Berman (screenplay)

Produced by
Susan Arnold .... producer
Bill Badalato .... executive producer
Lesley McNeil .... associate producer (as Leslie McNeil)
Donna Roth .... producer
Original Music by
Rachel Portman 
Cinematography by
John Schwartzman 
Film Editing by
Carol Littleton 
Casting by
Risa Bramon Garcia 
Heidi Levitt 
Production Design by
Neil Spisak 
Art Direction by
Pat Tagliaferro 
Set Decoration by
Barbara Munch 
Costume Design by
Aggie Guerard Rodgers 
Makeup Department
Fríða Aradóttir .... key hair stylist (as Frida Aradottir)
Cindy J. Williams .... assistant hair stylist (as Cindy Williams)
Cindy J. Williams .... assistant makeup artist (as Cindy Williams)
Patty York .... key makeup artist
Production Management
Bill Badalato .... unit production manager
Billy Badalato .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Bruce Carter .... second assistant director
K.C. Colwell .... first assistant director
Art Department
Ron Ashmore .... scenic foreman (as Ronald Ashmore)
Paige Bassett .... carpenter
Taylor Black .... assistant property master
J. Michael Davis .... set dresser
Ken Deubel III .... assistant scenic artist
Terry Deubel .... scenic painter
John Gavin .... carpenter
Peter Hoobyar .... set dresser
John L. Jensen .... storyboard illustrator (as John Jensen)
Mervyn Johnson .... construction coordinator
Martin Lasowitz .... property master
Philip A. Margraff .... construction foreman
William S. Maxwell III .... lead man
Troy Sizemore .... assistant art director
Dennis Sutton .... construction foreman
Debi Shirk Tagliaferro .... art department coordinator
Jim Comfort .... art department assistant (uncredited)
Michael Ruby .... painter (uncredited)
Michael Ruby .... signwriter (uncredited)
Jana Treadwell .... set dresser (uncredited)
Sound Department
Scott Austin .... sound recordist
Gary C. Bourgeois .... sound re-recording mixer (as Gary Bourgeois)
Michael J. Cerone .... adr recordist
Lucy Coldsnow-Smith .... foley editor (as Lucy Coldsnow)
Brian R. Crain .... cable person
Carmen Flores De Tanis .... assistant adr editor (as Carmen Flores)
Jessica Gallavan .... adr editor
John Haeny .... supervising sound editor
David Halbert .... boom operator
Kimberly Harris .... supervising adr editor
J. Paul Huntsman .... supervising sound editor
Pat McCormick .... dialogue editor (as Patrick McCormick)
Scott Millan .... sound re-recording mixer
Myron Nettinga .... sound effects editor
Ralph Osborn .... dialogue editor
Elmo Ponsdomenech .... sound re-recording mixer
Jeff Rosen .... foley editor
Carolann Sanchez-Shapiro .... assistant sound editor (as Carolann Sanchez Shapiro)
Adam Sawelson .... dialogue editor
Matt Sawelson .... dialogue editor (as Matthew Sawelson)
James Thornton .... production sound mixer
Paul J. Zydel .... adr mixer
Steve Bartkowicz .... re-recording engineer (uncredited)
Tom Taylor .... cable person (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Allen Hall .... fire effects coordinator (as Alan Hall)
J.D. Streett .... special effects coordinator (as J.D. Streett IV)
Noon Orsatti .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Mitchell Amundsen .... camera operator (as C. Mitchell Amundsen)
Bruce Birmelin .... still photographer
Jason Butters .... electrician
Jerry Cox .... grip
Stuart E. Cropley .... best boy electric
David Dubois .... chief lighting technician (as David W. DuBois)
John Dumas .... best boy grip
Christopher Duskin .... first assistant camera (as Chris Duskin)
Jack Glenn .... dolly grip
Kim Kono .... electrician (as Kim K. Kono)
Thom Lairson .... second assistant camera
Dickinson H. Luke .... electrician (as Dickinson Luke)
Frank Peterson .... grip
Mark Streapy .... director of photography: second unit (as Mark R. Streapy)
Emmanuel Vouniozos .... key grip (as Manny Vouniozos)
Robert Colt .... assistant camera: second unit (uncredited)
Emmanuel Vouniozos .... on-set technician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Jennifer Low Sauer .... casting assistant (as Jennifer Sauer)
Rick Montgomery .... additional casting: Montgomery, Parada Casting
Joseph Pisani .... extras casting
Tricia Tomey .... casting assistant
Mary Vernieu .... casting associate
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Marsha Barton .... costumer
Wendy M. Craig .... costumer
Linda Henrikson .... costumer
Chuck Velasco .... costume supervisor
Chrisi Karvonides-Dushenko .... assistant costume designer (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Gary Burritt .... negative cutter
Raúl Dávalos .... associate editor
Dennis McNeill .... color timer (as Denny McNeil)
Michelle Pazer .... second assistant editor
Suzanne Spangler .... first assistant editor
Music Department
Bill Abbott .... music editor
Colleen Byrnes .... assistant music editor
Sharal Churchill .... music consultant
Sandy DeCrescent .... music contractor (as Sandy De Crescent)
Dan Higgins .... musician: solo soprano saxophone
Jo Ann Kane .... music service (as Joann Kane)
Jim Kanter .... musician: solo clarinet
Jackie Krost .... music consultant
Allan Mason .... music supervisor
Rachel Portman .... orchestrator
J.A.C. Redford .... conductor
John Richards .... score mixer
Katherine Quittner .... music editor: temp score (uncredited)
James Thatcher .... musician: French horn (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Ed Nassaney .... transportation captain
Gary Shephard .... transportation coordinator
Larry Shephard .... transportation coordinator
Roger Bojarski Jr. .... driver: honeywagon (uncredited)
Other crew
Jason Badalato .... production assistant
T.C. Badalato .... production assistant
Brian Brightly Jr. .... production assistant
Keli Craig .... production assistant
Stephen L. Craig .... craft service
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer
Casey Hale .... production assistant
Barbara A. Hall .... production coordinator
Chris Halverson .... production assistant
John Harris .... production assistant
Dawnna Hurst .... first aid
Craig Ilg .... production assistant
Dan Kamin .... choreographer: physical comedy
Steven Kaye .... stand-in
Lisa Krueger .... script supervisor
Bruce Lawhead .... location manager
David Linck .... unit publicist
Rocco Marra .... key set production assistant (as Rocco J. Marra III)
Nicki Miller .... stand-in
Billy Pittard .... title designer (as Pittard Sullivan Fitzgerald)
Edwin Rosario .... projectionist
Peggy Rosson .... production accountant
Jackie Rubin .... assistant to producers
Nathan Segal .... security officer
Jon Snyder .... production assistant
Trevor St. John .... stand-in
Kelly Stauffer .... assistant production coordinator
Ed Sullivan .... title designer
Steve Timinskas .... assistant production accountant (as Steven Timinskas)
Angel Trujillo .... caterer: Angel's Food Service
Kirsten Welles .... assistant: Jeremiah Chechik (as Kirsten Whittier Welles)
Jim Jaffe .... product placement (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG for theme, a scene of mild sensuality and one use of harsh language
98 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The train featured in the opening sequence is operated by the Northern Pend Oreille Lions Club. Train rides are available from July through October in Ione, Washington.See more »
Continuity: While Sam is swinging back in forth in the hospital window, the window alters from open to closed in various shots.See more »
Sam:How sick is she?
Benny:She's plenty sick. Now listen to me, I've been doin' some thinkin'...
Sam:Because, you know, it seems to me that, I mean, except for being a little mentally ill, she's pretty normal.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Spoofed in My Baby's Daddy (2004)See more »


How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Exactly what mental illness does Joon have?
See more »
87 out of 93 people found the following review useful.
whimsical and affectionate, like its characters, 3 August 2003
Author: saska-3 from Redmond, WA

BENNY & JOON seems, at its heart, to be an allegory about the different ways people can be out of touch with their fellow human beings, and the ways in which that dischord can be healed.

Benny owns an auto shop and takes care - both financially and physically - of himself and his sister Joon after the death of their parents. Other than weekly poker games, Benny's is a life of servitude, and this is the source of his isolation. He longs to be free to have other relationships, but is wracked by guilt at the idea of leaving Joon in anyone else's care.

Joon is an artist and is also mentally ill, a schizophrenic who has good and bad days and who depends on Benny to provide routine in her life. She has run out every housekeeper to be found in town, but cannot function without assistance and supervision. The film does a superb job of differentiating between mental illness (from which Joon clearly suffers) and stupidity (which is not a problem she faces).

Into their lives comes Sam, a cousin of one of Benny's poker buddies. Through a clever conceit, Sam moves in with Benny and Joon. Sam is undereducated, partially illiterate but a comedic genius who studies Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, knows catalogs of old movies, and has perfected the art form (kudos to Depp for the grace and conviction of this part of his performance). Like Keaton and the great silent film stars, Sam rarely speaks to communicate, and this combined with his illiteracy condemns him to be considered stupid as well. The great sneaker quality of Depp's performance is to show that Sam is always watching, always listening, and that he's no dim bulb by any stretch.

In Sam, Joon finds a person who makes her laugh, lives by his own rules, and cares for her deeply. In Joon, Sam finds a woman who appreciates him as he is, but he also knows a relationship with her is taboo. In a particularly revealing scene, he asks Benny, as one man to another, "How sick is she?" We know he is wrestling with his feelings for her, but Benny does not, and his offhanded answer comes across as callous and almost mocking.

While the handling of Sam and Joon's budding relationship may seem trite, and the humor applied to Joon's illness might seem cruel, in my experience the people who make those judgments know little about living day to day with a mentally ill - not to be confused with unintelligent - human being. There is deep and abiding truth in the idea that laughter and love can cure the incurable; people who seemed unable to function before can make great strides when they are shown trust and respect. And although the psychiatric issues were glossed over in this film, it has at its core an honest message of hope. One of my favorite films, for Depp and Masterson's outstanding performances and a true depiction of imperfect people on the journey to becoming whole. 9/10

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