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What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

PG-13 | | Drama | 4 March 1994 (USA)
1:54 | Trailer

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After his father's death, Gilbert has to care for his mentally disabled brother, Arnie, and his morbidly obese mother, which is suddenly challenged when love walks into his life.



(novel), (screenplay)
826 ( 162)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Laura Harrington ...
Penelope Branning ...
Susan Loughran ...
Robert B. Hedges ...
Minister (as Rev. Robert B. Hedges)
Mark Jordan ...


What's Eating Gibert Grape is a beautifully shot movie of tenderness, caring and self-awareness that is set amongst the fictional working class one street town Endora. Centred around the Grape family Ellen and Amy and their two brothers Arnie and Gilbert, who, along with their morbidly obese widowed mother Bonnie Grape are striving to survive and coexist with the absence of a father figure, low wage work and seventeen-year-old Arnie's severe mental condition. It is in this awkward and extremely one sided affair that the unfortunate Gilbert has to constantly, while working for the town's slowly dying convenience store, take care of his younger brother Arnie. Gilbert's life, his future, is thwarted he knows this, but it is in this guardian angel that his love and bond for Arnie cannot, and will not, be let go. That is until the free spirit of Becky arrives in town, and with her grandmother are stranded for the week while waiting for parts for their vehicle. This realization unties new ... Written by Cinema_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


An unusual story of life...and love in the heartland. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for elements of mature subject matter | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 March 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gilbert Grape  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)


$9,170,214 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Leonardo DiCaprio chose to do this movie over Hocus Pocus (1993). See more »


After Gilbert sees the husband on the trampoline outside, he puts on his jacket and he pulls down his apron, but when he's coming out of the house moments later, he pulls his apron out of his trousers. See more »


Mr. Lamson: What's going on over there at "Food Land"?
Gilbert: [labeling price tags on cans] I wouldn't know, I don't shop there.
[puts a can up and looks at boss]
Gilbert: I'd rather die.
See more »


Foodland Muzak
Written and Performed by Joseph S. DeBeasi
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Grateful for Gibert Grape!
29 July 2005 | by (New Orleans, La.) – See all my reviews

A remarkable film that once viewed, will leave an indelible impression on your heart, your mind, your spirit. Set in a run down, going nowhere town, amidst a population of largely rundown, going nowhere people, Gilbert Grape takes us on a journey through the everyday life of one family in which each member is struggling to find his identity. Johnny Depp as Gilbert is at his finest, sensitive and lovingly protective of his mentally challenged younger brother, Arnie, less understanding of the plight of his grossly overweight mother played brilliantly by Darlene Cates. Gilbert just wants a normal life, a life he seems resigned to being deprived of. He seeks solace in the attentions of a wandering housewife played by Mary Steenburgen. Enter Juliette Lewis as Becky, who captures his heart, personifying all the passion for life and freedom of spirit Gilbert aspires to. There are many memorable moments in this film, moments you cannot forget, but suffice it to say, What's Eating Gilbert Grape will leave you feeling grateful for everything you ever took for granted, especially those you love!

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