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What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

PG-13 | | Drama | 4 March 1994 (USA)
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.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ken Carver
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Penelope Branning ...
Becky's Grandma
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Susan Loughran ...
Mrs. Lamson
Robert B. Hedges ...
Minister (as Rev. Robert B. Hedges)
Mark Jordan ...
Todd Carver
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Arnie knows a secret. His big brother Gilbert is the greatest person on the planet. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 March 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gilbert Grape  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$9,170,214
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Johnny Depp wanted to play Gilbert Grape as someone who seems constantly half asleep or half awake--someone numb to the peculiarities in his life. Juliette Lewis completely agreed with his interpretation of the character. Even still, Depp worried he was boring by playing Gilbert so mildly. Lasse Hallström, however, agreed with Lewis, and thought that Depp nailed the part. See more »

Goofs

In the diner, after the undertaker discusses the reality of death, Gilbert picks up his coffee cup twice between shots without having enough time to put it down. See more »

Quotes

Gilbert: You know what? You're such a big boy.
Arnie: Yeah!
Gilbert: You're such a big boy.
Arnie: I'm a big boy!
Gilbert: You know what? I bet you could do this all by yourself if you really wanted to. Could you do this by yourself?
Arnie: I'm a big boy!
Gilbert: Yeah, you're a big boy. Now take this...
Arnie: Take this.
Gilbert: Wash everything, your towels are there.
Arnie: Okay!
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chelsea Lately: Episode #6.88 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

This Magic Moment
by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman
Performed by The Manor High School Marching Band
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The family that binds us
8 March 2006 | by See all my reviews

Truly, this is one beautiful movie. It doesn't go for cheap tears but in the end you must feel something, otherwise you simply don't have a heart. It's about a town, Endora, where nothing ever happens. In that town live the Grapes, a fatherless family that consists of a mother of elephant-like proportions, two sisters and two brothers (one of them being retarded).

All the acting ranks from very good to excellent. Johnny Depp is so lovable as Gilbert Grape, the twenty-year-old son who tries to do good for everyone but doesn't know quite what he wants for himself yet. Leonardo DiCaprio is simply amazing as the retarded Arnie. He rightfully got an Oscar-nomination for his roll. At the time I saw this movie, I didn't know him yet, so at some moments I actually thought that he really could be a retarded actor (that's a big complement, isn't it?).

The plot isn't too spectacular, but keeps you interested 'cause actually a lot of things do happen to certain character's in this sleepy town. A lot of things the characters say and do seem superficial, but actually aren't meaningless as they lead to other events in the story. And the arrival of Becky (Juliette Lewis) and her mother make things interesting for Gilbert. The ending is unexpected, very solid and sad. And then there's the little epilogue...

This simply is a great movie: Good story, good acting, good directing. And that's all it takes. Watch it and allow yourselves to be moved by the Grapes.


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