Destiny Turns on the Radio (1995)

R  |   |  Crime, Comedy, Fantasy  |  28 April 1995 (USA)
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Reviews: 25 user | 15 critic

Johnny Destiny burns into Las Vegas in his hot Plymouth RoadRunner, stopping only to pick up a stranger stranded in the desert. But then, things aren't always as they seem. Anything can ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Thoreau (as James LeGros)


Johnny Destiny burns into Las Vegas in his hot Plymouth RoadRunner, stopping only to pick up a stranger stranded in the desert. But then, things aren't always as they seem. Anything can happen in that town of many possibilities...especially since there's been some weird electrical disturbances. As the stranger, fresh out of prison, tries to put his life back together--to recover his money from an old bank heist and the girl he lost in doing the job--something keeps interfering with his plans. Is it fate...or just Destiny? Written by Tad Dibbern <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Romantic Adventure of Mystical Proportion. See more »


Crime | Comedy | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 April 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Destiny - Hoher Einsatz in Las Vegas  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,176,982 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


According to David Cross in his memoir, a blackjack dealer asked him if he could get James Belushi's autograph for her sick 8-year-old son. Cross agreed to do it. But when he asked, Belushi vehemently refused to give an autograph. See more »


References Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) See more »


That old black magic
Performed by Eleni Mandell
Produced by Herbie Hancock
Written by Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

14 March 2006 | by (US) – See all my reviews

There are only certain movies that can overcome their technical failures. Movies like "Destiny Turns on the Radio" have an authentically magical spark that draws you in despite some bad production values. What's more, its whimsical but truly bizarre story never alienates its audience. It is solidly entertaining and memorable throughout. Featuring some dazzling performances (minus Quentin Tarantino's lackluster turn as the suave Johnny Destiny) and a truly unique story, "Destiny" is a low-key gem.

Dylan McDermott is downright charismatic as Julian Goddard-a fugitive who was able to escape a Nevada penitentiary through a once in a lifetime brush with luck and fate. He is rescued by Destiny and delivered back to his old life of crime after 3 years. He hooks up with hotel manager Thoreau, his longtime partner and friend-played by James LeGros who is one of the film's most shining assests. With a fresh new hand at life, he sets out to get back with his ex Lucille, who is looking for her big break as a singer (by any means necessary). She is now with a piggish casino owner played by a surprisingly funny James Belushi. Of course, Goddard needs to thwart him, his goons, not to mention a handful of cops on his tail in order to get to his long lost love. All the while, Johnny Destiny is planning his return to his netherworldly realm through means of a hotel pool portal (don't ask- watch the movie).

There are a lot of things that just don't work in this movie. Fortunately they are not hard to look past. These include the terrible sound, which require some leniency from the viewer. They also include some jokes that go flat-notably a completely needless subplot starring none other that Bobcat Goldthwait. As you know, Quentin doesn't do much for his great role and to top it all off, there are some things that don't make a whole lot of sense in the script.

The beautiful thing about this movie is that it doesn't stop being so effortlessly likable. It gets very far fetched, but it never turned me off the whole time. In fact, it only proceeded to draw me in and captivate my imagination. Not to mention it's sprinkled with great bit parts like Tracey Walter as Goddard's desert-rat father, a hilarious David Cross as Lucille's sleazy agent and Allen Garfield as Vinny Vedivici, the slob producer who can make her dreams come true.

It may not hit all its marks, but "Destiny Turns on the Radio" convinces you it doesn't have to. It is one of those irresistible movies that you don't know why you enjoy it, but can't help doing so nonetheless. Don't be shy, accept "Destiny".

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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