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Gummo (1997)

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Lonely residents of a tornado-stricken Ohio town wander the deserted landscape trying to fulfill their boring, nihilistic lives.



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4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Sutton ...
Lara Tosh ...
Girl in Car
Darby Dougherty ...
Dot (as Chloe Sevigny)
Carisa Glucksman ...
Jason Guzak ...
Casey Guzak ...
Wendall Carr ...
James Lawhorn ...
James Glass ...
Ellen M. Smith ...
Charles Matthew Coatney ...


Constructing this film through random scenes, director Harmony Korine abruptly jettisoned any sort of narrative plot, so here we go: Solomon and Tummler are two bored teenage boys who live in Xenia, Ohio. A few years ago, a tornado swept through it, destroying more than half the town and killing the same amount, including Solomon's father. The film, from there, chronicles the anti-social adventures these two boys have. These include sniffing glue, killing cats, having sex, riding dirtbikes, listening to black metal, and meeting a cavalcade of quirky, bizarre, and scary people. These include a man who pimps his mentally ill wife to our anti-heroes, three sisters who play with their cat and practice becoming strippers, a black midget fending off the sexual advances of a troubled man (played by the director Harmony Korine), a 12-year-old gay transvestite who is also a cat killer, Solomon's mother who seems to be the only glimpse of sanity, two foul-mouthed six-year olds, and most ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


From the creator of KIDS See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive depiction of anti-social behavior of juveniles,including violence, substance abuse,sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 November 1997 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Gumo  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$1,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,820, 19 October 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$19,820, 19 October 1997
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?


The film was shot in about 20 days, with a budget of $1.3 million. See more »


During the arm wrestling scene, Tummler knocks the beer bottles on the ground to make room on the table. The camera then shifts angles and shows the beer bottles still on the table. When Tummler wins the arm wrestle, the bottles are, again, off the table. Throughout this scene and the next, the beer bottles disappear and reappear on the table. See more »


[first lines]
Solomon: [voiceover] Xenia, Ohio. Xenia, Ohio. A few years ago, a tornado hit this place. It killed the people, left and right. Dogs died. Cats died. Houses were split open, and you could see necklaces hanging from branches of trees. People's legs and neck bones were sticking out. Oliver found a leg on his roof. A lot of people's fathers died, and were killed by the great tornado. I saw a girl fly through the sky, and I looked up her skirt. Her skull was smashed. And some kids died. My ...
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Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »


My Little Rooster
Performed by Almeda Riddle
Written by M. Okrun
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
Published by Alpha Film Music (BMI)
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User Reviews

Uniquely compelling film that is not for people with closed-minds
18 September 2001 | by See all my reviews

Well, I'd heard a lot about this film before I bought it, but nothing I was told really prepared me for how different this film is from anything else I've seen. On first viewing, Gummo appears to be a collection of random events, but after watching it a few more times, it it becomes more obvious how each scene and character link together (although there are still a few that I am unsure of!!). The nearest analogy I can think of is of a music album. Each scene is like a song that can be enjoyed on its own, but when the album is listened to as a whole it becomes much more than just a collection of songs, all linked in their own way. Plus, like a great album, the more times you listen\watch, the more you get out of it.

People will criticise this film for having no plot and to start with I agreed, but if you work hard to understand the film then you will get much more reward and enjoyment then from most Hollywood blockbuster's. The beauty of Gummo really is that there are so many questions that you can and will watch it again and again and get something different every time. This film is reasonably short, but it is probably the only film I have seen where every scene has worked. I am a very difficult viewer to please, but every scene in this film kept me enthralled and I did not want to fast forward once, even in the times I have watched it since (about 15 times!!)

A magnificent film, and a great directorial debut from a name to watch in the future - Harmony Korine.

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