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Breakfast of Champions (1999)

R  |   |  Comedy  |  18 February 1999 (Germany)
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Ratings: 4.6/10 from 6,777 users   Metascore: 42/100
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A portrait of a fictional town in the mid west that is home to a group of idiosyncratic and slightly neurotic characters. Dwayne Hoover is a wealthy car dealer-ship owner that's on the ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Celia Hoover
Francine Pefko
Grace Le Sabre
Fred T. Barry
Eliot Rosewater / Gilbert (as Ken Campbell)
Jake Johannsen ...
Bill Bailey
Moe the Truck Driver
Andy Wojeckowzski
Monte Rapid
Maria Maritimo


A portrait of a fictional town in the mid west that is home to a group of idiosyncratic and slightly neurotic characters. Dwayne Hoover is a wealthy car dealer-ship owner that's on the brink of suicide and is losing touch with reality. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In a world gone mad, you can trust Dwayne Hoover.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and some language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 February 1999 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Autokauppias Jumalan armosta  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$42,326 (USA) (17 September 1999)


$175,370 (USA) (17 December 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


After the success of Robert Altman's Nashville (1975), Vonnegut's novel was bought by producer Dino De Laurentiis for Altman. Altman's cast for the film included Peter Falk as Hoover, Alice Cooper as his son Bunny, Sterling Hayden as Kilgore Trout and Ruth Gordon as Eliot Rosewater (as Rosewater was to be portrayed as an old man, Altman thought it didn't matter that Gordon was a woman as he believed gender differences were not as strong in the elderly. After the De Laurentiis-produced Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976) flopped, the project went into turnaround. See more »


[on Harry dressing like a mortician]
Dwayne Hoover: Modern science has given us a vast array of colors with exciting names like Red! Blue! Orange! Brown! and PINK!
Harry Le Sabre: Why don't you come right out and say it, Dwayne?
Dwayne Hoover: Say what, Harry?
Harry Le Sabre: That I like to wear women's clothing.
Dwayne Hoover: Is that what you LIKE, Harry?
Harry Le Sabre: Yes... I mean, NO! NO! OF COURSE NOT!
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, Vonnegut's drawing of an "asshole" (from the novel) is shown when "directed by Alan Rudolph" appears on the screen. See more »


Follows Mother Night (1996) See more »


Quiet Village
Written by Les Baxter
Performed by Martin Denny
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User Reviews

A disappointed fan of the book

After a recent Vonnegut reading binge I was eager to see Breakfast of Champions when I saw it on the video shelf. A great cast, a director (Aland Rudolph) who has made several films I've enjoyed (Choose Me, The Moderns, Trouble in Mind). Sadly, BofC is quite a disappointment.

Two things really stick out for me. Although Bruce Willis was quite good as Dwayne Hoover, too many of the other characters, notably Harry LeSabre (Nick Nolte) and Wayne Hoobler (Omar Epps) are portrayed in frenetic over the top performances. OK...we get it that there are all sorts of crazies running amuck in Midland City, but the point Vonnegut was making in his novel was that this madness is displayed in the "normal" everyday way that we live our lives in America. The values (consumerism, greed, violence) and actions that are considered normal in the United States are themselves proof that we are all suffering from a form of madness...showing these fine actors jumping around and uttering indecipherable gibberish shows only that they are annoying.

The film also has a problem in creating a consistent point of view. In the novel the author guides us through Dwayne Hoovers' unfolding madness and is actually a character in the book. The movie can't give us the background information the books' narrator did and I would guess that anyone who hasn't read the book will find the movie tough going...perhaps downright incomprehensible.

Lastly, as a great fan of Kilgore Trout (Vonnegut fans know him as a character who pops up in several Vonnegut novels) I thought Albert Finney did quite a nice job; he had just the right air of unkempt, curmudgeonly, insane genius that makes Trout my favorite Vonnegut character of all time. Still, it's hardly enough to save this mess...I admire the effort in bringing Breakfast of Champions to the screen, but in the end it's likely that this is an unfilmable novel.

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