136 user 43 critic

Breakfast of Champions (1999)

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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1 nomination. See more awards »
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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)
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 <jkeating@fast.net>

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) (19 September 1999)


$175,370 (USA) (19 December 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bruce Willis and Glenne Headly also co-starred in Mortal Thoughts (1991), which was also directed by Alan Rudolph. See more »


Dwayne Hoover: It's all life until you're dead.
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 Slaughterhouse-Five (1972) See more »


Borrowed Borodin
Written by K. Trout
Performed by Lukas Haas
See more »

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User Reviews

The Most Important Visual Meal of the Day
17 June 2002 | by (North Dakota) – See all my reviews

I do not pretend to "get" this adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s

novel, but I certainly enjoyed the ride. Vonnegut is almost

impossible to film, "Slaughterhouse Five" is the most successful,

while I have reserved a special place in my bowel tract for Jerry

Lewis in "Slapstick (of Another Kind)."

The plot, for what it is, goes a little something like this. Bruce Willis

is Dwayne Hoover, who runs a giant car dealership in Midland City.

His spaced out wife Barbara Hershey pops pills and watches

television all day. His son Lukas Haas is a lounge singer,

dropping his first name George in exchange for Bunny. Nick Nolte

is Willis' sales manager, a paranoid cross dresser. Glenne

Headly is Willis' receptionist and mistress. Willis does not seem

to be going through a midlife crisis so much as a nervous

breakdown. The people around him notice a change to his

behavior, as his sincere grin flashes on his commercials, which

play nonstop, he is in his own personal hell.

He is asking the question many of us ask: why are we here? As

his life crumbles around him, he sticks a gun in his mouth three

different times, never following through with a way out that would

not answer his ultimate question. Omar Epps is a released prison

inmate who wants to work for Dwayne Hoover just because their

names are similar. He probably gets the most mainstream

laughs, as he lives out of his new car on the car lot, turning it into

something nicer than a few of my former apartments.

Into this nightmarish fray comes writer Albert Finney. He has

written two hundred novels and two thousand short stories, but

they have all been published by porno mags and hardcore sex

novel publishers. He is invited to Midland City for an arts festival,

and the novel he has may contain the answer to life that Willis is

looking for.

The film lurches along through Willis and company's day.

Everyone has a quirk, and that may be a detriment, as the viewer

has trouble latching onto someone to help wade through all the

eye candy. Director Rudolph pulls out all the stops, throwing in

visual effects that dazzle. He also wrote the screenplay, and shows

a true affection for the source novel. Mark Isham's musical score is

perfect- Muzak on crack.

The performances in this over the top story are uniformally brilliant.

Willis has not been able to be this loose onscreen in a very long

time, and he seems to be having a ball. There are no bad actors

here, and look for Owen Wilson and Michael Clarke Duncan in

small roles.

The description of this film on the video box likens this to a

mainstream comedy, and that is a huge mistake. People renting

this and expecting "Airplane!" or some Adam Sandler drivel are

going to be supremely disappointed. This is weird, deep stuff that

a lot of people out there will not consider their cup of tea.

On the other hand, Rudolph pulls out all the stops, shows us the

weird and crazy, then tries to get us to care about the plot. In fact,

this film is not a plot driven film, it is character driven, but Rudolph

tries to keep this one convention in an otherwise unconventional


This is truly one of the most bizarre films ever made, right on the

line with "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." Where drugs fueled

the mania in that impossible film, here the mania is caused by

something we deal with everyday- life. I recommend "Breakfast of


This is rated (R) for physical violence, profanity, strong sexual

content, sexual references, drug abuse, and adult situations.

44 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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