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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

 -  Comedy  -  22 May 1998 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 180,143 users   Metascore: 41/100
Reviews: 628 user | 148 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

An oddball journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to Las Vegas for a series of psychedelic escapades.

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(book), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Cast

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Storyline

The big-screen version of Hunter S. Thompson's seminal psychedelic classic about his road trip across Western America as he and his large Samoan lawyer searched desperately for the "American dream"... they were helped in large part by the huge amount of drugs and alcohol kept in their convertible, The Red Shark. Written by Laurence Mixson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If there was a trip to be taken, they were there (Australian) See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive extreme drug use and related bizarre behavior, strong language, and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 May 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Angst und Schrecken in Las Vegas  »

Box Office

Budget:

$18,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£206,498 (UK) (13 November 1998)

Gross:

£206,498 (UK) (13 November 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The T-shirt that the hitchhiker (Tobey Maguire) wears has a Ralph Steadman picture on it. Ralph Steadman did the original illustrations for the book and the typeface of the credits is based on his handwriting. See more »

Goofs

While driving down the Vegas strip in the convertible on the way to the Debbie Reynolds concert, they pass Binion's Horseshoe Hotel and Casino twice. However, the scenes outside of the car are not meant to be realistic. It shows lots of casinos that are not in order, but this is from the mind of a drugged out driver - the car itself is floating in air the whole time. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Raoul Duke: [narrating] We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like:
Raoul Duke: I feel a bit lightheaded. Maybe you should drive.
Raoul Duke: [narrating] Suddenly, there was a terrible roar all around us, and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, and a voice was screaming:
Raoul Duke: Holy Jesus. What are these goddamn animals?
[swatting the air]
Raoul Duke: Huh! Huh! Huh! Fucking pigs.
Dr. Gonzo: Did you ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Ralph Steadman drawings from the book are put in with the credits, along with the Gonzo & Duke in the Red Shark picture that takes up the whole screen at the end. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hewy's Animated Movie Reviews: Rango (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

My Love, Forgive Me (Amore Scusami)
Written by Vito Pallavicini, Sydney Lee, and Gino Mescoli
Performed by Robert Goulet
Courtesy of Columbia Records
by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Quite wandering but very funny and very imaginative – a perfect example of Terry Gilliam's work
1 April 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The `unflimable' novel by Thompson is brought to the screen. Hunter S. Thompson gets a call to go to Las Vegas to cover a motorcross race. Using the advance money to purchase a load of drugs he sets out on a road trip with his crazed Samoan lawyer. However as their trip continues they encounter all manner of insanity and paranoia in their drug fuelled trip into the American dream…

Never read the book, never been a big fan of this particular culture and ever felt inclined to read any of this sort of work – however, really enjoyed the movie. The plot is, well, a trip rather than anything concrete or logical. There is a message tacked on somewhere near the end but really this is more of an experience than a story. To me the film mainly succeeded due to Terry Gilliam. His crazed sense of humour is fed through the whole piece, stopping it being indulgent or pretentious as it could easily have been.

Instead it manages to be a drug movie but also be very OTT and very. Gilliam's imagination really made Thompson's trips come to life. It must be hard to actually put something like that on film and I thought he did very well. This vision is well supported by a brilliantly pitched performance by Depp. He is on the very edge of ham with this one but gets it just right – making Thompson funny and exaggerated. De Toro is as good but is very much playing second fiddle on this one. An all star list of cameos including Maguire, Barkin, Busey, Ricci, Harmon, Penn (of & Teller), Diaz and Lyle Lovett are all enjoyable and don't detract from the film in the way cameos sometimes can (`oh look it's etc').

The film may be very loose and aimless but what did you expect? Those wanting tightness of plot and a set narrative may be let down (though there is a car chase for the teens!). However this is well worth a look as it is a funny, very imaginative film that proved a lot of people wrong when they said that it could never be filmed. Certainly anyone who likes the films of Terry Gilliam will find much of his madness here to enjoy.


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Similar films? PauloSeabra
My favorite cameo in this movie... Paranoid_Android_82
Critical of drug usage? nik-115
Who could play Hunter? lpthuglife_89
We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert... TooManyFives
Where is the American dream? zbeforefly
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