184 user 53 critic

The Million Dollar Hotel (2000)

Tragi-comic, romantic whodunnit set in a run down hotel which plays host to mentally ill people too poor to afford medical insurance.



(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean Swift


The Million Dollar Hotel follows the supposed murder of Izzy Goldkiss. FBI Agent Skinner is sent into investigate the crime, and to weed out the killer. When he reaches the 'hotel', he comes across many of the forgotten types of people living in the city. You have Geronimo, who is a self proclaimed Native American artist. Dixie, played with great gusto by Peter Stormare, as the 'fifth' Beetle that is still waiting for his royalty payments, as well as recognition. Eloise, who is the neighborhood 'whore'. And then there is Tom-Tom, played by Jeremy Davies. He's the center of the story, being that he's the 'village idiot' of the bunch, and has the trust of everyone in the Hotel. Agent Skinner has a few days to find out who the killer is, while the residents of the hotel devise a scheme to sell off Izzy's fabled 'Tar Paintings'. Written by RoboDan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Everyone has something to hide.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


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Release Date:

10 February 2000 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Billion Dollar Hotel  »

Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$29,483 (USA) (2 February 2001)


$52,526 (USA) (9 February 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The book that Eloise carries around early in the movie is 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' by Gabriel García Márquez. See more »


The positions of the pool balls change during the voting scene. See more »


[first lines]
Tom Tom: Wow, after I jumped it occurred to me, life is perfect, life is the best. It's full of magic, beauty, opportunity, and television, and surprises, lots of surprises, yeah. And then there's that stuff that everybody longs for, but they only real feel when it's gone. All that just kinda hit me. I guess you don't really see it all clearly when you're - ya know - alive.
See more »


Referenced in Land of Plenty (2004) See more »


Dancin' Shoes
Written by Daniel Lanois, Bono and Nicholas Klein
Performed by Bono and Daniel Lanois
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User Reviews

Beautiful film-- but definitely not for everyone
3 June 2001 | by (Rockville, MD) – See all my reviews

Here's a brief guide to help you determine if you should see "The Million Dollar Hotel"

If you...

a) Enjoy Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay collaborations b) Thirst insatiably for explosions, car chases and sex scenes featuring silicone-enhanced blondes c) Are considering this film only because you're a Mel Gibson fan...


Otherwise, you might want to give this one a shot. MDH is far, far off the beaten Hollywood path. It's a quiet, understated film that finds beauty and grace in very unlikely places. Bono and Wim Wenders have put together a love story so unconventional that it nearly defies description... it is certainly NOT a "tragi-comic, romantic whodunnit", despite the IMDb plot summary. It's a tale of quiet desperation and pervasive sadness that dares to violate pretty much every unwritten rule in the movie business... further off the wall than "Being John Malkovich" but infinitely more subtle and ultimately smarter.

On the surface it's a tale narrated by an idiot (a dead one at that) which signifies very little. Set in a run-down hotel in which mentally-ill derelicts and freaks are squatting, the film primarily follows Tom-Tom (Jeremy Daviess), a deceptively simple fool who is madly in love with a schizophrenic girl (Milla Jovovich)--who is a heartachingly beautiful hybrid of the Virgin Mary and the Whore of Babylon. The plot is fairly intriguing-- Hardass cop Mel Gibson is investigating the mysterious death of a tycoon's prodigal junkie son. The crazies at the hotel devise an elaborate con job to profit from this tragedy... provided they can bluff a snooty art critic and keep the cops distracted.

Some humorous moments ensue. But the plot is almost irrelevant here. The film works because of the engaging oddball characters (especially Peter Stormare as an obsessive Beatles fan and Jimmy Smits as a bizarre Native American "artist"), because of the brilliantly surreal, postapocalyptic cinematography, and because the sheer naked unhappiness of the film crawls inside of you and doesn't go away for several days. Bono's script, like the best of his music, is deeply cynical about society, but retains a faith in the salvation of individuals. It is neither a comedy, a drama, or a romance... it really just plays out like a bittersweet existential ballad. The only romantic scene features an idiot and a schizoid whore who never actually have sex... but it's one of the most touching love scenes ever captured on film. If that sounds like your cup of tea, check out "The Million Dollar Hotel". I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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