I Woke Up Early the Day I Died (1998)

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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 537 users   Metascore: 14/100
Reviews: 19 user | 10 critic | 6 from Metacritic.com

A mental patient escapes from the looney bin in drag, robs a bank, and goes on the lam!


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Cast overview, first billed only:
The Thief
Maylinda Austed
Cemetery Caretaker
Michael Greene ...
Tom Harris
Teenage Hooker
Roberta Hanley ...
Cemetery Cop
Loan Secretary
Robert Musselman ...
Eartha Kitt's Escort
Marvin Lorence ...
Eartha Kitt's Piano Player (as Marvin Lorence)
Shopkeeper (as Lord Hienrich 'Binky' Alcoa III)
Loan Office Cop
Megan Odebash ...
Wardrobe Mistress (as Megan Odabash)
Assistant Undertaker


A mental patient escapes from the looney bin in drag, robs a bank, and goes on the lam!

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Thriller






Release Date:

10 September 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Awoke Early the Day I Died  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The movie has sound and some off-screen narration, but no dialogue. See more »


Nature Boy
Performed by Nat 'King' Cole
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User Reviews

Ed Wood's latest masterpiece...
13 April 1999 | by (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

This is a script that Ed Wood worked over 10 years on trying to get made. Aris Iliopulos finally got the chutzpah to film a script that Wood saved from his burning home at the expense of other, more transitory valuables.

This is a dialogue-free movie, that some may foolishly describe as silent. In fact, it is a quite noisy film, without the inane chatter of most flicks. In the hands of these filmmakers, the music and sound effects provide a rich audio experience that works better than almost any grist from the Hollywood script mill, particularly that stupid boat movie Billy Zane last was in ('Watch out!', 'Oh no!' - J. Cameron.... ick...) I'll take Zane's wonderfully communicative monosyllabic grunts in this film over empty dialogue any day.

Billy Zane heads a team of players who obviously really wanted to be in this film. Ricci is radiant as always, and the gods are shining when you can put Sandra Bernhard, Rick(y) Schroeder, Eartha Kitt and Andrew McCarthy's name on the same poster.

The design is perfect, the pyramid set exquisite, and Ron Perlman's beastly performance is simply wonderful. Overall, this is a chaotic, visceral masterpiece lovingly crafted by fans of Ed Wood Jr., auteur and cinenephile. A must see for anyone who really loves movies the way that the first rate Iliopulos and his cast obviously do. A film to make you wish you had made it yourself.

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