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Boys Don't Cry (1999)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Romance  |  31 March 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 74,064 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 432 user | 123 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

Female born, Teena Brandon adopts his male identity of Brandon Teena and attempts to find himself and love in Nebraska.


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Won 1 Oscar. Another 45 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cheyenne Rushing ...
Robert Prentiss ...
Josh Ridgway ...
Kwik Stop Cashier
Craig Erickson ...
Trucker in Kwik Stop
Stephanie Sechrist ...


Based on actual events. Brandon Teena is the popular new guy in a tiny Nebraska town. He hangs out with the guys, drinking, cussing, and bumper surfing, and he charms the young women, who've never met a more sensitive and considerate young man. Life is good for Brandon, now that he's one of the guys and dating hometown beauty Lana; however, he's forgotten to mention one important detail. It's not that he's wanted in another town for GTA and other assorted crimes, but that Brandon Teena was actually born a woman named Teena Brandon. When his best friends make this discovery, Brandon's life is ripped apart. Written by Zhe

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A true story about finding the courage to be yourself.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence including an intense brutal rape scene, sexuality, language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

31 March 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Take It Like a Man  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$73,720 (USA) (8 October 1999)


$11,533,945 (USA) (19 May 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Thomas Nissen who killed Brandon Teena is serving a life sentence in Lincoln Correctional Center located in Lincoln, Nebraska. Thomas Nissen has been in prison since 08/16/1995. Thomas Nissen is in the Protective Custody unit at the Lincoln Correctional Center due to his fear of being harmed by general population inmates. See more »


This film is said to take place in Nebraska. When the girls are driving down the highway at night the Dallas skyline is clearly visible. See more »


Brandon: [to himself, laughing] I'm an asshole.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to ... everyone who volunteered to speak about his or her experiences and help with research. See more »


Featured in The 2000 IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards (2000) See more »


Bluest Eyes in Texas
Written by Van Stephenson, David Robbins (as Dave Robbins), Tim DuBois (as Tim Dubois)
Performed by Chloë Sevigny, Alicia Goranson and Alison Folland
Published by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI) o/b/o itself and Free Money Music/WB Music Corp. (ASCAP) o/b/o itself and Uncle Beave Music and Tim Dubois Music
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User Reviews

Unflinchingly honest, disturbing, and heart-breaking
20 February 2000 | by (California) – See all my reviews

I was stunned by the simplicity and power of this fine film. It tells the true and tragic story of Teena Brandon/Brandon Teena, a woman living as a man in a small town in Nebraska. No matter what your personal opinions may be, this film does not preach. It tells the story in a matter-of-fact, honest and gritty way, but leaves you shaking your head in shock that such anger and hatred exists in these modern times, for someone who is "different" merely because of their sexual preference.

Relative newcomer Hilary Swank gives a heartfelt and courageous performance as Brandon. I say courageous not only because of the subject matter, but also because she is able to strip away her youthful, movie star glamour and become the character she plays. She is entirely convincing. Also, she shows a tremendous amount of guts for being able to get through the gut-wrenchingly violent rape scene. This was a brave choice, and a wise one.

Chloe Sevigny plays Lana, the girl Brandon loves. She is the only person who truly understands Brandon. Brandon finds himself in a world of drunken trailer trash and convicted felons. No one is free from guilt, but there is always the unspoken sin of being different. Hilary Swank and Chloe Sevigny play their tastefully erotic love scenes without seeming self-conscious. So many actors of their generation might be afraid to tackle these types of roles, but they do their jobs with aplomb.

The film was another that haunted me the day after seeing it. Kimberly Peirce manages to make a simple film about a very difficult subject, and she doesn't resort to Hollywood gloss or preachiness. It is a risky film, very difficult to watch in places, with several very violent and disturbing scenes. It is a story that needs to be told, and with the two Oscar-nominated performances from Ms. Swank and Ms. Sevigny, it succeeds.

48 of 67 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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