7.6/10
81,225
438 user 118 critic

Boys Don't Cry (1999)

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

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3,464 ( 61)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 47 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kate
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Brian
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Lonny
Cheyenne Rushing ...
Nicole
Robert Prentiss ...
Trucker
Josh Ridgway ...
Kwik Stop Cashier
Craig Erickson ...
Trucker in Kwik Stop
Stephanie Sechrist ...
April
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Judge

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Storyline

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

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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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

31 March 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Take It Like a Man  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Hilary Swank was living as a man to prepare for the role of Brandon Teena, her neighbors believed that the young man coming and going from Swank's home (Swank in male character) was her visiting brother. See more »

Goofs

During the final scene John is wearing gloves, except in the one shot that he and Tom are fighting to reach for the gun, where he is suddenly barehanded. See more »

Quotes

Lana: God, I hate my life.
Lana's Mom: [drunk on the sofa] Lana?
Brandon: I hate your life, too.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A special thanks to all of the transmen and butch dykes who helped, advised and auditioned for this project and supported the process of bringing this story to the screen. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Fan Blades of Love
Written by Ed Hall
Performed by Ed Hall
Published by Thoomp Ka-Bloosh (BMI)
Courtesy of Trance Syndicate
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User Reviews

 
Swank is not a lesbian at all but a transgendered individual, thus blurring the sexual divide in the best queer tradition…
10 December 2008 | by (Mexico) – See all my reviews

Teena Brandon (Hilary Swank) is a girl who wishes to become a boy… Arriving in the small Nebraska town of Falls City, Teena binds her breasts, cuts her hair and calls herself Brandon Teena…

When Brandon meets Lana (wonderfully played by Chloë Sevigny), a love affair develops in the course of which sexual identities and gender stereotype is turned upside down…

Eventually Lana comes to realize Brandon is anatomically female, but by then she does not care… Brandon offers her a caring relationship such as she has never known… Unfortunately, Brandon's secret is eventually discovered by two young men, John and Tom, who have befriended him… The knowledge that they have been deceived is deeply disturbing to their male pride…

The film is based on a true story, which also the subject of a documentary, 'The Brandon Teena Story' (1998). But it is less its status as a true-crime document, more its subtle power to subvert our usual assumptions about sexuality that makes this a notable film, and a key text of the so-called 'queer' cinema…

Unlike militant films which proselytize for homosexuality, 'queer' films adopt a more insidious strategy, seeking to undermine such rigid categories as gay and straight… Thus Brandon, in Hilary Swank's excellent interpretation of the role, alert to all the ambiguities, is not a lesbian though he/she has sex with women… And while he/she has adopted some of the physical attributes of a man (clothes, hair-style, certain mannerisms), Brandon has retained a softness and sensuality which implies a critique of conventional masculinity, and which is the secret of his/her sexual success with women… No wonder he arouses the rage of other men…


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