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Donnie Darko (2001)

Trailer
1:37 | Trailer
A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident.

Director:

Richard Kelly

Writer:

Richard Kelly
Popularity
477 ( 51)
11 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jake Gyllenhaal ... Donnie Darko
Holmes Osborne ... Eddie Darko
Maggie Gyllenhaal ... Elizabeth Darko
Daveigh Chase ... Samantha Darko
Mary McDonnell ... Rose Darko
James Duval ... Frank
Arthur Taxier ... Dr. Fisher
Patrick Swayze ... Jim Cunningham
Mark Hoffman Mark Hoffman ... Police Officer
David St. James ... Bob Garland
Tom Tangen Tom Tangen ... Man in Red Jogging Suit
Jazzie Mahannah ... Joanie James
Jolene Purdy ... Cherita Chen
Stuart Stone ... Ronald Fisher
Gary Lundy ... Sean Smith
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Storyline

Donnie Darko doesn't get along too well with his family, his teachers, and his classmates; but he does manage to find a sympathetic friend in Gretchen, who agrees to date him. He has a compassionate psychiatrist, who discovers hypnosis is the means to unlock hidden secrets. His other companion may not be a true ally. Donnie has a friend named Frank, a large bunny which only Donnie can see. When an engine falls off a plane and destroys his bedroom, Donnie is not there. Both the event, and Donnie's escape, seem to have been caused by supernatural events. Donnie's mental illness, if such it is, may never allow him to find out for sure. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Why are you wearing that stupid man suit? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some drug use and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Well out of his teens, Vince Vaughn reportedly turned down the part of Donnie, due to his age. Mark Wahlberg was interested in the part, but apparently was only willing to play the part with a lisp. Jason Schwartzman was also strongly considered for Donnie, but dropped out, due to scheduling conflicts. Tim Robbins was the first choice for the role of Eddie Darko. Mara Wilson was considered for the role of Samantha Darko, but she turned it down. See more »

Goofs

When Donnie and his dad are talking in the car - just before they almost run grandma death over - a clapperboard is reflected in the window behind Donnie's dad's head. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Elizabeth: I'm voting for Dukakis.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Proud to Be Loud" Performed by The Dead Green Mummies -- this song is actually performed by the band Pantera. (The Dead Green Mummies do not exist.) Pantera has all but disowned their first four albums, this song is track 5 on the fourth of those albums, "Power Metal." The band presumably did not want to be credited with the song (as they don't consider any of their pre-1990 material part of their discography) and made up the name The Dead Green Mummies. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the Director's Cut, the voice saying "Get off the stage, Cherita!" and "You suck!" (presumably said by Ronald Fisher) are no longer heard after Cherita is done with her dance. Also gone is the catcall right before this. However, added to the scene was more raucous applause instead of the nervous applause from the original version. See more »

Connections

References Koyaanisqatsi (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Will Tear Us Apart
Written by Ian Curtis, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner
Performed by Joy Division
Courtesy of Warner Music (UK), Ltd., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

User Reviews

 
An impressive coming of age story
22 March 2005 | by thewholebrevitythingSee all my reviews

In my opinion there are two types of writing. Controlled Writing where the superego controls the pen. The other is where the imagination (the id) takes over. This was id writing. Uncontrolled, wild and chaotic.

In many instances this type of writing doesn't work - its energetic and vibrant, but without focus it just winds up a mess.

This film makes it work however for the following reasons.

This is the tale of a young man, a 'coming of age' story, and the story of most young men are tinged with wildness and chaos. Thus the premise and themes fit perfectly with the wildly imaginative way in which the story was told.

It speaks to young men in the way a good 'coming of age' story is meant to. Its rare, I can only think of a few films that do it well: Good will hunting, fight club, star wars and now donnie darko. I'm in my mid 20s and looking back, the fear, distress and sheer confusion of teenage life is always a brilliantly painful experience. But this distress (the movie fight club refers to it as the "great depression") is incredibly heightened in this film due to the sense of impending doom that Donnie feels throughout. Thus i ask you :

Is this not the way all of us were feeling post 9/11 ?

Its timing was perfect. A simple message powerfully expressed to me is the height of great writing. Everyone understands a simple point and everyone (no matter their education/literacy) can be moved by it.

Now here are the Cons:

OK so he stole the rabbit from alice in wonderland/the matrix and the time travel discussion is pretty juvenile, but then what talk amongst teenagers isn't? If they spoke like college professors

a) the characters don't seem like realistic teens

b) you lose your target audience

The director's cut honestly sucked major ass. It showed that the director is a little clueless about effective ways of film-making. they took out some of the great songs that made the original really gel and replaced them with a classical score in parts that clearly didn't work. Also some weird kiddy kaleidoscope images were thrown in that were a fake ass attempt to look like the closing images of 2001 a space odyssey. The directors cut was a travesty that should not have been allowed. An obvious attempt to make some quick cash based on this film being a huge hit at the video rentals arena (it didn't do any business on the screen 1st time around). I think the directors cut version should be burned.

But hes still young and allowed to make mistakes. As are we all. I'm looking forward to his future work. This film may be a "one hit wonder", or it might not. But no pun intended - only time will tell.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 January 2002 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$110,494, 28 October 2001

Gross USA:

$1,478,493

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,979,093
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS (theatrical version)| DTS (5.1)| Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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