A young man wanders New York City searching for some meaning in life and encounters many idiosyncratic characters.


Jim Jarmusch


Jim Jarmusch
1 win. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Parker ... Allie
Leila Gastil Leila Gastil ... Leila
John Lurie ... Sax player
Richard Boes Richard Boes ... War vet
Sara Driver ... Nurse
Charlie Spademan Charlie Spademan ... Patient
Jane Fire Jane Fire ... Nurse
Ruth Bolton Ruth Bolton ... Mother
Evelyn Smith Evelyn Smith ... Patient
María Duval María Duval ... Latin girl
Lisa Rosen Lisa Rosen ... Popcorn girl
Frankie Faison ... Man in lobby
Suzanne Fletcher Suzanne Fletcher ... Girl in car
Felice Rosser Felice Rosser ... Woman by mailbox
Eric Mitchell Eric Mitchell ... Car fence


In downtown Manhattan, a twenty-something boy ('Chris Parker')whose Father is not around and whose Mother is institutionalized, is a big Charlie Parker fan. He almost subconsciously searches for more meaning in his life and meets a few characters along the way. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The book Allie gives Leila is "Maldoror and Poems" by Lautreamont (Penguin Classics 1978), one of the earliest surrealist stories. See more »


When Allie reads to Leila from the book, he does not read continuously but instead takes snippets from the text, skipping sentences as he does. See more »


Leila: Where have you been? I haven't seen you since Thursday.
Allie: Walking, just walking around. I can't seem to sleep at night, not in this city.
Leila: Doesn't seem like you sleep at all.
Allie: Well, I have my dreams while I'm awake.
See more »


Referenced in Brows Held High: Dead Man (2013) See more »


Up There in Orbit
Written and Performed by Earl Bostic
See more »

User Reviews

Permanent ennui
17 June 2009 | by Karl SelfSee all my reviews

Let's not put too much lipstick on this pig. Permanent Vacation ... cool title, memorable lead, nice style and all that, but ultimately an often boring movie. The only thing that keeps this above the water is the simple fact that director Jim Jarmusch followed it up with some of the best movies of all time. So it's cool to see him blunder his way through his first oeuvre.

The fact that our hero Allie is disenfranchised because his mother is in a mental institution might constitute the oldest plot device in the book. There is really no development, no suspense, nothing intriguing. Jarmusch commits the classic mistake of every first-time filmmaker; he has yet to learn that it's not enough to put a crass character before the camera. You have to make the viewer care about him. And unfortunately you can't do that by boring the crap out of the viewer. Allie is a high-strung, messed-up kid who could franchise disenfranchisement if only he could be bothered. He has a girlfriend that should rightfully be mine, who gets a kick out of dating a pretentious freeloader with a croaky voice. He meets a bunch of strange people, nicks a car, then gets the feck out on a boat. Cue amazing end sequence shot on a boat going away from Manhattan but looking back at it.

Check it out if you're a spotty movie boffin with no social life.

Give it a miss if you're more into Hannah Montana.

12 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 21 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

25 April 1984 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Permanent Vacation See more »

Filming Locations:

Roosevelt Island, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed