7.6/10
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Stranger Than Paradise (1984)

R | | Comedy, Drama | October 1984 (UK)
A New Yorker's life is thrown into a tailspin when his younger cousin surprise visits him, starting a strange, unpredictable adventure.

Director:

Jim Jarmusch

Writer:

Jim Jarmusch

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8 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Lurie ... Willie
Eszter Balint ... Eva
Richard Edson ... Eddie
Cecillia Stark Cecillia Stark ... Aunt Lotte
Danny Rosen Danny Rosen ... Billy
Rammellzee Rammellzee ... Man with Money
Tom DiCillo ... Airline Agent
Richard Boes Richard Boes ... Factory Worker
Rockets Redglare Rockets Redglare ... Poker Player
Harvey Perr Harvey Perr ... Poker Player
Brian J. Burchill Brian J. Burchill ... Poker Player
Sara Driver ... Girl with Hat
Paul Sloane Paul Sloane ... Motel Owner
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Storyline

A self-styled New York hipster is paid a surprise visit by his younger cousin from Budapest. From initial hostility and indifference a small degree of affection grows between the two. Along with a friend, they eventually end up visiting their aunt in the wastelands of Cleveland and then proceed to Florida where they lose all their money gambling before unwittingly gaining a fortune. Written by J.Arnold Free <arnold@mayahtt.ca> and Brian McInnis

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | West Germany

Language:

English | Hungarian | Italian

Release Date:

October 1984 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Extraños en el paraíso See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$90,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,436,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Picked by Entertainment Weekly magazine as one of the "50 Greatest Independent Films" in a special supplement devoted to independent films that was only distributed to subscribers in November 1997. See more »

Goofs

When Eddie and Willie are driving to Cleveland, the camera and camera operator can be seen in the reflection of the rear view mirror. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Willie: Yeah.
Aunt Lotte: [speaks indistinctly in Hungarian]
Willie: Oh, hello, Aunt Lotte.
Aunt Lotte: [replies indistinctly in Hungarian throughout conversation]
Willie: Don't speak to me in Hungarian, please. No, I haven't heard from him, not for ten years. Yeah, I got your letter. Speak English, please! Yeah, my little cousin Eva. Yeah, I know, she's come - coming here and she's gonna stay overnight, when's she coming? Today? Straight from Budapest today? Ah, no. No, I never agreed to that. I can't possibly babysit for her for...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Três Menos Eu (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

I Put a Spell on You
Written by Screamin' Jay Hawkins (as Jay Hawkins)
Used by permission of CBS Unart Catalog, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
Performed by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Courtesy of CBS Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ironic and Weird Tale of Emptiness and Boredom
28 April 2013 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

The New World: The teenager Eva Molnar (Eszter Balint) arrives from Budapest, Hungary, and goes to the house of his cousin Willie, a.k.a. Bela Molnar (John Lurie) in a dangerous neighborhood in New York. Eva intends to travel to Cleveland to stay with her Aunt Lotte (Cecillia Stark), but the old woman is in the hospital and Eva has to stay with the idle Wille, who is absolutely indifferent to her. They spend their empty days smoking Chesterfield, watching television and playing solitaire and Eva befriends Willie's friend Eddie (Richard Edson). Then Willie and Eddie are connected to Eva and they miss her when she travels to Cleveland.

One Year Later: Willie and Eddie win a large amount in the poker game and they borrow a car and travel to Cleveland to visit Eva. They spend a couple of boring days in the house of Aunt Lotte.

Paradise: Willie and Eddie invite Eva to go on vacation in Florida. However they lose their money in the dog racing. Willie decides to bet their last money in the horse racing and they win money. Meanwhile Eva is wrongly taken by another woman and receives a large amount from a stranger. She leaves money for Willie and Eddie and goes to the airport expecting to travel to Europe, but there is only one flight to Budapest. Meanwhile Willie and Eddie seek her out in the airport. Will Willie find Eva?

"Stranger than Paradise" is an ironic and weird tale of emptiness and boredom by Jim Jarmusch, filmed in black and white and divided in three segments (acts). There are funny moments, like for example, when Willie has a phone conversation with his Aunt Lotte and tells that Eva will put his life on hold since the guy spends the days smoking, watching television, playing solitaire and gambling in the horse racing. Then he misses Eva, probably the only different thing that had happened in his boring and empty life. In the end, it is hilarious when Eddie asks to himself: What will Willie do in Budapest? "Stranger than Paradise" is not for every audience but those viewers that also enjoy cinema as art. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Estranhos no Paraíso" ("Stranger in the Paradise")


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