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Stranger Than Paradise (1984)

R | | Comedy, Drama | October 1984 (UK)
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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
8 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Roberto Benigni, Steven Wright
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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

Director Jim Jarmusch was dismayed to discover all the money he paid for the rights to Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You" went to the record company, with nothing going to Hawkins himself. When the film earned a profit, Jarmusch took it upon himself to track down Hawkins (who was living in a trailer park, at the time) and give him some money. It was the beginning of a friendship between the two which lasted until Hawkins' death. According to Jarmusch, Hawkins continuously promised to pay him back, despite Jamursch's insistence that the money was a gift. See more »

Goofs

Shadow of a crew member just before the end of the scene where Eva is throwing away the dress. 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 Cinefile: Made in the USA (1993) 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

Beautiful uncomfortableness
5 June 2006 | by futures-1See all my reviews

"Stranger than Paradise" (1984): Jim Jarmusch's first film. Often listed as a "comedy" – and yes, I suppose there ARE a few oddly funny moments – for the most part I find it an intensely bleak film, empty of almost all life but for a few lone cruiser characters who are detached from everyone else. The photography is astoundingly beautiful black & white. They are almost shot as individual stills with minor movements in them, and divided by blatant black divisions, which one can think of as the black pages of an old photo album. The velvety rich blacks, grays, and whites, plus the composed "still" scenes, cause me to think Jarmusch was trained as a static, 2-D artist first. Just a guess. This film is NOT about acting, which is limited at best, but doesn't really need much. We observe an alienated set of scenarios which are only enhanced by the stiff, awkward exchanges and pauses of the characters, and the lack of movement in the camera work. Ambient sound adds to the gritty reality of emptiness. Funny or not, this is a low-key, lost-souls story of detachment and aimlessness.


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