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Swimming to Cambodia (1987)

R | | Comedy, Drama | April 1987 (USA)
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2:02 | Clip

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Spalding Gray discusses his participation in the film The Killing Fields (1984) and the background story about the troubles of Cambodia.

Director:

Jonathan Demme

Writer:

Spalding Gray
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Spalding Gray ... Himself
Sam Waterston ... Additional cast from 'The Killing Fields' (archive footage)
Ira Wheeler Ira Wheeler ... Additional cast from 'The Killing Fields' (archive footage)
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Storyline

Spalding Gray sits behind a desk throughout the entire film and recounts his exploits and chance encounters while playing a minor role in the film 'The Killing Fields'. At the same time, he gives a background to the events occurring in Cambodia at the time the film was set. Written by Peter Goldsack <peteg@hpsqf.sqf.hp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Spalding Gray's Swimming to Cambodia See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,745, 15 March 1987, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,092,911
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Swimming Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (TVC)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[On Cambodia's history and people]
Spalding Gray: What a fantastic land it was, how it was Shangri-La before it was colonized... Thailand was a Nordic country compared to Cambodia, and they're right next to each other. And he said 90% of the land was owned by the people; it was earth, it was dirt, but it was THEIRS, and it was good. And-and they knew how to have a good time. They knew how to have a good time. They knew how to have a good time getting born, a good time growing up, a good time going through ...
[...]
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Alternate Versions

A&E cuts out the part of the sex performer doing tricks with her vagina (including the banana hitting the wall, which Gray alludes to early in the act.) In addition, the scene uses different close-ups, and ends with "boobly oobly." See more »

Connections

Followed by Gray's Anatomy (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

The best monologue ever captured on film
5 June 2001 | by davemartSee all my reviews

Spalding Gray calls his version of performance art a "talking cure." The facts, opinions, insights, fears and hopes drawn from the epiphany he received from his experiences in the Asian Rim shooting "The Killing Fields" and his education of the plight of the Cambodian people circa early to mid seventies is overwhelming. This is a story of the human condition as told by a master. He is Dr. Frankenstein creating the monster that is ourselves through a tapestry of wordplay that never seems overwrought or cumbersome in the slightest. This movie is one man reading from a standard notebook, behind a plain table accented with a glass of water and shadowed by a ceiling fan and selection of maps. Demme's use of lighting and Laurie Anderson's soundtrack provide all the dramatic power needed to sustain Gray as he literally helps us all better understand life, humanity and our responsibilities to each other while we spend time on this planet. Intense, funny, heartbreaking and invigorating; this movie inspires and changes all who watch it.


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