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Mystery Train (1989)

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Three stories are connected by a Memphis hotel and the spirit of Elvis Presley.

Director:

Jim Jarmusch

Writer:

Jim Jarmusch
1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Masatoshi Nagase ... Jun (segment "Far from Yokohama")
Yûki Kudô ... Mitsuko (segment "Far from Yokohama") (as Youki Kudoh)
Screamin' Jay Hawkins Screamin' Jay Hawkins ... Night Clerk (segment "Far from Yokohama")
Cinqué Lee ... Bellboy (segment "Far from Yokohama")
Rufus Thomas ... Man in Station (segment "Far from Yokohama")
Jodie Markell ... Sun Studio Guide (segment "Far from Yokohama")
William Hoch William Hoch ... Tourist Family (segment "Far from Yokohama")
Pat Hoch Pat Hoch ... Tourist Family (segment "Far from Yokohama")
Joshua Elvis Hoch Joshua Elvis Hoch ... Tourist Family (segment "Far from Yokohama")
Reginald Freeman Reginald Freeman ... Conductor (segment "Far from Yokohama")
Beverly Prye Beverly Prye ... Streetwalker (segment "Far from Yokohama")
Nicoletta Braschi ... Luisa (segment "A Ghost")
Elizabeth Bracco ... Dee Dee - Charlie's Sister (segment "A Ghost")
Sy Richardson ... Newsvendor (segment "A Ghost")
Tom Noonan ... Man in Arcade Diner (segment "A Ghost")
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Storyline

A Japanese couple obsessed with 1950s America goes to Memphis because the male half of the couple emulates Carl Perkins. Chance encounters link three different stories in the city, with the common thread being the seedy hotel where they are all staying. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

English | Japanese | Italian

Release Date:

17 November 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

One Night in Memphis See more »

Filming Locations:

Tennessee, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,800,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$367,879
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The hotel where the three stories converge is no longer standing, so many fans of the movie have made pilgrimages to the site only to find that it no longer exists. It can, however, be seen in the background of the scene in Great Balls of Fire! (1989), in the scene where Alec Baldwin is preaching from his broken-down car. See more »

Goofs

After Charlie drops the liquor bottle, the position of the glass fragments change between shots. See more »

Quotes

Johnny: Hey, everybody! Check your guns at the bar!
See more »

Crazy Credits

For Sara See more »

Connections

References Blue Velvet (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Soul Finger
Written by Jimmy King, Phalon Jones, Carl Cunningham, Ben Cauley, Ronnie Caldwell and James Alexander
Performed by The Bar-Kays
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Elvis Lives!
4 November 2004 | by mickosaerSee all my reviews

'Mystery Train' is probably the most entertaining, interesting and understated of indie-fave Jim Jarmusch's early work (i haven't seen 'Coffee and Cigarettes' yet). The films portrayal of Elvis' birthplace of Memphis, possibly one of the most featureless, gritty and desolate representations of urban America ever committed to film, is a deceptively clever and substantial take on American subcultures.

Without doubt, it is the first of the films three vignettes that makes the film stand out a little more than Jarmusch's other quirky offerings. Two Japanese tourists besotted with the King's legacy and 1950's American retro-culture in general, decide to visit Memphis, where they experience the superficiality his iconic status has been reduced to. The over-excitable and optimistic teenage girl, along with her more austere, cooler-than-cool boyfriend, are equally unimpressed with what the town has to offer. It's quite impressive that 15 years after its release, Jarmusch's depiction of alternative culture manages to capture the pretentious but proudly on-the-edges attitudes probably more apparent in today's retro-obsessed climate than ever before.

Jarmusch's signature eclectic cast is another reason for repeated viewing, the subtleties of, in particular, Steve Buscemi's stuttering and nervous performance, are worth looking out for. As is the linking theme of Elvis' ghost in all three vignettes, a brilliant example of how to take a simple theme, and continually parodize its implications until its every mention leads to some sort of in-joke. The cool, laid-back pace of the film allows the humour to hit you unexpectedly, and the timing is often genius. Very, very, very watchable.


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