7.1/10
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My Own Private Idaho (1991)

R | | Drama | 20 July 1991 (Japan)
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Two best friends living on the streets of Portland as hustlers embark on a journey of self discovery and find their relationship stumbling along the way.

Director:

Gus Van Sant

Writer:

Gus Van Sant (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,378 ( 620)
9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
River Phoenix ... Mike Waters
Keanu Reeves ... Scott Favor
James Russo ... Richard Waters
William Richert ... Bob Pigeon
Rodney Harvey Rodney Harvey ... Gary
Chiara Caselli ... Carmella
Michael Parker Michael Parker ... Digger
Jessie Thomas Jessie Thomas ... Denise
Flea ... Budd
Grace Zabriskie ... Alena
Tom Troupe Tom Troupe ... Jack Favor
Udo Kier ... Hans
Sally Curtice Sally Curtice ... Jane Lightwork
Robert Lee Pitchlynn Robert Lee Pitchlynn ... Walt
Mickey Cottrell ... Daddy Carroll
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Storyline

Mike Waters lives on the street and befriends the somewhat older and streetwise Scott Favor who shows him what is necessary to survive. Waters suffers from narcolepsy and can fall asleep at any moment and in almost any circumstance. Favor comes from a rich family and is rebelling against his own background. They travel together extensively - Waters is driven by the need to find his biological mother - and spend time in Italy. Later in life however, Favor has joined mainstream society and has little time for his old friend. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some people take your heart, others take your shoes, and still others take you home. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sensuality, language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | German

Release Date:

20 July 1991 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

A Caminho de Idaho See more »

Filming Locations:

Oregon, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$68,542, 6 October 1991, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,401,336
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo | Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Alphacine)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The campfire scene was not filmed on-location, but on a soundstage. See more »

Goofs

When Mike is in Idaho he has a clear view of Mt. Hood. Not only is the mountain too far away to see (over 200 miles), there is another mountain range lying between Idaho and Mt. Hood, blocking the view. See more »

Quotes

Scott Favor: I only have sex with a guy for money.
Mike Waters: Yeah, I know.
Scott Favor: And two guys can't love each other.
Mike Waters: Yeah.
Mike Waters: Well, I don't know. I mean... I mean, for me, I could love someone even if I, you know, wasn't paid for it... I love you, and... you don't pay me.
Scott Favor: Mike...
Mike Waters: I really wanna kiss you, man... Well goodnight, man... I love you though... You know that... I do love you.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in King of the Hill: My Own Private Rodeo (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

The Old Main Drag
Words and Music by Shane MacGowan
Performed by The Pogues
Courtesy of Stiff Music Ltd. and Warner Music U.K. Ltd.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

 
Odd, touching, River Phoenix is intensely brilliant..
10 June 2001 | by xokatyxoSee all my reviews

This is the movie that I sincerely hope River Phoenix will long be remembered for. His performance as the narcoleptic and confused street-hustler Mike is so perfect and touching and realistic that it makes me cry every time. Gus Van Sant's films often have a strange aura about them (see Drugstore Cowboy, To Die For) and never has it been more evident than in this oddly affecting road movie/drama. The camera shots of long horizon-spanning roads and skylines, fast-motion clouds, surreal and symbolic shots of houses and rushing rivers provide the film with a strange almost other-worldly charm. Interspersed with the gritty realism of life on the streets of Portland Oregon in the early 90's, and (stranger still) Shakespeare. Some of the plot (Bob and Scott mainly) is based on the Shakespeare play Henry IV (with Keanu Reeves playing the Prince Hal character of Scott, and William Richert playing the Falstaff-like role of "King-Of-The-Streets" Bob.) It's a fascinating, touching and very successful blend of styles overall. The big themes (the search for love and belonging) are conveyed in a very interesting and genuinely moving manner. I particularly enjoyed the symbolism and pathos the film flittingly suggests. The performances are uniformly excellent, and this movie remains one of my all-time favourites. One of the greatest (and most unique) indie movies of the 1990's.


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