7.1/10
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My Own Private Idaho (1991)

R | | Drama | 20 July 1991 (Japan)
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2:36 | Trailer

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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
3,324 ( 485)
9 wins & 9 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 ... 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

River Phoenix was absent from the New York City premiere of the film. He disliked flying, and traveled mostly everywhere by car or train. Attempting to drive from his hometown in Florida to New York City, he didn't leave himself enough time, and was still making the journey as the premiere took place without him. See more »

Goofs

Mike's brother Richard speaks with a New York accent even though he's from Idaho. See more »

Quotes

Gary: Dude, if we can't steal from them going into the bar, Dude, we can get them coming out! See, Bob-dude?
See more »


Soundtracks

Getting Into the Outside
Words and Music by Conrad 'Bud' Montgomery
Performed by Conrad 'Bud' Montgomery
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User Reviews

 
My Own Private Idaho
5 December 2007 | by jazzpiano-See all my reviews

Mike (River Phoenix) has narcolepsy, and whenever he feels super-stressed he suffers what I interpret to be attacks of cataplexy, that is, sleep triggered by heightened emotions. His friend, would-be lover and fellow male prostitute, Scott (Keanu Reeves), has a rich dad who's going to leave him a hefty sum when he turns 21. These two characters are the main focus of "My Own Private Idaho" which deals with common and uncommon themes, such as home, sexual identity and love. Van Sant throws in some Shakespearean language plagiarised straight from Henry IV and a non-linear narrative and you've got one very cute surrealist indie film.

The credits to this film are it's director and star, River Phoenix, whose understated and moving performance lifts this film above the trash it easily could've been in another director or actor's hands. Van Sant uses symbols to represent emotional states and his use of special effects is limited and effective. There is some really heartfelt dialogue in this movie, especially the much-mentioned camp-fire scene.

This film can be irritating; sometimes the Shakespearean dialogue doesn't work (and it's okay to admit that a near-perfect film like this has flaws) and Reeves is sometimes a little stiff. The film is mostly redeemed by its bitter-sweet ending and fun opening titles.

I'm not going to tackle any issues in this film because I just don't have the energy. Just appreciate the film for what it is and have a nice day. :)


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