7.1/10
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157 user 57 critic

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.

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2,711 ( 433)
9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Mike Waters
... Scott Favor
... Richard Waters
... Bob Pigeon
Rodney Harvey ... Gary
... Carmella
Michael Parker ... Digger
Jessie Thomas ... Denise
... Budd
... Alena
Tom Troupe ... Jack Favor
... Hans
Sally Curtice ... Jane Lightwork
Robert Lee Pitchlynn ... Walt
... 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:

Wherever, whatever, have a nice day. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

20 July 1991 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

A Caminho de Idaho  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Alphacine)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Scott and Mike first appear in Portland, they sit beneath a statue of an elk with an American Indian riding atop it. The statue is real, and still exists in Portland. However, the rider was added by Gus Van Sant. It was really a production assistant, covered in grease paint, and sitting perfectly still atop the elk statue. See more »

Goofs

In Scott and Bob's final scene together, Bob says Scottie's wearing a three-piece suit, but we see him wearing a two-piece suit. See more »

Quotes

Scott Favor: Getting away from everything feels good.
Mike Waters: Yeah, it does.
Scott Favor: When I left home, the maid asked me where I was off to. I said "Wherever. Whatever. Have a nice day."
Mike Waters: You had a maid. If I had a normal family, and a good up-bringing, then I would have been a well-adjusted person.
Scott Favor: It depends on what you call normal.
Mike Waters: Yeah, it does. Well, you know. Normal. Like a mom and a dad and a dog, and shit like that. Normal. Normal.
Scott Favor: So, you didn't have a normal dog?
Mike Waters: No, I didn't have a dog.
Scott Favor: Didn't... or... didn't ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in The Making of My Own Private Idaho (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Nun Freut Euch
Music Composed by Thomas Stoltzer
Performed by Bruce Van Buskirk
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User Reviews

 
You're getting sleepy...
15 October 2005 | by See all my reviews

I'm not quite sure what to make of 'My Own Private Idaho.' I am aware of it's huge cult following and that makes me want to like it more than I did, or at least give some thought as to why I didn't think as highly of it as many others did.

Gus Van Sant is a hit or miss director - Drugstore Cowboy, To Die For, and Good Will Hunting were all excellent, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and his Psycho remake were horrendous - and I hate to say that I'm leaning more towards the miss column with 'My Own Private Idaho.' The best way I can put this film is that it seems like there are too many cooks making the soup and all the ingredients have been served better. Van Sant wants to make this a road movie, a comedy, a coming-of-age movie, a Shakespeare play, a surreal picture... I feel like he's taken the best elements of 'Easy Rider', 'Pixote', and 'Henry V' and mangled them.

River Phoenix is excellent though, he's the best part of the film and I give the credit solely to him. Why? Because ever other performance just isn't very good. Reeves seems uncomfortable in almost every scene whether it's quoting Shakespeare or lying shirtless in bed with Phoenix, he can't pull off what this movie wants. Neither can Richert as the leader of the band of hustlers - who comes across so over the top and theatrical that as a contrast to Phoenix's mellow/realistic hustler it just doesn't work. The problem with taking dialogue straight from Henry IV is for one it's awfully hard to top the Bard for writing. Two; you need actors who can deliver it well.

Van Sant has imagination and the visuals in the film are breathtaking. The movie starts off extremely well, but it's obvious that he had little control of the script or the actors and in the end that kills the movie.

Very surprising that Phoenix didn't pick up an Oscar nomination.


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