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)
Reviews
Popularity
2,372 ( 120)
12 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Jessica Makinson ... Denise (as Jessie Thomas)
Flea ... Budd
Grace Zabriskie ... Alena
Tom Troupe ... Jack Favor
Udo Kier ... Hans
Sally Curtice Sally Curtice ... Jane Lightwork
Robert Lee Pitchlynn Robert Lee Pitchlynn ... Walt
Mickey Cottrell ... Daddy Carroll
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

River Phoenix was often compared to the late James Dean. The comparisons reportedly began during Stand by Me (1986) and continued throughout his life. Gus Van Sant says, "many times during production I heard someone say to River, 'hey, that was great. You're like the next James Dean', and every time River very politely thanked them, before stating that he'd never seen a James Dean movie. He didn't grow up with movies and television like most people. He grew up on the road with his family. I believe he died without ever having seen a James Dean movie. The haircut he wore in our film probably didn't do anything to quiet the comparisons." See more »

Goofs

(At 12.45) As Mike goes to look out the window at the back garden in the old ladies house the boom mic is visible reflected in the window. See more »

Quotes

Bob Pigeon: I'm afraid if I shared your wine, I might catch this awful disease you appear to have. My jacket would grow little zippers all over it and my toes would have jingle bells on them like those there.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Supernatural: Dark Side of the Moon (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Eyes
Music Composed by Elton John
Lyrics by Gary Osborne
Performed by Elton John
Courtesy of Geffen Records and Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
See more »

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.


104 of 121 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 178 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | German

Release Date:

20 July 1991 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

My Own Private Idaho See more »

Filming Locations:

Oregon, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$6,401,336

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,401,336
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

New Line Cinema See more »
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 »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed