7.1/10
43,284
158 user 58 critic

My Own Private Idaho (1991)

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

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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
3,650 ( 313)
9 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A pharmacy-robbing dope fiend and his crew pop pills and evade the law.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Matt Dillon, Kelly Lynch, James Le Gros
Elephant (2003)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Several ordinary high school students go through their daily routine as two others prepare for something more malevolent.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Elias McConnell, Alex Frost, Eric Deulen
Paranoid Park (2007)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A teenage skateboarder's life begins to fray after he is involved in the accidental death of a security guard.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Gabe Nevins, Daniel Liu, Taylor Momsen
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The eldest son of a fugitive family comes of age and wants to live a life of his own.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: River Phoenix, Christine Lahti, Judd Hirsch
Dogfight (1991)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Before leaving to fight in Vietnam, a group of teenagers play a game where they try to seduce the ugliest girl they can find.

Director: Nancy Savoca
Stars: River Phoenix, Lili Taylor, Richard Panebianco
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Footage from My Own Private Idaho (1991) is re-contextualized in James Franco's tribute to River Phoenix.

Directors: James Franco, Gus Van Sant
Stars: Wilmer Calderon, Jim Freivogel, Brian Lally
Last Days (2005)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A Seattle musician's life and career are reminiscent to those of Kurt Cobain.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Michael Pitt, Lukas Haas, Asia Argento
Mala Noche (1986)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A story of amour fou. Walt is madly in love/lust with a young illegal Mexican immigrant. However, the object of his unrequited affection doesn't even speak any English and finds Walt really... See full summary »

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Tim Streeter, Doug Cooeyate, Ray Monge
Gerry (2002)
Adventure | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A friendship between two young men is tested when they go for a hike in a desert and forget to bring any water or food with them.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Casey Affleck, Matt Damon
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A group of newcomers to the country music business seek love and stardom.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: River Phoenix, Samantha Mathis, Dermot Mulroney
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Joey owns a pizza parlor, and is married to Rosalie. He's also a serial womanizer. Rosalie goes to extremes when she finds he has been cheating.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Stars: Kevin Kline, Tracey Ullman, William Hurt
To Die For (1995)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A beautiful but naïve aspiring television personality films a documentary on teenagers with a darker ulterior motive.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Matt Dillon, Joaquin Phoenix
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
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
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:

whatever it takes to 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:

View content advisory »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

My Own Private Idaho was the result of three projects coming together. The first was a modern adaptation of Henry IV called "Howling At The Moon", which was about street kids in Portland, and was told entirely in William Shakespearean verse. The second was called "In A Blue Funk", and was about two Spanish cousins, living on the streets of Las Vegas, who decide to go to Spain after seeing their last name on a Spanish map, and wanting to find out about themselves and their family. The third was actually titled "My Own Private Idaho", and was about an early version of the Mike character as a hustler, who gets picked up by a German auto parts salesman and "kept" at his house. Gus Van Sant had trouble finishing the scripts, so he merged them together into the finished form. 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

[last lines]
Mike Waters: I'm a connoisseur of roads. I've been tasting roads my whole life. This road will never end. It probably goes all around the world.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Autopsy: The Last Hours of: River Phoenix (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Getting Into the Outside
Words and Music by Conrad 'Bud' Montgomery
Performed by Conrad 'Bud' Montgomery
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A triumph of pathos and bitter poetry
10 March 2005 | by Asa_Nisi_Masa2See all my reviews

I adore this movie, have owned it on VHS long before there was anything else and have seen it an insane number of times. It isn't perfect, but with me personally, though I'm a European female and thus have no personal life experience that could resemble anything the main characters go through, it struck a chord of universality that made it heart-breaking. The pathos in it, the bitter poetry, the warped magic is just unbelievably beautiful... and painful. It is visually inventive and the casting - even Keanu Reeves's, which has been so often criticised - is top-notch. Reeves's character is a flippant, spoilt young man who goes through life acting in his own self-glorifying drama: what better actor to cast in that role than someone whose acting is so contrived? And Phoenix... well, what can I say... to me, this is THE River Phoenix role, the one that can single-handedly turn him into an immortal, a legend. The Shakespearian quotations I adored: the relationship between Prince Hal and Falstaff from Henry IV, Part II is among the most mesmerising of the Bard's dramatic repertoire - that play was like an emotional earthquake to me. My Own Private Idaho caught its spirit perfectly, and translated it into a context that was original in its own right yet more faithful to Shakespeare in feeling than a more literal transposition might have been. Also, I found the portrayal of Rome in the part in which River's character goes out there to search for his mother, refreshingly true to life and totally cliché-free. As an Italian from Rome, it's very rare that I see a non-Italian film portraying my city of origin with so much authenticity. The FEEL of the place at a given time - the late 80s - was spot-on. In conclusion: to me, not only was My Own Private Idaho one of the best adaptations of (at least parts) of a Shakespeare play that I've seen, but also a tragedy of almost Shakespearian intensity in its own right. It had it all: the unhealthy, consuming passion (the fatal flaw), the power struggles, the young heir in his reckless, youthful days eventually maturing into the arrogance of the privileged (Keanu), the parental ghost that one of the protagonists looks to as his prophetic voice, the voice that may give his life a meaning (River's search for and the flashbacks to the memory of his mother), the intense pathos throughout, the tragic deaths at the end... that film is just pure magic to me! Just writing about it makes me want to see it again - what, for the 20th time or something?! And the tragedy at My Own Private Idaho's core is so universal, it really becomes completely secondary whether it's about and between men, women, homosexuals or heterosexuals.


116 of 146 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 158 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed