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My Own Private Idaho (1991)

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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
2,849 ( 397)
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:

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:

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

Mike's narcolepsy was inspired by George Eliot's classic novel "Silas Marner". The opening chapters of that novel have the title character Silas framed for a crime committed while he was passed out from a seizure. See more »

Goofs

When Mike and Scott are biking it to Idaho, and Scott is having trouble starting the bike, the bike is steady on its stand in the front shot, when Scott is still astride it. When Scott hands the bike over to Mike, and the shot is from behind, Scott's hands are back on the handlebars, they were on the tank, and the bike is not on the stand. See more »

Quotes

Bob Pigeon: Scott. When you inherit your fortune, on your twenty-first birthday, let's see... how far away is this?
Scott Favor: One week away, Bob, just one more week.
Bob Pigeon: Let's not call ourselves robbers, but Diana's foresters. Gentlemen of the shade. Minions of the Moon. Men of good government.
Scott Favor: [under his breath] When I turn twenty-one, I don't want any more of this life. My mother and father will be surprised at the incredible change. It will impress them more when such a fuck-up like me turns good than if I had been a ...
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Soundtracks

America, the Beautiful
Music Composed by Samuel A. Ward
Performed by Bill Stafford
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User Reviews

"Wherever, whatever, have a nice day, River Phoenix"

I watched this film on TV 5 years ago, when I was only eleven years old, and I remember that I was especially impressed by River Phoenix's magnificent performance. I had already watched "Stand By Me" (one of my favorites), and it was very interesting to watch him older in such a daring film. I think he was the best actor of his generation but, unfortunately, he died too young. His film legacy and his magnificent aura, however, live on forever.

"My Own Private Idaho" is a poetic and bittersweet road movie, and Van Sant's masterpiece. Here in Brazil it received a bad title, "Garotos de Programa" (literally, "Rent Boys"). Yes, the main characters are rent boys, but this is not what defines them. "My Own Private Idaho" (what a beautiful title!) mostly deals with loneliness, virile sexuality and friendship, and paternity. It's much more than "a film about rent boys". Besides, by watching it my contemporaries will realize that Keanu Reeves isn't Neo from "The Matrix", but a versatile actor; and, perhaps, they'd discover that friendship - and romantic love - between two men can be truly sincere. 10/10.


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