5.8/10
3,372
26 user 11 critic

Johnny Suede (1991)

A struggling young musician and devoted fan of Ricky Nelson wants to be just like his idol and become a rock star.

Director:

Tom DiCillo

Writer:

Tom DiCillo

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brad Pitt ... Johnny Suede
Richard Boes Richard Boes ... Man in Tuxedo
Cheryl Costa Cheryl Costa ... Woman in Alley
Michael Luciano Michael Luciano ... Mr. Clepp
Calvin Levels ... Deke
Nick Cave ... Freak Storm
Ralph Marrero Ralph Marrero ... Bartender
Wilfredo Giovanni Clark Wilfredo Giovanni Clark ... Slick
Alison Moir ... Darlette
Peter McRobbie ... Flip Doubt
Ron Vawter ... Winston
Dennis Parlato Dennis Parlato ... Dalton
Tina Louise ... Mrs. Fontaine
Michael Mulheren Michael Mulheren ... Fred Business
Wayne Maugans Wayne Maugans ... Ned Business
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Storyline

A struggling young musician and devoted fan of Ricky Nelson wants to be just like his idol and become a rock star.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Keeping up an image can be a full time job.

Genres:

Comedy | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and elements of sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Switzerland | France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 April 1992 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Джонни-замша See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$90,091
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Black and White | Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A few weeks into filming, Writer and Director Tom DiCillo fired the original Director of Photography after finding all of the footage shot to be worthless. When confronted with this, DiCillo claims he confessed to deliberately sabotaging the film, due to jealousy. See more »

Goofs

When Johnny takes the pistol cartridge out of the coffee cup and loads it into the revolver, you can see that the primer has a dent in it. This indicates that the cartridge has already been used, and that a bullet was simply pressed into the case, creating a dummy prop round. See more »

Quotes

Johnny Suede: [to the hand] Cut the caveman act man, don't you know you hold onto something tightest with an open hand?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The new DVD from Second Sight in the UK features no voiceover intro, outro, and a scene that was cut from the original film. The scene takes place at the end of the film when Johnny runs out to find his shoe. He stops at the bar and runs into Freak Storm. He tells Freak that he doesn't have a place to stay so Freak offers for him to stay with over at his place. When Johnny walks over to Freaks table, he sees Freak with Darlette. Johnny leaves and it cuts back to the original cut of the film. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Living in Oblivion (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very cool little film.
18 September 2012 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

Independent filmmaker Tom DiCillo made his debut here with this hip, refreshingly quirky character study, with Brad Pitt scoring as the central character. He plays Johnny Suede, aspiring musician who idolizes Ricky Nelson and occupies a fairly run down apartment in Brooklyn. The film follows Johnny around as he alternates between reality and his own dream world. His relationships with women are a focal point, first as he hooks up with Darlette (Alison Moir) whose mom (Tina Louise) has connections to the music business. Then he chances to meet schoolteacher Yvonne (Catherine Keener) and falls for her hard enough to be ready to make some changes in his life. DiCillo injects some moments of amusing surrealism into his film while still basically handling his material in a straightforward manner, never going for stylistic choices when it isn't necessary. The dialogue is sometimes quite funny, and really comes to life in the hands of these talented actors. Among the other people in Johnny's offbeat life are his friend and bandmate Deke (Calvin Levels); Samuel L. Jackson has a brief, one scene part as the bass player in his band. The brightest moments belong to real-life music star Nick Cave, playing a character named Freak Storm; his scenes with Pitt are fun. DiCillo does a good job with visual detail, right down to the clothes that his characters wear. The story, as has been pointed out, is about so much more than just a specific kind of music (although the music is wonderful throughout) - it goes to great lengths to depict this amiable, ordinary guy struggling not just to make it as a musician but to adjust to the highs and lows of everyday life. Pitt shows here, as he has on so many occasions, to be more than just a pretty face, and an actor of range and depth. You like Johnny and want to see him find happiness. And at the end you can't help but sympathize with him. Overall, this is an endearing little gem, one in which DiCillo refrains from giving in to predictability and finds a realistic centre amid the more offbeat aspects to the world he creates. Well worth a look. Eight out of 10.


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