7.3/10
41,203
87 user 43 critic

Arizona Dream (1993)

A young New Yorker goes to Arizona where he finds freedom to both love and dream.

Director:

Emir Kusturica

Writers:

David Atkins (story), Emir Kusturica (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Depp ... Axel Blackmar
Jerry Lewis ... Leo Sweetie
Faye Dunaway ... Elaine Stalker
Lili Taylor ... Grace Stalker
Vincent Gallo ... Paul Leger
Paulina Porizkova ... Millie
Michael J. Pollard ... Fabian
Candyce Mason Candyce Mason ... Blanche
Alexia Rane Alexia Rane ... Angie
Polly Noonan Polly Noonan ... Betty
Ann Schulman Ann Schulman ... Carla
James R. Wilson James R. Wilson ... Lawyer
Erik Polczwartek Erik Polczwartek ... Man with Door
Kim Keo Kim Keo ... Mechanical Doll
Patricia O'Grady Patricia O'Grady ... MC / Announcer
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Storyline

An Innuit hunter races his sled home with a fresh-caught halibut. This fish pervades the entire film, in real and imaginary form. Meanwhile, Axel tags fish in New York as a naturalist's gofer. He's happy there, but a messenger arrives to bring him to Arizona for his uncle's wedding. It's a ruse to get Axel into the family business. In Arizona, Axel meets two odd women: vivacious, needy, and plagued by neuroses and familial discord. He gets romantically involved with one, while the other, rich but depressed, plays accordion tunes to a gaggle of pet turtles. Written by Greg Pribyl <gpribyl@isd.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A rebellious young man. With his own vision of the future. And his own fantasy of love.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Claudie Ossard wanted to work with Emir Kusturica after seeing his film Time of the Gypsies (1988). See more »

Goofs

Since the movie took about a year to shoot, Axel's hair length changes drastically throughout the film. In the beginning, when he talks to Paul up until when they arrive at Leo's house, his hair is longer than in the next few scenes when he spends time with his uncle. It's long again when he starts staying at Elaine's house. See more »

Quotes

Axel Blackmar: If you believe in your dreams, you could be sure that any force, a tornado, a volcano or a typhoon, wouldn't be able to knock you out of love; because love exists on its own.
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Crazy Credits

The end credits read: "Any reference to Cadillac dealerships or dealers is purely fictional. The Cadillac automobile was selected for the film because it was and continues to represent the epitomy (sic) of American automobile design." See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally released in Europe at 142 minutes. The USA version was cut down to 119 minutes but the complete version was also released theatrically. Only the short version is available on video in the USA. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Our Futures (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Besame Mucho
Written by Consuelo Velázquez
See more »

User Reviews

 
A Fun, Dreamlike Comedy that many have yet to see!
5 August 2005 | by NateManDSee all my reviews

Yugoslavian director Emir Kusterica is most well known for his critically acclaimed international films like "Time of the Gypsies" and "Underground"(1995). He did one English language film in Ameica. The film "Arizona Dream" is a highly underrated film that people have seem to forgotten. Which is a shame, since it has an amazing cast of well known actors like Johnny Depp, Vincent Gallo, Faye Dunaway, Jerry Lewis and Lili Taylor. Jonny Depp plays Axel a young twenty something dreamer. In the beginning of the film he has a dream about an Eskimo family. He works at a dock cleaning fish and often drifts away from reality to dreams. Him and his friend Paul (Vincent Gallo) drive to Arizona to visit Axel's uncle Mr. Sweetie (Jerry Lewis)who's a car salesman. I must say Depp and Lewis make a great comic duo. Axel and Paul end up staying with the wealthy Elaine Stalker and her suicidal daughter Grace (Lili Taylor). Axel starts dating Mrs. Stalker, but at the same time has strange feelings for her daughter. The film is very surreal and dreamlike. Mrs. Stalker obsessively dreams of flying, so her and Axel build a flying machine that resembles a Right Brothers style airplane. It's hilarious when the plain repeatedly malfunctions. There's also a floating fish throughout the movie, turtles, an attempted pantie hose suicide and a weird sex scene where Jonny Depp crows like a rooster (must be seen to be believed). Warner Bros. felt that the film was too European. So the film collected dust on their shelf and had a poor limited release. The film does have a magic-realist tragi-comedy style like Emir Kusterica's other Eastern European films. Co writer David Atkins later went on to write the screenplay for Novacaine. Also producer Claudie Ossard has also helped produce other bizarre films like "City of Lost Children". "Arizona Dream" is a quirky and strange masterpiece. Track down a VHS copy, or better yet the 20 minute longer international version. It's quite a cult sensation in Europe.


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Details

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English | Spanish | Inuktitut

Release Date:

9 September 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Arrowtooth Waltz See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,887, 11 June 1995

Gross USA:

$112,547

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$112,547
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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