7.2/10
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167 user 31 critic

Benny & Joon (1993)

A mentally ill young woman finds her love in an eccentric man who models himself after Buster Keaton.

Director:

Jeremiah S. Chechik (as Jeremiah Chechik)

Writers:

Barry Berman (story), Lesley McNeil (story) (as Leslie McNeil) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,376 ( 713)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Depp ... Sam
Mary Stuart Masterson ... Joon Pearl
Aidan Quinn ... Benny Pearl
Julianne Moore ... Ruthie
Oliver Platt ... Eric
CCH Pounder ... Dr. Garvey (as C.C.H. Pounder)
Dan Hedaya ... Thomas
Joe Grifasi ... Mike
William H. Macy ... Randy Burch
Liane Curtis ... Claudia (as Liane Alexandra Curtis)
Eileen Ryan ... Mrs. Smail
Don Hamilton Don Hamilton ... UPS Man
Waldo Larson Waldo Larson ... Waldo
Irvin Johnson Irvin Johnson ... Orderly
Shane Nilsson Shane Nilsson ... Orderly
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Storyline

In Spokane, Washington, Juniper Pearl - Joon to those that know her - is an artist. She is also a mentally challenged young woman who requires around the clock care, as she could cause harm to herself or others. Her brother Benny Pearl, who owns and operates a garage and who is her only living relative since their parents died twelve years ago in a car accident, has made the decision that she would live at home with him, in the process sacrificing being able to have a personal life of his own. He has hired full-time housekeepers to provide that care when he isn't around. However, he has exhausted the list of housekeepers, who keep quitting because Joon is too much to handle. As such, Benny makes the decision that perhaps it would be best for all concerned if Joon were to live in a group home, something he is hesitating telling her for fear of her reaction. Into their lives comes Sam, the eccentric cousin of Benny's friend Mike, Sam who they obtained from Mike in a losing hand of poker... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A romance on the brink of reality.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for theme, a scene of mild sensuality and one use of harsh language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 April 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Corazones en conflicto See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,285,063, 18 April 1993, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$23,202,734
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film is credited with introducing the song "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by The Proclaimers to American audiences. Originally released in 1988, the song was initially only a success in Europe and Oceania, reaching 11 and 14 on the charts in the United Kingdom and Ireland respectively and being a number 1 in Australia and New Zealand. Mary Stuart Masterson was apparently a huge fan of the band and asked for the song to be put in the film. Thanks to its exposure in the film, the song reached number 3 on the US charts during the summer of 1993. The music video was later edited to include scenes from Benny & Joon. See more »

Goofs

We see Sam "playing" a balloon. The balloon is not tied, but then we hear it pop. An untied balloon can't pop. There is no resistance pressure. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Randy Burch: So we're planning our next vacation, right? I want Australia, she wants Italy. I like snorkeling, she likes garlic. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, she says to me: Do I need her? Jesus, Benny. What kind of a question is that? I mean, "need?" What does it really mean to need someone?
Eric: Benny, fuel line!
[and the phone begins ringing]
Benny: Hey Waldo, could you answer that phone?
Waldo: Hello?
UPS Man: [walks in] I need a check, Benny. COD.
Benny: In a minute. Meet me in the office.
UPS Man: All right...
Benny: [...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Identical (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

PINETOP'S BOOGIE WOOGIE
Written and Performed by Pinetop Perkins (as Joe 'Pinetop' Perkins)
Courtesy of Antone's Records and Tapes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Warm, engrossing film about real people
14 June 2000 | by moggy-4See all my reviews

I doubt that I can add much to all the good things said about this film. Acting is superb, as is writing and direction, which keep the story from ever seeming "cute". It is never condescending about mentally ill; I love line where Joon corrects Benny's score keeping of a ping-pong game:" the mentally ill can count, you know". Both serious and comic, like life. Imagine, a good film without violence, drug life, car chases or sex. See it.


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