4.3/10
6,647
49 user 24 critic

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993)

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1:13 | Trailer

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Sissy Hankshaw is born with enormous thumbs that help her hitchhiking through the U.S. from a young age. She becomes a model in advertising, and her New York agent, "the Countess", sends ... See full summary »

Director:

Gus Van Sant (as Gus Van Sant Jr.)

Writers:

Tom Robbins (novel), Gus Van Sant (screenplay)
4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Uma Thurman ... Sissy Hankshaw
Lorraine Bracco ... Delores Del Ruby
Pat Morita ... The Chink (as Noriyuki 'Pat' Morita)
Angie Dickinson ... Miss Adrian
Keanu Reeves ... Julian Gitche
John Hurt ... The Countess
Rain Phoenix ... Bonanza Jellybean
Ed Begley Jr. ... Rupert
Carol Kane ... Carla
Sean Young ... Marie Barth
Crispin Glover ... Howard Barth
Roseanne Barr ... Madame Zoe (as Roseanne Arnold)
Buck Henry ... Dr. Dreyfus
Grace Zabriskie ... Mrs. Hankshaw
Treva Jeffryes Treva Jeffryes ... Young Sissy
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Storyline

Sissy Hankshaw is born with enormous thumbs that help her hitchhiking through the U.S. from a young age. She becomes a model in advertising, and her New York agent, "the Countess", sends her to his ranch in California to shoot a commercial, set against the background of mating whooping cranes. There, she befriends Bonanza Jellybean, one of the cowgirls at the beauty ranch. The cowgirls take command of the ranch from the Countess, and drug the cranes with peyote. The police besiege the ranch. Written by Pieter van Scherpenberg <mediavis@netland.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There have been many great drivers but only one great passenger.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

20 May 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Até as Vaqueiras Ficam Tristes See more »

Filming Locations:

Terrebonne, Oregon, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,710,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film cast includes seven Oscar nominees: John Hurt, Uma Thurman, Lorraine Bracco, Pat Morita, Carol Kane, Buck Henry, and Edward James Olmos. It'd be eight if River Phoenix's cameo was confirmed. See more »

Quotes

Sissy Hankshaw: They're drugged?
Bonanza Jellybean: Oh, come off it, Sissy. What do you mean, drugged? Every living thing has a chemical composition, and anything that is added to it changes that composition. If you eat a cheeseburger or a Three Musketeers bar, it changes your body chemistry. The kind of food you eat, the kind of air you breathe, can change your mental state. Does that mean you're drugged?
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the beginning, lot of stars rise in the sky. One, aside and slower than the others, writes the words "For River". [River Phoenix] See more »

Alternate Versions

Gus Van Sant's original version was first shown at the Toronto Film Festival in 1993 before the film was pulled at his own request and reworked. The most significant differences are described in a N.Y.Times article from May 15 1994: "The New York scenes, and Sissy's relationship with an urbanized Mohawk Indian (played by Keanu Reeves), were cut back in the interest of beefing up the ranch scenes and focusing more attention on the relationship between Sissy and Bonanza Jellybean, a straight-shooting cowgirl played by Rain Phoenix. The novelist William Burroughs survived the editing. Audiences will see him cross a Manhattan street, look at the traffic and utter three syllables: "Ominous." Roseanne Arnold, however, will see her cameo as a gypsy fortuneteller whittled down to a mini-cameo. Most dramatically, Mr. Van Sant shed an entire subplot, about the mysterious Clock People, keepers of the keys to cosmic consciousness, and the source of the original film's final image (as well as the clock on the paperback cover). In the first version, Sissy became pregnant after making love to the Chink, a loony visionary played by Pat Morita, who tells her she will bear a race of large-thumbed children who will roam the earth in love and peace after surviving an apocalypse. In the final frames of "Cowgirls I," Sissy's child, seen in the womb, makes hitchhiking gestures toward the audience, an invitation to the future." Van Sant is quoted in the article, that he doesn't know which version is better. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Sugarcube Critic: Elements of Harmony (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Cheso Fresco
Written by Lee Bradford and Molly Little
Performed by Palante
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unconventional and entertaining film
12 August 2012 | by oyahuascaSee all my reviews

Wow, I can't believe that the average rating for this movie is a 4! At first I thought it was rated by closed minded mainstreamers who enjoy The Avengers or Fast and Furious, but after reading the reviews I realized that most of the bad ratings come from the people who read the original novel the movie was based on, and I can totally understand where those people come from. But as a person who has not read the book and just accidentally stumbled upon this film, it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. It was strange, surprising, sexual. It kept me tuned till the end and although the original plot may have been truncated and the details emboldened by the pace of the film, I definitely don't think it deserves a 4. As a new viewer to this story, I was left with a feeling of being entertained.


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