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What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

PG-13 | | Drama | 4 March 1994 (USA)
A young man in a small Midwestern town struggles to care for his mentally-disabled younger brother and morbidly obese mother while attempting to pursue his own happiness.

Director:

Lasse Hallström

Writers:

Peter Hedges (novel), Peter Hedges (screenplay)
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Popularity
829 ( 131)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Depp ... Gilbert Grape
Leonardo DiCaprio ... Arnie Grape
Juliette Lewis ... Becky
Mary Steenburgen ... Betty Carver
Darlene Cates ... Momma
Laura Harrington ... Amy Grape
Mary Kate Schellhardt ... Ellen Grape
Kevin Tighe ... Mr. Carver
John C. Reilly ... Tucker Van Dyke
Crispin Glover ... Bobby McBurney
Penelope Branning Penelope Branning ... Becky's Grandma
Tim Green Tim Green ... Mr. Lamson
Susan Loughran Susan Loughran ... Mrs. Lamson
Robert B. Hedges Robert B. Hedges ... Minister (as Rev. Robert B. Hedges)
Mark Jordan Mark Jordan ... Todd Carver
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Storyline

What's Eating Gibert Grape is a beautifully shot movie of tenderness, caring and self-awareness that is set amongst the fictional working class one street town Endora. Centred around the Grape family Ellen and Amy and their two brothers Arnie and Gilbert, who, along with their morbidly obese widowed mother Bonnie Grape are striving to survive and coexist with the absence of a father figure, low wage work and seventeen-year-old Arnie's severe mental condition. It is in this awkward and extremely one sided affair that the unfortunate Gilbert has to constantly, while working for the town's slowly dying convenience store, take care of his younger brother Arnie. Gilbert's life, his future, is thwarted he knows this, but it is in this guardian angel that his love and bond for Arnie cannot, and will not, be let go. That is until the free spirit of Becky arrives in town, and with her grandmother are stranded for the week while waiting for parts for their vehicle. This realization unties new ... Written by Cinema_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Arnie: Tomorrow's my birthday, I'm gonna have a party and you're not invited. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for elements of mature subject matter | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 March 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

What's Eating Gilbert Grape See more »

Filming Locations:

Georgetown, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$74,421, 19 December 1993

Gross USA:

$10,032,765

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,032,765
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Johnny Depp felt bad about having to ridicule Darlene Cates' character, "Momma," and would often apologize to her after shooting. Depp once said to Cates, "Man, I want you to know how much I hated having to say those things about you, or about your character." See more »

Goofs

When eating watermelon at the trailer, Becky's watermelon slice changes the amount eaten as well as amount of seeds between takes. See more »

Quotes

Momma: You left, and I hate that. You know I hate that.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Zack Files: What's Eating Zack Greenburg? (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Music from 'Harmony Lane'
(Harmony Lane (1935))
by Arthur Kay
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

DiCaprio Is Excellent
3 January 2004 | by demelza3000See all my reviews

I saw this movie a couple of years ago and have seen it many times since. I have worked with special needs children for nearly 20 years, and Leonardo DiCaprio gives an excellent performance as a mentally challenged teenager. His mannerisms and vocal inflection as Arnie were dead on. I had never been a DiCaprio fan until I watched this movie, now I see him in a completely different light. He SO deserved an Oscar for this performance. It puts that whole Dustin Hoffman/Rainman performance to shame.

Beyond this outstanding performance is an incredible movie. What is eating Gilbert Grape indeed? Oh, just a loony housewife that wants him at every turn, a mother who requires as much care as a child and a mentally challenged brother who requires almost as much care as a toddler. What is not eating him alive is a better question. The anger culminates in a harsh scene with Arnie. That scene is so real it tears my heart out.

Fabulous film, fantastic performances. One of my favorites.


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