7.8/10
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359 user 90 critic

What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

PG-13 | | Drama | 4 March 1994 (USA)
Trailer
2:11 | Trailer
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)
Reviews
Popularity
1,359 ( 354)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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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

Johnny Depp Through the Years

Take a look back at Johnny Depp's movie and TV career in photos.

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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:

An unusual story of life...and love in the heartland. 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Johnny Depp admitted that he got easily irritated by co-star Leonardo DiCaprio during the filming of the movie. In an interview, Depp said, "It was a hard time for me, that film, for some reason. I don't know why. I tortured him (Leonardo DiCaprio). I really did. He was always talking about these video games, you know? I told you it was kind of a dark period... 'No, I will not give you a drag of my cigarette while you hide from your mother again, Leo.'" Depp concluded, "I'd say the absolute truth is that I respect Leo a lot. He worked really hard on that film, and spent a lot of time researching. He came to set and he was ready to work hard and all his ducks were in a row." See more »

Goofs

When Gilbert is looking at Becky through the grocery store shelves, you can see six or seven loaves of different varieties of Mrs Baird's bread, which is a Texas (not Iowa) bakery. See more »

Quotes

Momma: [meeting for the first time] Hello.
Becky: Hi.
Momma: I haven't always been like this.
Becky: Well, I haven't always been like this, either.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The cast is listed with all capital letters in the ending credits. Leonardo DiCaprio's name is listed in capital letters with smaller font size for character "I" in "Di". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kicking and Screaming (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Music from 'Sorry, Wrong Number'
(Sorry, Wrong Number (1948))
by Franz Waxman
See more »

User Reviews

 
A Truly Remarkable Film
31 December 2004 | by Memegan2005See all my reviews

This film is marvelous.

Focusing on the angst of an unwanted small-town life, the film follows the daily life of Johnny Depp's Gilbert Grape. He is sarcastic yet introverted, protective yet shy.

His mentally-challenged brother, Leonardo Dicaprio's Arnie, steals the heart and full attention of the audience. His depiction of a teenager trapped in the inescapable bind of mental retardation is moving and real, deserving of the 1993 Oscar Award Nomination.

Darlene Cates, who plays Momma, delivers a truly remarkable performance. Her display of motherly devotion, emotional turmoil and daily physical struggle are deserving of grand recognition.

Gilbert's life is turned around by the unexpected introduction of Juliette Lewis's Becky. Becky's free-spirited and optimistic take on life greatly influence's Gilbert's own life.

WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE is deeply tragic yet deeply real tale of a complicated family stuck in a simple town. The performances of Johnny Depp, Leonardo Dicaprio, Darlene Cates and Juliette Lewis are unmatched and truly wonderful. It is a film woven together with comedy, drama, love and everyday emotion, perfected with beautiful cinematography and superb directing.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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