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
1,140 ( 279)
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:

Life is a terrible thing to sleep through. 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 wanted to play Gilbert Grape as someone who seems constantly half asleep or half awake--someone numb to the peculiarities in his life. Juliette Lewis completely agreed with his interpretation of the character. Even still, Depp worried he was boring by playing Gilbert so mildly. Lasse Hallström, however, agreed with Lewis, and thought that Depp nailed the part. See more »

Goofs

The total changes on the cash register in the grocery store scene between Gilbert and Betty even though he does not enter any items during their conversation. See more »

Quotes

Arnie Grape: I could go at any time.
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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 Indiscretion of an American Wife
by Alessandro Cicognini
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User Reviews

Di Caprio Should Have Won The Oscar
20 February 2018 | by slightlymad22See all my reviews

Continuing my plan to watch every Johnny Depp movie in order, I come to What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

"Match in the gas tank... Boom. Boom."

This movie belongs to three actors. Personally I think Di Caprio deserves the Oscar that year. Taking nothing away from Tommy Lee Jones (an actor I like) in The Fugitive, but I think he was the least deserving that year. amongst some great nominees. Depp (with a gingerish hair do) is the movies emotional core and continues to be great. His face and eyes are so expressive. And finally Darlene Cates as Gilbert's obese mother.

Juliette Lewis, Mary Steenburgen, Kevin Tighe and John C Rielly are all good but the movie belongs to those 3.

It's a slow burner and I can see why it's not for everyone, but I enjoy think it's great. No over use of CGI or special effects at all. No gun fights or chases. Just wonderful performances telling a story.

What's Eating Gilbert Grape recieved good reviews and Di Caprio was nominated for an Oscar, but the movie only grossed $10 million at the domestic box office, not landing a place on the top 100 highest grossing movie of the year.


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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
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