7.8/10
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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)
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Popularity
356 ( 358)
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:

Arnie knows a secret. His big brother Gilbert is the greatest person on the planet. 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

Lasse Hallström admitted that a lot of himself is reflected in Gilbert Grape's character. See more »

Goofs

When the family go to find Arnie (after Gilbert hit him) they are at Becky's trailer. It is clearly very dark when they set out to find Arnie. In all the shots of Gilbert, the sky is dark, but in the shots of Arnie/Becky the sky is light as though it is dawn. See more »

Quotes

Gilbert: You don't hurt Arnie, you just don't.
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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 The Cleveland Show: Brown History Month (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Waterfalls
Written and Performed by Joseph S. DeBeasi
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User Reviews

 
The family that binds us
8 March 2006 | by Vomitron_GSee all my reviews

Truly, this is one beautiful movie. It doesn't go for cheap tears but in the end you must feel something, otherwise you simply don't have a heart. It's about a town, Endora, where nothing ever happens. In that town live the Grapes, a fatherless family that consists of a mother of elephant-like proportions, two sisters and two brothers (one of them being retarded).

All the acting ranks from very good to excellent. Johnny Depp is so lovable as Gilbert Grape, the twenty-year-old son who tries to do good for everyone but doesn't know quite what he wants for himself yet. Leonardo DiCaprio is simply amazing as the retarded Arnie. He rightfully got an Oscar-nomination for his roll. At the time I saw this movie, I didn't know him yet, so at some moments I actually thought that he really could be a retarded actor (that's a big complement, isn't it?).

The plot isn't too spectacular, but keeps you interested 'cause actually a lot of things do happen to certain character's in this sleepy town. A lot of things the characters say and do seem superficial, but actually aren't meaningless as they lead to other events in the story. And the arrival of Becky (Juliette Lewis) and her mother make things interesting for Gilbert. The ending is unexpected, very solid and sad. And then there's the little epilogue...

This simply is a great movie: Good story, good acting, good directing. And that's all it takes. Watch it and allow yourselves to be moved by the Grapes.


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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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