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Natural Born Killers (1994)

R | | Crime, Drama | 26 August 1994 (USA)
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1:44 | Trailer

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Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.

Director:

Oliver Stone

Writers:

Quentin Tarantino (story), David Veloz (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
1,129 ( 52)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Woody Harrelson ... Mickey Knox
Juliette Lewis ... Mallory Knox
Tom Sizemore ... Det. Jack Scagnetti
Rodney Dangerfield ... Ed Wilson, Mallory's Dad
Everett Quinton Everett Quinton ... Deputy Warden Wurlitzer
Jared Harris ... London Boy
Pruitt Taylor Vince ... Deputy Warden Kavanaugh
Edie McClurg ... Mallory's Mom
Russell Means ... Old Indian
Lanny Flaherty ... Earl
O-Lan Jones ... Mabel
Robert Downey Jr. ... Wayne Gale
Richard Lineback ... Sonny
Kirk Baltz ... Roger
Ed White ... Pinball Cowboy
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Storyline

Mickey Knox and Mallory Wilson aren't your typical lovers - after killing her abusive father, they go on a road trip where, every time they stop somewhere, they kill pretty well everyone around them. They do however leave one person alive at every shootout to tell the story and they soon become a media sensation thanks to sensationalized reporting. Told in a highly visual style. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A bold new film that takes a look at a country seduced by fame, obsessed by crime and consumed by the media. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for extreme violence and graphic carnage, for shocking images, and for strong language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Navajo | Japanese

Release Date:

26 August 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Natural Born Killers See more »

Filming Locations:

Las Vegas, New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$34,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,166,687, 28 August 1994, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$50,282,766
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Black and White | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Quentin Tarantino claimed to hate the final version of the film, up until meeting Johnny Cash in an elevator once. Cash told Tarantino that both he and his wife June were fans of his and that they especially liked this movie. Tarantino also stated that the fact that the producers allowed him to publish his original screenplay helped him get over his hate, as his main concern was that viewers would credit him with material he had no hand in creating, and would not have created at all. See more »

Goofs

When Mallory attacks Scagnetti in her cell and the guards rush to unlock it, you can clearly see it is at the end of a hallway (one guard pushes the other one out of the way as they both scramble to unlock it. But when Mickey reaches Mallory's 'cell' to rescue her, he enters two doors before where hers would be. See more »

Quotes

[McClusky tackles an inmate]
Dwight McClusky: Put him in F Block for a month, then bring him to see me!
Jack Scagnetti: Jesus Christ, Dwight. You could be on "American Gladiators".
Dwight McClusky: Thirty minutes a day, just shake and roll it... doesn't take much. Someone goes for you, you go right for the throat, Jack.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits are superimposed over a vast amount of stock footage, ranging from the future of Mickey and Mallory, stock A-Bomb tests, childhood photos of Mickey and Mallory, time-lapse footage, scenes from the movie, and so on. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Director's Cut was originally released by Vidmark Video, after Warner Bros. refused to distribute it because of a company policy that won't allow them to release unrated or NC-17 rated tapes (the Director's Cut was unrated). The Warner Bros. logo was thus removed from the beginning of the film. However, in 2009, Warner Bros. did release their own edition of the Director's Cut, in which the logo was restored. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Halt and Catch Fire: Search (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Madame Butterfly
Written by Giacomo Puccini
Performed by Chorus of the Sofia National Opera and Ballet (as The Sofia National Opera Chorus & Orchestra)
Courtesy of Delta Music Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
You'll love it or hate it.
4 May 2005 | by MovieAddict2016See all my reviews

I remember "Natural Born Killers" making a huge fuss when it was released because the media and conservative families were in an outrage over the level of "glorified violence" in the film. To some extent they were right -- the violence isn't glorified but much of it is unnecessary. The movie could still be a brilliant satire of society/the media without going into such graphic detail -- it's been proved in cinema before that sometimes seeing less is better than gratuity. If Oliver Stone's movie has one outstanding flaw, it's the lack of subtlety.

That said, if you can handle the level of violence and take it tongue-in-cheek, "Natural Born Killers" is so bizarre and funny that it's worth the "trip." (Pun intended.) This is a crazy drug odyssey that would have made Hunter S. Thompson look like Ronald Reagan. The film is twisted, outlandish and out of its mind -- Oliver Stone has gone stone-cold crazy and it's awesome.

Despite my reservations about his lack of subtlety, there is a flip side to the coin: It is a story about excess. Stone's film-making has gone somewhat awry over the years (look at the pointless excess of his films after this), but this fits the bill because it IS a story of excess.

Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis play the titular "Natural Born Killers," Mickey and Mallory, a pair of crazy serial killers who both suffered traumatic childhoods and are now rampaging America on a literal killing spree.

After they are finally apprehended, the media has by now turned them into such icons and glorified personalities that the public and media seems to respect them as titans of filth.

This is where the social satire of the film comes into play, essentially saying: We focus more on the killers than the heroes.

I do think it's a bit hypocritical of Oliver Stone to attempt to point this out, as he is a die-hard liberal at his core and, as the controversy surrounding this film's release proved, the conservatives are too conservative to praise killers. It seems to be the liberal media that glorifies violence (to some extent of course) so I thought Stone would be the last person to ever criticize the media.

So yes it does come across as somewhat of a moot point but nevertheless the film is still enjoyable despite its sometimes sickening amount of over-the-top violence (the opening sequence of the Director's Cut is stomach-turning).

The cast is superb - Rodney Dangerfield, Robert Downey Jr., Tommy Lee Jones, Tom Sizemore, Edie McClurg (the rental car agent from "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" and Rooney's assistant in "Ferris Bueller"!) and Denis Leary and Ashley Judd in deleted scenes included in the Director's Cut.

The story was conceived by Quentin Tarantino (and it's very similar to his "True Romance" script -- a sort of modern-day "Bonnie and Clyde Redux") and re-written by Stone (much to the chagrin of QT). I'm not sure which would have made for a better film but, despite its flaws (which are mainly a none-too-subtle message and too much violence), "Natural Born Killers" is a sort of bizarre, outlandish masterpiece of drugged-out cinema. --


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