137 user 46 critic

Breakfast of Champions (1999)

A rich car dealer is losing his mind. His son lives in the bomb shelter. His suicidal wife has an affair with his transvestite sales manager.


Alan Rudolph


Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (book), Alan Rudolph (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Willis ... Dwayne Hoover
Albert Finney ... Kilgore Trout
Nick Nolte ... Harry Le Sabre
Barbara Hershey ... Celia Hoover
Glenne Headly ... Francine Pefko
Lukas Haas ... George 'Bunny' Hoover
Omar Epps ... Wayne Hoobler
Vicki Lewis ... Grace Le Sabre
Buck Henry ... Fred T. Barry
Ken Hudson Campbell ... Eliot Rosewater / Gilbert (as Ken Campbell)
Jake Johannsen ... Bill Bailey
Will Patton ... Moe the Truck Driver
Chip Zien ... Andy Wojeckowzski
Owen Wilson ... Monte Rapid
Alison Eastwood ... Maria Maritimo


A portrait of a fictional town in the midwest that is home to a group of idiosyncratic and slightly neurotic characters. Dwayne Hoover is a wealthy car dealership owner that's on the brink of suicide, and is losing touch with reality. Written by <jkeating@fast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In a world gone mad, you can trust Dwayne Hoover.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and some language | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Buck Henry previously appeared in Harrison Bergeron (1995), which was also based on a novel by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. See more »


Dwayne Hoover: It's all life until you're dead.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, Vonnegut's drawing of an "asshole" (from the novel) is shown when "directed by Alan Rudolph" appears on the screen. See more »


Follows Mother Night (1996) See more »


Written & Performed by Martin Denny
See more »

User Reviews

17 September 1999 | by nunculusSee all my reviews

Though it's bound for negative comparison with the sober, Joe Pro, Oscar-friendly AMERICAN BEAUTY, I vastly preferred Alan Rudolph's vision of suburban life gone bonkers. His adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's best (and most scabrous) novel starts with one genius style choice: Rudolph mates the Pop Art Expressionism of Oliver Stone with the group-hug ensemble of his mentor, Robert Altman. Beneath the blizzard of smily-face pins, digital-display Colonel Sanders, and chain-diner Muzak lies a Tiffany cast. Bruce Willis is the face of desperation under a stick-on grin as the car-salesman hero, Dwayne Hoover, a small-town hero who doesn't know why he's a few cards short of a full deck. As his second banana, Nick Nolte is a dream as a hard-working joe who's so guilty about his sexual kinks they seem to leak out of him like flopsweat. And as the movie's resident seer and soothsayer--a derelict sci-fi genius named Kilgore Trout--Albert Finney is so perfect Rudolph seems to have plucked him from out of an Iowa City dumpster.

Rudolph's attempts at stars-and-stripes Expressionism don't all work; some uncharitable folks will be reminded of late-sixties I-hate-America bashes like END OF THE ROAD. But I have always had a soft spot for those pictures, and I feel protective toward BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS as well. Blessings are showered upon Bruce Willis for scratching this dark-horse project out of thin air, and upon Rudolph too. He must have known that propelling himself out of his usual world of downbeat, canoodling romanticism would pull out of him the best work of his career.

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Release Date:

18 February 1999 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Breakfast of Champions See more »

Filming Locations:

Idaho, USA See more »


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$42,326, 19 September 1999

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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