4.6/10
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135 user 44 critic

Breakfast of Champions (1999)

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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Alan Rudolph

Writers:

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (book), Alan Rudolph (screenplay)

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »

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Director: Stuart Gordon
Stars: Gary Graham, Anne-Marie Johnson, Paul Koslo
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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 February 1999 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Autokauppias Jumalan armosta See more »

Filming Locations:

Idaho, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$42,326, 19 September 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$175,370, 19 December 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

At one point, Moe (Will Patton) gives Kilgore Trout (Albert Finney) a lift in his truck. Patton wears a woolly hat throughout this scene. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

References Tugboat Annie (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Similau
Written by Arden Clar, Harry Coleman
Performed by Martin Denny
See more »

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User Reviews

Unfunny things are happening to Dwayne Hoover
11 July 2000 | by stephen nizSee all my reviews

Kurt Vonnegut's satirical novel of 1973 resonates as deeply now as it did way back then. The themes of suburban paranoia and soulless consumerism have motivated some of the best films of the last twelve months, so an inspired interpretation of Breakfast of Champions would have been warmly endorsed.

It's clearly been a labour of love for director Alan Rudolph, who has tried for twenty years to make this film. Sadly, twenty years of work appears to have produced one bad draft copy. And Rudolph does not have the slightest grasp on what is funny.

Nick Nolte wanders aimlessly around in a dress but it isn't funny. Albert Finney searches out his chaotic literary masterpieces in pornographic magazines but it isn't funny. Barbara Hershey's character is a product of the chaos, but her appearances lack a motive. She isn't required until the film bursts into chaotic life in its last ten minutes.

This means three great actors are left stranded. It results in the unlikely event of Bruce Willis stealing the acting honours. He is good, but one feels it would have been no great stretch to act insane.

Among the problems here is that the film keeps its feet on the ground. While we're expected to believe the world has gone mad, the actual events are as uninspired as they are unfunny. This doesn't mean it is any easier to understand. In fact, without having read the novel, you'd most likely be lost from the beginning.

The chaos of Vonnegut's vision was its real joy. The way characters conspired to come together was inventive. The film though plays like a cliche. The ending is anarchic, but you get the impression it only serves one purpose: to stop you making rational sense of the rest of the film. And as much as you want to like it, or applaud Rudolph's commitment, the truth is that BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS is a sad, poor film.


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