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American Beauty ()


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A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend.

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Writer:
Awards:
  • Won 5 Oscars. Another 104 wins & 100 nominations.
  • See more »

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Cast verified as complete

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Lester Burnham
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Carolyn Burnham
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Jane Burnham
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Ricky Fitts
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Angela Hayes
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Buddy Kane
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Barbara Fitts
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Colonel Fitts
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Jim Olmeyer
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Jim Berkley
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Brad
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Sale House Woman #1
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Sale House Man #1
Fort Atkinson ...
Sale House Man #2
Sue Casey ...
Sale House Woman #2
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Sale House Man #3
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Sale House Women #4
Lisa Cloud ...
Sale House Women #4
Alison Faulk ...
Spartanette #1
Krista Goodsitt ...
Spartanette #2
Lily Houtkin ...
Spartanette #3
Carolina Lancaster ...
Spartanette #4
Mona Leah ...
Spartanette #5 (as Romana Leah)
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Spartanette #6 (as Chekesa Van Putten)
Emily Zachary ...
Spartanette #7
Nancy Anderson ...
Spartanette #8
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Spartanette #9
Stephanie Rizzo ...
Spartanette #10
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Playground Girl #1
Chelsea Hertford ...
Playground Girl #2
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Christy Kane
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Catering Boss
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Mr. Smiley's Counter Girl (Janine)
Dennis Anderson ...
Mr. Smiley's Manager
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Firing Range Attendant
Erin Cathryn Strubbe ...
Young Jane
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Bartender (uncredited)
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Newscaster (uncredited)
David C. Fisher ...
Wedding Guest (uncredited)
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Advertising Executive (uncredited)
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President Ronald Reagan (uncredited) (archiveFootage)

Directed by

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Sam Mendes

Written by

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Alan Ball ... (written by)

Produced by

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Alan Ball ... co-producer
Bruce Cohen ... producer
Dan Jinks ... producer
Stan Wlodkowski ... co-producer

Music by

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Thomas Newman

Cinematography by

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Conrad L. Hall

Film Editing by

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Tariq Anwar
Christopher Greenbury

Editorial Department

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Martin Cohen ... post-production executive
Vince Filippone ... assistant editor: avid
Pj Harling ... assistant editor: avid (as P.J. Harling)
Phil Hetos ... color timer
Larry Madaras ... first assistant editor
Lisa Marie Serra ... post-production coordinator
Jeffrey Skinner ... editorial production assistant
Tracey Wadmore-Smith ... first assistant editor
Leigh Brooks ... editing technician (uncredited)
Kevin Du Toit ... post-production assistant (uncredited)

Casting By

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Debra Zane

Production Design by

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Naomi Shohan

Art Direction by

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David Lazan ... (as David S. Lazan)

Set Decoration by

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Jan K. Bergstrom

Costume Design by

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Julie Weiss

Makeup Department

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Cydney Cornell ... hair stylist: Ms. Bening
Patricia DeHaney ... key hair stylist (as Patricia Dehaney-Le May)
Julie Hewett ... makeup artist: Ms. Bening
Juliet Loveland ... makeup artist: second unit
Tania McComas ... key makeup artist
Carol A. O'Connell ... key hair stylist
Cheri Ruff ... hair stylist: second unit
Steven R. Soussanna ... hair stylist: second unit (as Steve R. Soussana)
Christine Steele ... makeup artist (as Christine M. Steele)
Debra-Lee Davidson ... additional makeup artist (uncredited)
Buffy Zerefski ... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)

Production Management

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Lisa Dennis ... post-production supervisor (as Lisa Dennis Kennedy)
Cristen Carr Strubbe ... unit production manager

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

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Tony Adler ... first assistant director
Rosemary C. Cremona ... second assistant director (as Rosemary Cremona)
Carey Dietrich ... first assistant director
Chris Edmonds ... first assistant director: second unit
Michelle Edmonds ... second assistant director: second unit
Peter E. Hirsch ... second assistant director
Stephanie Kime ... second second assistant director

Art Department

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Brook Bacon ... swing gang
Michael Casey ... lead person (as Michael P. Casey)
Kevin Chambers ... swing gang
Tony Chance ... storyboard artist
Molly Click ... art department coordinator
Andrea Dopaso ... set designer
Chris Fix ... propmaker
Rob Garlow ... propmaker foreman (as Robert Garlow)
Jim Heritage ... plasterer foreman
Mike Higelmire ... lead person (as Michael Higelmire)
Tom Hrupcho ... paint foreman
Richard W. Jones ... greens foreman
Ian Kay ... on-set dresser
Gary Kudroff ... swing gang
Carolyn Lassek ... on-set dresser
Lance Mancuso ... construction first aid
Joe Ondrejko ... construction coordinator
Lisa Penaranda ... set decoration coordinator
Lynda Reiss ... property master
Robin Richesson ... storyboard artist
John A. Scott III ... swing gang
Catherine Smith ... assistant art director
Suzan Wexler ... set designer
Angela M. Whiting ... assistant property master (as Angela Whiting)
Chris Zimmerman ... stand-by painter
Ted Haigh ... graphic artist (uncredited)
Allen Lafferty ... propmaker (uncredited)
Martin Milligan ... props (uncredited)
Angela O'Neill ... assistant property master (uncredited)
Maureen Osborne ... buyer (uncredited)
Chris Samp ... painter gang boss and stand-by painter (uncredited)
Parker Swanson ... additional props (uncredited)
Craig Zumbroegel ... propmaker (uncredited)

Sound Department

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Brian Basham ... adr recordist
Bob Beemer ... re-recording mixer
Bryan Bowen ... sound effects editor
Simon Coke ... dialogue editor
Noyan Cosarer ... re-recording mixer
Dean Drabin ... adr mixer
Carl Fischer ... boom operator
Paul Flinchbaugh ... digital sound assistant
Scott Martin Gershin ... supervising sound editor
Nerses Gezalyan ... foley mixer
Mark Gordon ... dialogue editor
Trevor Jolly ... adr supervisor
Lee W. Lebaigue ... digital sound assistant (as Lee LeBaigue)
Scott Millan ... re-recording mixer
James Moriana ... foley artist
Thomas O'Neil Younkman ... first assistant sound editor
Mark Ormandy ... additional sound
Tom Ozanich ... foley editor
Alan Rankin ... sound effects editor
Richard Van Dyke ... production sound mixer
Richard Weingart ... adr mixer
Jeffrey Wilhoit ... foley artist (as Jeffrey B. Wilhoit)
Greg Zimmerman ... foley recordist
Peter Zinda ... foley editor
David Abrahamsen ... sound (uncredited)
Sean England ... sound re-recordist (uncredited)
Tom Lalley ... sound re-recording engineer (uncredited)
Dan Lipe ... cable person (uncredited)
James Marchione ... adr recordist (uncredited)

Special Effects by

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Jason Hansen ... special effects assistant
John C. Hartigan ... special effects coordinator
Wayne Incorvaia ... special effects assistant
Eugene P. Rizzardi ... special effects assistant (as Gene Rizzardi)
Paul Sokol ... special effects assistant
Michael Thompson ... special effects assistant
Chris Walkowiak ... special effects assistant (as Christopher Walkowiak)
Jerry Miscevich ... special effects technician (uncredited)

Visual Effects by

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Jenny Behnke ... visual effects technical assistant: CFC/MVFX
John Bozzalla ... visual effects runner: CFC/MVFX
John Cassella ... 3D artist: CFC/MVFX (as John Cassella Jr.)
Robert Chapin ... 3D artist: CFC/MVFX
Nicolle Cornute ... paint/roto artist: CFC/MVFX
Matt Dessero ... visual effects compositor: CFC/MVFX
David Durham ... visual effects technical assistant: CFC/MVFX
Susan Evans ... paint/roto artist: CFC/MVFX
Donald Fly ... visual effects general manager: CFC/MVFX (as Don Fly)
Fortunato Frattasio ... visual effects compositor: CFC/MVFX
David Goldberg ... visual effects supervisor: CFC/MVFX
Nicolle Gray ... visual effects technical assistant: CFC/MVFX
Rob Hodgson ... visual effects supervisor: CFC/MVFX
Matt Magnolia ... visual effects editorial: CFC/MVFX
James M. McEwen ... visual effects gaffer: second unit (as James McEwen)
Sheldon Ramones ... visual effects technical assistant: CFC/MVFX
Tomme B. Stanley ... paint/roto artist: CFC/MVFX
Jonathan F. Styrlund ... visual effects producer: CFC/MVFX
Janet Yale ... visual effects producer: CFC/MVFX
Travis Baumann ... compositing artist (uncredited)
Paula Bonhomme ... visual effects coordinator: CFC/MVFX (uncredited)
Gregory Creaser ... digital timer: Pacific Title (uncredited)
Matt Linder ... digital artist (uncredited)
Olivier Sarda ... digital compositor (uncredited)

Stunts

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Phil Culotta ... utility stunts
Ben Scott ... stunt coordinator

Camera and Electrical Department

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Huston Beaumont ... rigging gaffer
Tom Boone ... grip
Lester Boykin ... electrician
Clyde E. Bryan ... first assistant camera
John Carney ... assistant chief lighting technician
James M. Cox ... chief lighting technician: second unit (as James Cox)
Ross Dunkerley ... electrician
John Emory ... grip
Paul Farley ... best boy grip: second unit
Carlos M. Gallardo ... dolly grip (as Carlos Gallardo)
Earl Gayer ... electrician
Mike Gentile ... second assistant camera: second unit
Ron Glenn ... grip
David Golia ... director of photography: second unit
Sergio Gutierrez ... dolly grip: second unit
Geoffrey Haley ... camera operator: video camera
Conrad W. Hall ... director of photography: second unit
Dean M. King ... best boy grip (as Dean King)
Gerald A. King ... rigging key grip (as Jerry King)
Kenneth E. King ... key grip: second unit (as Kenny King)
John Lacy ... electrician
Ralph Merzbach ... 24 frame playback technician: second unit
David H. Neale ... electrician (as David Neale)
Thomas Noroian ... grip
Aaron Pazanti ... camera operator
Patrick G. Ralston ... assistant chief lighting technician: second unit
David Riley ... first assistant camera: second unit
Lorey Sebastian ... still photographer
Tom Stern ... chief lighting technician
Michael Thomas ... camera loader
Andrew Towne ... electrician (as Andy Towne)
Suzanne Trucks ... second assistant camera (as Suzanne M. Trucks)
Donald J. Vos ... best boy grip (as Don Vos)
Bill Young ... key grip
Richard Brooks Burton ... aerial first assistant camera (uncredited)
Kelly Diehl ... libra head technician (uncredited)
Rick Grover ... grip (uncredited)
Rick Harris ... best boy rigging grip (uncredited)
Dana Kroeger ... additional camera operator (uncredited) / second assistant camera: "b" camera (uncredited)
Peter McAdams ... grip (uncredited)
Michael McCormack ... video playback operator (uncredited)
Daisuke Dice Miyake ... rigging grip (uncredited)
Robert J. Reilly ... production grip: second unit (uncredited)

Casting Department

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Raquel Osborne ... extras casting
Terri Taylor ... casting assistant

Costume and Wardrobe Department

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Marcy Grace Froehlich ... assistant costume designer (as Marcy Froehlich)
Lee Harris ... set costumer: second unit
Alix Hester ... set costumer
Hope Slepak ... costume supervisor (as Hope B. Slepak)
Sanford Slepak ... key costumer
Kanani Wolf ... set costumer

Location Management

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Christine Bonnem ... location manager
Yoshi Enoki Jr. ... assistant location manager
Chee Ho ... location assistant
Jeff Lovely ... location coordinator (uncredited)

Music Department

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Bill Bernstein ... music editor
Julian Bratolyubov ... music preparation
Jordan Corngold ... assistant music editor
Joanie Diener ... music editor
Chris Douridas ... music supervisor
Tom Hardisty ... music recordist (as Tom Hardesty)
Todd Homme ... executive in charge of music
David Marquette ... music recordist
Leslie Morris ... music contractor
Thomas Pasatieri ... orchestrator
Dennis S. Sands ... music scoring mixer (as Dennis Sands)
Bill Bernstein ... musician: detuned mandolin (uncredited)
George Budd ... musician: processed bass flute and phonograph (uncredited)
Julie Butchko ... music clearance (uncredited)
Rick Cox ... musician: banjo ukelele and bass tin whistle (uncredited)
George Doering ... musician: mandola, appalachian dulcimer and lap steel guitar (uncredited)
Bruce Dukov ... musician: arpeggiated violin (uncredited)
Michael Fisher ... musician: tablas, lim-kim drums and bird calls (uncredited)
Sean M. Hickey ... music preparation (uncredited)
Steve Kujala ... musician: flute (uncredited)
Thomas Newman ... musician: piano/saxophone (uncredited)
Chas Smith ... musician: pedal steel guitar (uncredited)
Steve Tavaglione ... musician: flute and ewi (uncredited)

Transportation Department

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Jeff Couch ... driver
Ed Evans ... driver
Jim Johnson ... driver
Alan Kaminsky ... driver (as Al Kaminsky)
A. Welch Lambeth ... transportation coordinator
Ronald Linxwiler ... driver (as Ron Linxwiler)
Randy Lovelady ... transportation captain
George R. Matejka ... driver
Hector Mendoza ... driver
Wayne Parviainen ... driver
Glen R. Polzel ... driver
Danny Routhicaux ... driver (as Daniel Routhieaux)
Paul Schwanke ... driver
Tyler Tennesen ... driver
Jon Thorgusen ... driver
David Trevino ... driver (as Dave Trevino)
Daniel Valenzuela ... driver
Bill Wolff ... driver
Prentis Woods ... driver
Mark Yacullo ... driver
Jeff Kidman ... transportation office manager (uncredited)

Other crew

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Paula Abdul ... choreographer
Newell Alexander ... adr voice
Wendy Altman-Cohen ... principal eyewear
Susan Boyajian ... adr voice
Robert D. Brugger ... first aid (as Robert Brugger)
Dana Brunetti ... assistant: Mr. Spacey
Steven Buhai ... production assistant
Jennifer Carlson ... 24 frame video playback technician
Mitch Carter ... adr voice
Mark Cirillo ... adr voice
Robert Clotworthy ... adr voice
Tara B. Cook ... assistant: Mr. Mendes
David Cowgill ... adr voice
Stephen P. Del Prete ... production assistant
Maria DeVane ... post-production accountant
Moosie Drier ... adr voice
Ike Eisenmann ... adr voice (as Iake Eissinmann)
Holiday Freeman ... stand-in (as Marina Freeman)
Maurice 'Moe' Freeman ... production assistant (as Maurice Freeman)
Marilyn Giardino ... script supervisor: second unit (as Marilyn Giardino-Zyeh)
Jackie Gonneau ... adr voice
René González ... projectionist (as Rene Gonzales)
Joy A. Green ... animal handler
Victor A. Haddox ... assistant accountant (as Victor Haddox)
Anna E. Hayward ... production assistant
Bridget Hoffman ... adr voice (as Bridgette Hoffman)
Jeff Jenofsky ... production assistant
Patricia S. Kingery ... assistant accountant (as Tricia Kingery)
Krissy Korn ... craft service: second unit (as Krissy C. Korn)
Michael Labog ... production assistant: second unit
Matthew Labyorteaux ... adr voice
David Linck ... unit publicist
Janet Lonsdale ... production accountant
Christina MacGregor ... adr voice
Nichole McWhorter ... stand-in
Pia Mehr ... studio teacher
Edie Mirman ... adr voice
Cindy Montoya-Picker ... assistant choreographer (as Cindy Picker)
Christie Moreau ... adr voice
Kim Mozingo ... assistant: Ms. Bening
Michael Musteric ... production assistant: second unit (as Michael J. Musteric)
Damon Preston ... stand-in
Ana Maria Quintana ... script supervisor
Mark Rabinowitz ... production assistant
Deborah Ricketts ... researcher
Debbie-Lynn Siegel ... payroll accountant (as Debbie Lynn Siegel)
Shannon Speaker ... assistant production coordinator
Kelly Stuart ... assistant: Mr. Cohen and Mr. Jinks
J. Ben Sykes ... production assistant
George L. Tarrant Jr. ... production assistant
Michael Torchia ... personal trainer: Mr. Spacey
Jim Turner ... production controller
Christa Vausbinder ... production coordinator
Matt Walker ... production secretary
Christian Walsh ... production assistant
Daniel J. Walsh ... stand-in
Gillian Martin Waterman ... production assistant
Charles Weaver ... craft service
Mike Welch ... assistant: Mr. Spacey
Tim Werle ... first aid
Robert 'Bobby Z' Zajonc ... pilot: second unit
Chris Douridas ... voice (uncredited)
Jason Dudek ... production assistant (uncredited)
Chloe Hunter ... photo double (uncredited)
Casey Leveque ... advertising artist (uncredited)
Chris Miller ... technical consultant (uncredited)
Steven R. Molen ... production executive (uncredited)
Mike Piccirillo ... set production assistant (uncredited)
Anthony Snow ... photo double (uncredited)

Thanks

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Nicole Kidman ... special thanks
Pete Townshend ... special thanks
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies

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Distributors

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Special Effects

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Other Companies

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

After his death sometime in his forty-third year, suburbanite Lester Burnham tells of the last few weeks of his life, during which he had no idea of his imminent passing. He is a husband to real estate agent Carolyn Burnham and father to high school student Janie Burnham. Although Lester and Carolyn once loved each other, they now merely tolerate each other. Typical wallflower Janie too hates both her parents, the three who suffer individually in silence in their home life. Janie tries to steer clear of both her parents. Carolyn, relatively new to the real estate business, wants to create the persona of success to further her career, she aspiring to the professional life of Buddy Kane, the king of the real estate business in their neighborhood. Lester merely walks mindlessly through life, including at his job in advertising. His company is downsizing, and he, like all the other employees, has to justify his position to the newly hired efficiency expert to keep his job. Things change for Lester when he falls in love at first sight with Janie's more experienced classmate, Angela Hays. Both Janie and Angela can see Lester's sexual infatuation with Angela, who courts such attention from any man as a sign that she is model material, she having once appeared in Seventeen and it a career to which she aspires. Lester's infatuation with Angela gives him a reenergized view on life, where he openly doesn't care anymore what anyone thinks about what he does, anyone except Angela. This infatuation coincides with the Fittses moving in next door: homophobic disciplinarian US Marine Colonel Frank Fitts who rules the house with a military fist (that fist being both figurative and literal), his semi-comatose wife Barbara Fitts, and their bright and quietly subversive eighteen year old son Ricky Fitts, who openly abides by his father's rules while behind the scenes lives by his own quite different perspective. Much like Lester's infatuation, Ricky immediately becomes infatuated with Janie, he who considers girls like Angela as ordinary. The entry of Angela and the Fittses into the Burnhams' lives ultimately leads to each of the players confronting what is truly in his or her heart. Written by Huggo

Plot Keywords
Taglines ... look closer See more »
Genres
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Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • Beleza Americana (Portugal)
  • Ve Dep My (Vietnam)
  • Američka lepota (Serbia)
  • Belleza americana (Peru)
  • Tabamatu ilu (Estonia)
  • See more »
Runtime
  • 122 min
Official Sites
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Language
Color
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $15,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend United States $861,531, 19 Sep 1999
Cumulative Worldwide Gross $226,200,000

Did You Know?

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Trivia When Lester throws the asparagus, he was supposed to throw it on the floor. The reactions of Annette Bening and Thora Birch are genuine. See more »
Goofs In the dinner scene where Lester throws the bowl of asparagus against the wall the picture frame has been centered between the windows over the console table, and the table lamp visible in an earlier scene has been removed. These changes are not down to continuity as such. The script originally prompted for Lester to throw the plate on the floor, however it was decided that he throw it against the wall instead without the knowledge of Annette Bening or Thora Birch. It had to be done in one take (which it was) to get a real shock reaction. The lamp was removed to avoid any debris knocking it over, and the picture was repositioned in-line with Lester's aim for a clean throw and to minimize any risk of Kevin Spacey knocking the picture off the wall spoiling the 'one-take shot'. See more »
Movie Connections Edited into Sex at 24 Frames Per Second (2003). See more »
Soundtracks Because See more »
Crazy Credits thanks to all at the Donmar Warehouse in London and Dr. Bill and Alice See more »
Quotes [last lines]
Lester Burnham: [narrating] I had always heard your entire life flashes in front of your eyes the second before you die. First of all, that one second isn't a second at all, it stretches on forever, like an ocean of time... For me, it was lying on my back at Boy Scout camp, watching falling stars... And yellow leaves, from the maple trees, that lined our street... Or my grandmother's hands, and the way her skin seemed like paper... And the first time I saw my cousin Tony's brand new Firebird... And Janie... And Janie... And... Carolyn. I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me... but it's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst... And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life... You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry... you will someday.
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