5.7/10
3,772
46 user 28 critic

Sonny (2002)

An honorably discharged soldier returns home to New Orleans, hoping to break away from his upbringing as a trained prostitute, but his brothel-madam mother has other expectations.

Director:

Nicolas Cage

Writer:

John Carlen

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Franco ... Sonny
Brenda Blethyn ... Jewel
Harry Dean Stanton ... Henry
Mena Suvari ... Carol
Seymour Cassel ... Albert
Brenda Vaccaro ... Meg
Josie Davis ... Gretchen
Willie Metcalf Willie Metcalf ... Cal
Janet Shea Janet Shea ... Wealthy Woman
Cary Wilmot Alden Cary Wilmot Alden ... Catherine
Nicolas Cage ... Acid Yellow
Scott Caan ... Jesse
Graham Timbes Graham Timbes ... Troy
Wallace Merck Wallace Merck ... Scott
Doug Barden Doug Barden ... Maitre d'
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Storyline

New Orleans, 1981. Sonny Phillips, just discharged from the Army, returns home where the only life he's known is as a gigolo working for his mother. He wants to leave that behind, but the job his Army buddy promised doesn't materialize, and he can't escape his past. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

His life was the morning after, until he decided to change the night before.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, language, some drug use and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 March 2003 (Greece) See more »

Also Known As:

Pony Rides See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,639, 29 December 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$17,639, 29 December 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Tommy Wiseau credits this movie as the reason he gave James Franco the green light to portray him in The Disaster Artist (2017). See more »

Quotes

Jewel: Damn stupid girl! She'd GIVE it away if I didn't stay on top of her all the time.
See more »

Connections

References Chariots of Fire (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Make Me Smile
Written by James Pankow
Performed by Chicago
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A story of love and optimism in an ugly world.
27 October 2002 | by ds4uclaSee all my reviews

Sonny, the son of a New Orleans whore, returns home from the army determined to start a new life far away from prostitution. He finds that, even in 'live and let live' New Orleans, one's past is hard to escape.

The characters in this film are disturbing, volitile and manipulative. Other times they are sensitive, caring and fragile. Even Cage's over the top portrayal of a pimp, left me with the feeling that people such as this existed in the early 80's sex industry. The film captured excellent and emotional performances by James Franco, Brenda Blethyn, Harry Dean Stanton and Mena Suvari. Nicholas Cage, in his directorial debut, brings to life a script that fits well with his 'outside the box' body of work. The unusual sound track relied heavily on Bach and Beethoven with Devo and Wall of Voodoo mixed in.

Sonny was shown to a US audience for the first time at the Virginia Film Festival in Charlottesville, Virginia. A superb Roger Ebert interview of Mr. Cage followed. During the interview, we learned that the film went into production 3 weeks after Mr.Cage decided to produce and direct the project. It was shot primarily in a French Quarter building that Mr. Cage happened upon, purchased and now does not know what to do with. Filming lasted 6 weeks. Even if you consider the fact that Nicholas Cage first read the script many years ago, intending to play the part of Sonny, it is unbelievable that this film went from 'green light' to 'in the can' in 9 weeks.


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