47 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.


Nicolas Cage


John Carlen
1 nomination. See more awards »




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 ... Scott
Doug Barden Doug Barden ... Maitre d'


1981: Sonny is the son of Jewel who runs a small brothel in New Orleans. He returns home from the army, staying with his mother while waiting to start the job an army buddy of his promised him. Jewel tries to convince him to come back to working for her as he had before the army, saying many of his old clients still miss him and he was the best gigolo she had ever had. He repeatedly turns her down, wanting to leave that life behind. However, the job he was promised never materializes and he is forced to return to working for his mother. Jewel had recently recruited a new girl to the brothel, Carol, who meets him and falls in love with him. They talk of getting out together. One of Carol's clients, an older man, proposes to her. She initially declines, hoping to go away with Sonny. She and Sonny fall out as he fails to make an effort to get out of the business, instead becoming increasingly introverted and depressed, with occasional outbursts as he looks for more work. Ultimately, ... Written by Wiki

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


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 »

Did You Know?


Harry Dean Stanton and Nicolas Cage appeared together in Wild at Heart (1990). He also appeared in The Godfather: Part II (1974)., directed by his uncle, Francis Ford Coppola. See more »


Acid Yellow: Cut is face! Cut his mother-fuckin' face!
See more »


Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »


Sweet Dreams
Written by Don Gibson
Performed by Patsy Cline
See more »

User Reviews

Semi-Autobiographical Work
8 November 2005 | by murileySee all my reviews

"I was fortunate enough to watch it on an import Region-1 DVD, and was struck by the non-judgmental approach and sensitivity of the director & cast dealing with such a rough story line."------I can explain this; I knew the writer of this film many years ago. This is essentially his own life story. Except I believe this movie takes place in New Orleans; in real life it was Galveston, Texas. I've read a number of his unproduced scripts and many of them deal with this same theme. God knows what would have happened to him if he hadn't become a writer. Interesting side bit about John Carlen. He was mentored by the late Edward Bunker, who was also a jailhouse writer but was perhaps best known for playing "Mr. Blue" in Reservoir Dogs. I guess Mr. Bunker was kind of a violent guy, because the two of them fell out and Carlen was so worried that Bunker was coming after him that he went into hiding.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 47 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

21 March 2003 (Greece) See more »

Also Known As:

Pony Rides See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,639, 29 December 2002

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed