7.7/10
19,655
117 user 104 critic

The Man Without a Past (2002)

Mies vailla menneisyyttä (original title)
The second part of Aki Kaurismäki's "Finland" trilogy, the film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki and gets beaten up so severely he develops amnesia. Unable to remember his name or ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... M
... Irma
Juhani Niemelä ... Nieminen
Kaija Pakarinen ... Kaisa Nieminen
... Anttila
Annikki Tähti ... Manager of Flea Market
... Bar Owner
... Dock Clerk
... Bank Clerk
Esko Nikkari ... Bank Robber
Pertti Sveholm ... Police Detective
Matti Wuori ... Layer
Aino Seppo ... Ex-wife
... Ovaskainen
Antti Reini ... Electrician
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Storyline

The second part of Aki Kaurismäki's "Finland" trilogy, the film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki and gets beaten up so severely he develops amnesia. Unable to remember his name or anything from his past life, he cannot get a job or an apartment, so he starts living on the outskirts of the city and slowly starts putting his life back on track. Written by Jussi Tarvainen <jussi_tarvainen_84@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

1 March 2002 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

The Man Without a Past  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

FIM 8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$22,392 (Finland), 8 November 2002

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,281, 6 April 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$921,547, 21 September 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film won the London Evening Standard's "Palm Dog" award at the Cannes Film Festival for the best animal role. The winning dog's name, aptly, is Tähti ("Star" in Finnish). See more »

Goofs

The Helsinki railway station's extension roof is clearly visible at the opening scene, but it hadn't been build yet in 1996 (the year can be read from the newspaper). See more »

Quotes

M: What do I owe you?
Electrician: If you ever find me face down in the gutter, turn me around to my back.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Laitakaupungin valot (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Hawaii No Yoru
Performed by Crazy Ken Band
(Ken Yokoyama)
Published by BMG Funhouse Music
Publishing/Double Joy Records
From Crazy Ken Band's album "Goldfish Bowl"
(P) & © 1999 Double Joy Records
Licensed courtesy of Double Joy Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Utterly delightful
24 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

This film is about as fast paced as Finnish films get, I guess. Don't look for a lot of facial expressions and a lot of overt body language because you ain't gonna get it. The film moves slowly like a Saami joiking in the sauna but it wonderful to behold with each deliberate step it takes. The characters may seem a little stiff to those of us unfamiliar with the inscrutable Finns but the great Finnish reserve which overlays the story line is tweaking at our whiskers at every shuffle forward in the story. It is really amazing that we have not seen other Finnish works before. This kind of off-the-wall story which has a wonderful basis of humanity underneath the more real than life characters clustered around a site with little or no conveniences of modern living in their sea container households. The odyssey of M who wanders through his voyage in search of himself only to be reconciled not with his long suffering and long awaiting Penelope but with a frustrated but good-hearted Major Barbara.

There are lots of puns visual and otherwise with the threads of incompetent cops, doctors, nurses, employment office workers interwoven with a comical wannabe bad-guy overseer, a rock'n roll Salvation Army band, a torch-songstress SA Major and the philosophical hero who honestly can't remember.

Check this one out without fail. It's pure fun...but just don't expect it run along at breakneck speed ala Hollywood...!


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