50 user 94 critic

The Devil and Daniel Johnston (2005)

2:23 | Trailer
Daniel Johnston, manic-depressive genius singer/songwriter/artist is revealed in this portrait of madness, creativity and love.


Jeff Feuerzeig


Jeff Feuerzeig
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Daniel Johnston ... Self
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Laurie Allen Laurie Allen ... Self
Brian Beattie Brian Beattie ... Self
Louis Black ... Self
David Fair David Fair ... Self
Jad Fair Jad Fair ... Self
Don Goede Don Goede ... Self
Matt Groening ... Self
Gibby Haynes ... Self
Sally Johnston Reid Sally Johnston Reid ... Self
Bill Johnston Bill Johnston ... Self
Dick Johnston Dick Johnston ... Self
Mabel Johnston Mabel Johnston ... Self
Margie Johnston Margie Johnston ... Self
Ken Lieck Ken Lieck ... Self


Born January 22, 1961, the late Daniel Johnston began expressing himself through art as a child while doctors struggled to accurately diagnose his unusual behavior. In addition to drawing prolifically, he began using a boombox record curiously stirring songs to cassette tape in high school. Following his brother to Texas, he eventually landed in Austin, working unskilled jobs while continuing to record and self-distribute music to friends and friendly strangers. It was clear to everyone that Daniel was not a typical artist - a disquieting innocence, with references to both light and dark spiritual forces, were evident throughout his work. It was this distinctive voice that compelled local musicians to share his art beyond Austin's city limits, culminating in respected indie musicians like Tom Waits, Beck, and Wilco to either record his songs or reach out to collaborate. Four years in the making, THE DEVIL AND DANIEL JOHNSTON honors the complex artistry of Daniel Johnston while ... Written by Mae Moreno

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, drug content, and language including a sexual reference | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


As seen in the DVD extras, Daniel and Laurie would meet again after 30+ years following a screening of this film. She said she kept every memento he gave her and was grateful that he always built up her self esteem and said so many nice things to her when they were friends. The two shared a beautiful moment with a nice hug when they saw each other again. See more »


Daniel Johnston: I never met a girl I didn't meet.
See more »


References Play Misty for Me (1971) See more »


My Yoke Is Heavy
Written by Daniel Johnston
Performed by Daniel Johnston
Published by Eternal Yip Eye Music (BMI)
Administered by BUG Music Publishing
Courtesy of Daniel Johnston
See more »

User Reviews

fantastic study of mental illness, and our desire to romanticise
11 January 2007 | by chrissyresidesSee all my reviews

I watched this knowing that I am not a big fan of the music of Daniel Johnston, but found it ceaselessly moving and fascinating. No just because of Daniel's unstoppable creativity and heartbreaking slump into ever increasing circles of mental illness, but because of the honesty of people around him. Saying that they were scared, that they just wanted him to go to hospital and get better, the truth... I really thought this film would be a bog standard "worship the romantic tortured genius" thing, but it actually gave you a really authentic feeling of how terrifying and uncontrollable mental illness truly is. Also, let's see more Daniel Johnston cartoons, the bit with the eye ball flying out of the head on the stack of comic books was absolute genius.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 50 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

5 May 2006 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Devil and Daniel Johnston See more »

Filming Locations:

Austin, Texas, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,192, 2 April 2006

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed