7.1/10
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My Own Private Idaho (1991)

R | | Drama | 20 July 1991 (Japan)
Trailer
2:16 | Trailer
Two best friends living on the streets of Portland as hustlers embark on a journey of self discovery and find their relationship stumbling along the way.

Director:

Gus Van Sant

Writer:

Gus Van Sant (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,705 ( 587)
9 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
River Phoenix ... Mike Waters
Keanu Reeves ... Scott Favor
James Russo ... Richard Waters
William Richert ... Bob Pigeon
Rodney Harvey ... Gary
Chiara Caselli ... Carmella
Michael Parker Michael Parker ... Digger
Jessie Thomas Jessie Thomas ... Denise
Flea ... Budd
Grace Zabriskie ... Alena
Tom Troupe Tom Troupe ... Jack Favor
Udo Kier ... Hans
Sally Curtice Sally Curtice ... Jane Lightwork
Robert Lee Pitchlynn Robert Lee Pitchlynn ... Walt
Mickey Cottrell ... Daddy Carroll
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Storyline

Mike Waters lives on the street and befriends the somewhat older and streetwise Scott Favor who shows him what is necessary to survive. Waters suffers from narcolepsy and can fall asleep at any moment and in almost any circumstance. Favor comes from a rich family and is rebelling against his own background. They travel together extensively - Waters is driven by the need to find his biological mother - and spend time in Italy. Later in life however, Favor has joined mainstream society and has little time for his old friend. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some people take your heart, others take your shoes, and still others take you home. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sensuality, language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | German

Release Date:

20 July 1991 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

A Caminho de Idaho See more »

Filming Locations:

Oregon, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$6,401,336

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,401,336
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo | Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Alphacine)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the first café scene, the song that can be heard playing in the background is "Too Many Colors" by River Phoenix's band, Aleka's Attic. See more »

Goofs

Mike's brother Richard speaks with a New York accent even though he's from Idaho. See more »

Quotes

Scott Favor: Getting away from everything feels good.
Mike Waters: Yeah, it does.
Scott Favor: When I left home, the maid asked me where I was off to. I said "Wherever. Whatever. Have a nice day."
Mike Waters: You had a maid. If I had a normal family, and a good up-bringing, then I would have been a well-adjusted person.
Scott Favor: It depends on what you call normal.
Mike Waters: Yeah, it does. Well, you know. Normal. Like a mom and a dad and a dog, and shit like that. Normal. Normal.
Scott Favor: So, you didn't have a normal dog?
Mike Waters: No, I didn't have a dog.
Scott Favor: Didn't... or... didn't ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in This Road Will Never End (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Der Adler
Music Composed by Tom Dokoupil
Lyrics by Udo Kier
Performed by Udo Kier and Tom Dokoupil
Courtesy of Whitehouse Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Odd, touching, River Phoenix is intensely brilliant..
10 June 2001 | by xokatyxoSee all my reviews

This is the movie that I sincerely hope River Phoenix will long be remembered for. His performance as the narcoleptic and confused street-hustler Mike is so perfect and touching and realistic that it makes me cry every time. Gus Van Sant's films often have a strange aura about them (see Drugstore Cowboy, To Die For) and never has it been more evident than in this oddly affecting road movie/drama. The camera shots of long horizon-spanning roads and skylines, fast-motion clouds, surreal and symbolic shots of houses and rushing rivers provide the film with a strange almost other-worldly charm. Interspersed with the gritty realism of life on the streets of Portland Oregon in the early 90's, and (stranger still) Shakespeare. Some of the plot (Bob and Scott mainly) is based on the Shakespeare play Henry IV (with Keanu Reeves playing the Prince Hal character of Scott, and William Richert playing the Falstaff-like role of "King-Of-The-Streets" Bob.) It's a fascinating, touching and very successful blend of styles overall. The big themes (the search for love and belonging) are conveyed in a very interesting and genuinely moving manner. I particularly enjoyed the symbolism and pathos the film flittingly suggests. The performances are uniformly excellent, and this movie remains one of my all-time favourites. One of the greatest (and most unique) indie movies of the 1990's.


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