Arizona Dream

( 3 )

Overview

Director Emir Kusturica and screenwriter David Atkins crafted this absurdist comedy in which Johnny Depp plays Axel Blackmer, who lives in New York State and is obsessed with fish. He tags fish and monitors their habits for a living, but his greatest curiosity is when and how they dream. Axel's uncle, Leo Sweetie Jerry Lewis would prefer Axel take over the family business, a Cadillac dealership in Tucson, Arizona; against his better judgment, Axel drives from New York to Arizona to check out the lot and attend ...
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Overview

Director Emir Kusturica and screenwriter David Atkins crafted this absurdist comedy in which Johnny Depp plays Axel Blackmer, who lives in New York State and is obsessed with fish. He tags fish and monitors their habits for a living, but his greatest curiosity is when and how they dream. Axel's uncle, Leo Sweetie Jerry Lewis would prefer Axel take over the family business, a Cadillac dealership in Tucson, Arizona; against his better judgment, Axel drives from New York to Arizona to check out the lot and attend Leo's wedding to Millie Paulina Porizkova, a woman who is hoping that marriage will keep her from crying all the time. While watching the Cadillacs, Leo meets Elaine Stalker Faye Dunaway, the sexy widow of a wealthy mine owner, and the two strike up a romance, while Elaine's daughter Grace Lili Taylor wanders through her mother's home playing "Besame Mucho" on the accordion to her pet turtles. Needless to say, Warner Bros, the film's United States distributor, didn't figure this was a sure bet for box-office success, and they trimmed Arizona Dream of 22 minutes before putting it into limited release and eventually dumping it onto home video without opening it in most major cities. Kusturica's original 142-minute cut was released in Europe where it did respectable if not ground-shaking business and to a few art houses in America; the shortened 120-minute version is available on home video.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Clark
Just the type of movie you'd expect with a cast as bizarre as Johnny Depp, Faye Dunaway, Jerry Lewis, and Vincent Gallo, this oddity from the always interesting Emir Kusturica is sometimes maddeningly uneven (not to mention completely random), but represents the kind of off-the-wall filmmaking that general audiences so rarely see. The film features Dunaway in top form, and helps secure Depp's reputation as one of Hollywood's most challenging actors, willing to give his all even in roles that seem half-baked, as this one sometimes does. The back-story on Arizona Dream is almost as interesting as the film itself: reportedly, Kusturica walked off the set following a dispute with the producers and agreed to return only if the film was made on his terms. Additionally, there are two cuts of the film: the 119-minute U.S. and British version, and a 142-minute European version that was shown around the country in 1995 after the film garnered a surprising cult following, thereby broadening its exposure.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/16/2010
  • UPC: 883316236635
  • Original Release: 1993
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Time: 1:59:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 17,066

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Johnny Depp Axel Blackmar
Jerry Lewis Leo Sweetie
Faye Dunaway Elaine Stalker
Lili Taylor Grace Stalker
Vincent Gallo Paul Leger
Paulina Porizkova Millie
Ann Schulman Carla
Michael J. Pollard Paul
Tricia Leigh Fisher Lindy
Technical Credits
Emir Kusturica Director, Original Story
David Atkins Original Story, Screenwriter
Goran Bregovic Score Composer
Richard Brick Co-producer
Vilko Filac Cinematographer
Paul R. Gurian Executive Producer
K.C. Hodenfield Asst. Director
Greg Landerer Special Effects
Yves Marmion Producer
Jill M. Ohanneson Costumes/Costume Designer
Claudie Ossard Producer
Jan Pascale Art Director
Patty York Makeup
Andrija Zafranovic Editor
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Dreamy!

    Definitely a classic for my video collection. Acting is superb, but the roles border on surreal characterization. The plot played out is ridiculous, but it allows you to experience lots of laughs due to the absurdity of the relationships and emotional entanglements.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2003

    Tragic Comedy at it's Best!

    A few years ago I rented this film just because it had Johnny Depp and Jerry Lewis in it and I needed to fill out my three videos for two days special. Wow! much like Blade Runner this excellent movie was/is a sleeper. It was release in the US with little fan fair and had it not been for that, I'm sure this film would have been hugely successful. I found it's metaphorical comment on the absurd nature of the human condition to be gripping, touching and at times maddening in an insightful sort of way. If you watch this film, be prepared to pay attention. Almost every scene has a special significance or an inner meaning. Scenes that made you laugh out loud the first time you viewed Arizona Dream are just as likely to bring a tear to your eye the next time you view it, if you get it. If you don¿t get it you will walk away wondering what you just watched. It¿s kind of like reading Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, some people get it, others¿

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2000

    Fave Movie of All Time!

    This movie is incredible - I stumbled upon it one day in a small town with nothing elser showing. The direction and acting are both superb...and to think I only went to see it for Johnny Depp!

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews