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My Own Private Idaho
     

My Own Private Idaho

4.6 14
Director: Gus Van Sant,

Cast: Gus Van Sant, River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, James Russo

 

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Gus Van Sant's dreamtime riff on Shakespeare's "Henry IV, Parts I and II" features River Phoenix as Mike Waters, a narcoleptic male hustler who is first seen drifting on a stretch of highway in Idaho. Mike shifts from Seattle to Portland, where he has taken up with Scott Favor (Keanu Reeves), who is also a hustler. The difference between them is Mike's sleepy state

Overview

Gus Van Sant's dreamtime riff on Shakespeare's "Henry IV, Parts I and II" features River Phoenix as Mike Waters, a narcoleptic male hustler who is first seen drifting on a stretch of highway in Idaho. Mike shifts from Seattle to Portland, where he has taken up with Scott Favor (Keanu Reeves), who is also a hustler. The difference between them is Mike's sleepy state betrays an uncertain future, while Scott is ready to inherit a fortune from his father within a week. Mike feels a real affection for Scott, but Scott does not believe men can really love each other. Besides, Scott is mostly hustling as a means of slumming and killing time before he inherits his money. Mike, however, delusionally thinks Scott will continue with his life as a drifter after receiving his inheritance. Mike's belief is shared by the dregs of Portland, who live out of an abandoned hotel with their spiritual leader Bob (film director William Richert). They're convinced Scott's fortune will benefit them all, when in reality Scott has other plans.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Gus Van Sant's third feature further established him as a spokesman not just for alienated gay men but also for disaffected youth in general. A harsh, beautiful, and fervently original portrait of alienation, betrayal, and unrequited love, My Own Private Idaho was one of the defining films of both Van Sant's career and the New Queer Cinema of the 1990s. While Drugstore Cowboy (1989), Van Sant's previous film, had focused on a group of people driven to society's fringes by their drug addiction, Idaho dramatizes a group of people driven to society's fringes by their sexuality. As in Cowboy, Van Sant refrains from grand pronouncements about the lifestyle of the social/sexual outlaw; and his focus on the relationship between River Phoenix's Mike and Keanu Reeves' Scott gives the film emotional resonance. Phoenix in particular is heartbreaking as the lovelorn, narcoleptic Mike, whose campfire-side declaration of love for Scott remains one of the most poignant and honest depictions of male-to-male longing ever captured onscreen. Phoenix's quiet, raw portrayal of the young hustler would be constantly referenced in tributes to the actor following his untimely death in 1993, and the close association seems fitting: with its bleak, dreamy ambience and mournful yet unsentimental story, My Own Private Idaho feels less like a narrative than like an elegy for the romantic aimlessness of youthful alienation.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/06/2015
UPC:
0715515158619
Original Release:
1991
Rating:
R
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Time:
1:44:00
Sales rank:
18,678

Special Features

Illustrated 2005 audio conversation between Van Sant and filmmaker Todd Haynes The making of "My Private Idaho," a 2005 documentary featuring cast and crew Kings of the road, a 2005 interview with film scholar Paul Arthur on Van Sant's adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry IV and Orson Welles's Chimes at Midnight Conversation from 2005 between writer JT LeRoy and filmmaker Jonathan Caouette Deleted scenes Trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
River Phoenix Mike Waters
Keanu Reeves Scott Favor
James Russo Richard Waters
William Richert Bob Pigeon
Rodney Harvey Gary
Chiara Caselli Carmella
Jesse Thomas Denise
Flea Budd
Grace Zabriskie Alena
Missimo de Cataldo Italian Street Boy
Stanley Hainesworth Dirtman
Conrad "Bud" Montgomery Rock Promoter
Michael Parker Digger
Tom Troupe Jack Favor
Udo Kier Hans
Sally Curtice Jane Lightwork
Robert Lee Pitchlynn Walt
Mickey Cottrell Daddy Carroll
Wade Evans Wade
Matt Ebert Coverboy
Scott Patrick Green Coverboy/Cafe Kid
Tom Cramer Coverboy
Vana O'Brien Sharon Waters
Shaun Jordan Cafe Kid
Shawn Jones Cafe Kid
George Conner Bad George
Oliver Kirk Indian Cop
Joshua Halladay Baby Mike
Douglas Tollenen Little Richard
Stephen Clark Pachosa Hotel Manager
Lannie Swerdlow Disco Manager
Wally Gaarsland Rock Promoter
Brian Wilson Rock Promoter
Mark Weaver Rock Promoter
Pat Patterson Cop
Steve Vernelson Cop
Mike Cascadden Cop
Eric Hull Mayor's Aide
James A. Arling Minister
James Caviezel Airline Clerk
Ana Cavinato Stewardess
Melanie Mosely Lounge Hostess
Greg Murphy Carl
David Reppinhagen Yuppie at Jake's
Tiger Warren Himself
Pao Pei Andreoli Italian Street Boy
Robert Egon Italian Street Boy
Paolo Baiocco Italian Street Boy
Mario Stracciarolo Mike's Italian Client
Jesse Merz Mean Kid (uncredited)

Technical Credits
Gus Van Sant Director,Producer,Screenwriter
David Brisbin Production Designer
John J. Campbell Cinematographer
Curtiss Clayton Editor
Eric Alan Edwards Cinematographer
Ken Hardy Production Designer
Allan Mindel Co-producer
Laurie Parker Producer
Beatrix Aruna Pasztor Costumes/Costume Designer
Melissa Stewart Set Decoration/Design

Videos

Customer Reviews

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My Own Private Idaho 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie shows the greatness that River Phoenix would have been.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing story of an often purposely forgotten world.  Heart breaking love story.  I can't even begin to imagine what else River Phoenix would have been able to accomplish with his career.
Guest More than 1 year ago
River Phoenix is so greatly missed. The chemistry between Phoenix/Reeves is beyond amazement under the direction of Van Sant. This drama is very multi layered film with a heart felt ending that will leave you in tears. River will always be in our hearts as a truly gifted actor that will go on from generation to generations. God Bless You.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BaronessFrostbite More than 1 year ago
 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is a great tear jerker, it's one of those films where you think my life isn't that bad. I thought the film was magnificent. River Phoenix did a wonderful job as Mike Waters. It was the best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is beyond words. It has moved me so much, I feel so connected to it. All I can say is, River is amazing, Gus is amazing, Keanu is amazing. The movie is amazing. I recommend it to everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A tale of love and betrayal street life and wayward young. Captivingly erotic. River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves star as two youths from very difference socio-economic background. Mike Waters (River) is a young street hustler and Scot Favor (Keanu) is the son of the mayor of Portland. They share many adventures together roaming the back alley life of Portland. One day, Scot Favor(Keanu) decides to end his wild lifestyle and become a gentleman once his father dies and leaves him a fortune. He denounces his street friends leaving Mike to continue his seedy lifestyle alone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gus Van Sant's masterpiece My Own Private Idaho is visually stunning. His use of powerful imagery coupled with great acting performances by both Phoenix and Reeves brings a mythical feeling to the audience's viewing experiences. Van Sant's stark adaptation of Shakespeares Henry IV part I and II is an interesting one that keeps you involved throughout. The late River Phoenix in his narcoleptic role of Mike Waters is what holds the films major strength. My Own Private Idaho is not only worth watching but worth purchasing as well. Enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie changed my life when I purchased it by increasing my DVD collection to over 53 DVD's. The movie is a capitvating portrayal of life in Idaho. As an Idahoan myself I could really relate to the amount of potatoes the lead characters Rocky and Bullwinkle ate. That is about all you do in Idaho is eat Idaho potatoes some of the rebels eat Russet. I'm sorry but I digress, the best part of the movie is when River Pheonix's character does to many drugs and gets what is coming to him-death.
Guest More than 1 year ago
From the very beginning of the film, which by the way, should shock anyone, to the rolling of the final credits, I was searching for anything good in this movie. Dozens of times I was tempted to leave, but kept hoping for something good. Even attempted to retrieve my monies from the management. I do however savor this movie in one regard. I use it to compare to every other movie I watch now, fairly confident that whatever is currently on the screen, has got to be better than, My Own Private Idaho.