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Mystery Train

Mystery Train

4.3 3
Director: Jim Jarmusch

Cast: Masatoshi Nagase, Youki Kudoh, Nicoletta Braschi


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Written and directed by the ever-unpredictable Jim Jarmusch, Mystery Train is comprised of three short anecdotes involving foreign tourists in Tennessee. Each story is set in a fleabag Memphis hotel which has been redressed as a "tribute" to Elvis Presley. Story one involves two Japanese tourists whose devotion to '50s American rock music blinds them to


Written and directed by the ever-unpredictable Jim Jarmusch, Mystery Train is comprised of three short anecdotes involving foreign tourists in Tennessee. Each story is set in a fleabag Memphis hotel which has been redressed as a "tribute" to Elvis Presley. Story one involves two Japanese tourists whose devotion to '50s American rock music blinds them to everything around them. Story two finds eternal victim Luisa (Nicoletta Braschi) sharing a room with stone-broke Dee Dee (Elizabeth Bracco) and having her problems solved by a spectral vision of the King. And story three offers the further misadventures of Dee Dee, her no-good boyfriend, and her dysfunctional family.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
The Memphis of Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train is as eerily empty as a ghost town, an appropriate setting for a movie haunted by the specter of Elvis. His music, image, and spirit is a common thread running through the film's trio of loosely connected vignettes. Flavored by Jarmusch's trademark wit and enhanced by Robbie Müller's gorgeous color cinematography, all three stories explore the experiences of various foreigners in this quintessentially American landscape. There are teenage Japanese lovebirds with a fetish for Memphis music legends, an Italian widow passing through town with her recently deceased husband (in a casket), and a despondent, recently jilted British expatriate (former Clash lead singer Joe Strummer). As usual, Jarmusch loads the supporting cast with a wide array of cool weirdos. Screamin' Jay Hawkins plays the night manager of the fleabag hotel where all the characters end up, Steve Buscemi is a local barber, and Tom Waits supplies the voice of the late-night DJ who is heard throughout the film. Like Jarmusch's haunting Stranger than Paradise and hilarious Down By Law, Mystery Train is a film about hip aimlessness; but even more than that, it is a loving valentine to American pop culture.
All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Mystery Train is one of Jim Jarmusch's wittiest and most perceptive examinations of how America looks to outsiders, as a variety of visitors, from overseas and out of town, arrive in Memphis, the birthplace of rockabilly music, Sun Records, and Elvis Presley, whose high-octane music and languid rhythms make it seem exotic even to folks from neighboring states. To a young Japanese couple (Masatoshi Nagase and Youki Kudoh), Memphis is a promised land, where their heroes Elvis and Carl Perkins once walked, and their awe overwhelms their romantic problems. To an Italian widow (Nicoletta Braschi), it's a place of loss yet new hope, as the spirit of Elvis appears to comfort her. And to Johnny (Joe Strummer), the rockabilly-coiffed small-time crook from England, Memphis is a place of excitement, danger, and contradiction, as guns keep going off at the wrong times and the city's largely African-American population must keep confronting the legacy of a white man who became famous playing black music. Mystery Train never resolves the contradictions of Memphis (and, by extension, America), instead revelling in them and finding beauty and wonder in their inexplicabilities -- in Jarmusch's world, as good a reason as any for staying.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Q&a with jarmusch in which he responds to questions sent in by fans; Excerpts from the 2001 documentary screamin' jay hawkins: i put a spell on me; Original documentary on the film's locations and the rich social and musical history of Memphis; On-set photos by Masayoshi Sukita and behind-the-scenes photos; Plus: a booklet featuring essays by writers Dennis Lim and Peter Guralnick

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Masatoshi Nagase Jun
Youki Kudoh Mitzuko
Nicoletta Braschi Luisa
Screamin' Jay Hawkins Night Clerk
Elizabeth Bracco Dee Dee
Cinqué Lee Bellboy
Joe Strummer Johnny
Rufus Thomas Man in Station
Rick Aviles Will Robinson
Sy Richardson News Vendor
Tom Noonan Man in Diner
Stephen Jones The Ghost
Steve Buscemi Charlie
Vondie Curtis-Hall Ed
Tom Waits Radio D.J/Voice
Joshua Elvis Hoch Tourist Studio Guide,Tourist Family
Jodie Markell Sun Studio Guide
William Hoch Tourist Family
Pat Hoch Tourist Family
Reginald Freeman Conductor
Beverly Prye Streetwalker
Lowell Roberts Lester
Sara Driver Airport Clerk
Richard Boes Second Man in Diner
Darryl Daniel Waitress
Calvin Brown Pedestrian
Jim Stark Pall Bearer
Elan Yaari Pall Bearer
Royale Johnson Earl
Winston Hoffman Wilbur
Marvell Thomas Dave, Pool Player
Charles Ponder Pool Player
D'Army Bailey Pool Player
Karen Longwell Actor
Rockets Redglare Liquor Store Clerk

Technical Credits
Jim Jarmusch Director,Screenwriter
Dan Bishop Production Designer
Dianna Freas Set Decoration/Design
Kathie Hersch Production Manager
Kunijiro Hirata Executive Producer
Jim Stark Producer
Gary King Special Effects
Robert Laden Makeup
Melody London Editor
John Lurie Score Composer
Demetra J. Macbride Associate Producer
Robby Müller Cinematographer
Rudd Simmons Producer
Meredith Soupios Makeup
Hideaki Suda Executive Producer
Carol Wood Costumes/Costume Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Criterion Collection: Mystery Train
1. Far From Yokohama [9:50]
2. Sun Studio [8:10]
3. Room 27 [6:52]
4. Sad Face [15:37]
5. A Ghost [6:45]
6. Arcade Restaurant [9:06]
7. Room 25 [13:06]
8. Lost In Space [9:30]
9. Late-Night Liquor Run [8:22]
10. Room 22 [10:17]
11. Checkout is Twelve Noon [12:44]
1. Introduction [2:08]
2. Lee Baby Sims [:45]
3. Casting [1:12]
4. Inspirations [3:30]
5. Roberto In the Casket [:28]
6. Shades [1:05]
7. Perkins vs Presley [1:05]
8. Far From Osaka [1:32]
9. Favorite Elvis? [1:21]
10. Joe and Jay [2:09]
11. Winona [:29]
12. Soundtrack [1:44]
13. Unconscious Mind [1:27]
14. Barren Memphis and Stax [4:29]
15. Jay and Cinqué [1:09]
16. Tav Falco [1:39]
17. Subtitles and Strummer [1:53]
18. Kansas City [:52]
19. Scremin' Jay Hawkins [5:54]
20. Trains [1:07]
21. Recommended Reading [1:50]
22. Richard Boes [1:23]
23. Sun Studio [:47]
24. Happy Mondays [:52]
25. Canterbury Tales [1:13]
26. Ghostface or Ghost Dog? [:57]
27. Jim's Band [1:47]
28. Favorite Train Films [3:53]
29. Mr Baby [4:05]
30. "Give Us the Damn Film!" [3:00]
31. Musical Influences [1:56]
32. Philosophers [1:32]
33. Prime Cut [1:41]
34. Editing and Sound [7:04]
35. Outroduction [:39]


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Mystery Train 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Jimmy_Jazz68 More than 1 year ago
While Jarmusch's construction of this film is clever and innovative, not all of it works. I love Joe Strummer as a musician but fine actor he is not, and the third of the film he appears in seems clumsy, ridiculous, and uninvolving compared to the beginning of the film. Not much plotting and it's very stylized (everyone in Memphis seems to have left for the weekend), so if you don't get involved with the characters and situations you won't enjoy the film. The music, clever writing, and hilarious Laurel and Hardyish performances from Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Cinque Lee ("You look like a damn mosquito-legged chimpanzee!") should be enough to keep you involved even if the vibe doesn't work for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago