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Fool for Love (1985)

R | | Drama | 14 May 1986 (France)
May is waiting for her boyfriend in a run-down American motel, when an old flame turns up and threatens to undermine her efforts and drag her back into the life that she was running away from. The situation soon turns complicated.


Robert Altman


Sam Shepard (play), Sam Shepard (screenplay)

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Sam Shepard ... Eddie
Kim Basinger ... May
Harry Dean Stanton ... Old Man
Randy Quaid ... Martin
Martha Crawford Martha Crawford ... May's Mother
Louise Egolf Louise Egolf ... Eddie's Mother
Sura Cox Sura Cox ... Teenage May
Jonathan Skinner Jonathan Skinner ... Teenage Eddie
April Russell April Russell ... Young May
Deborah McNaughton Deborah McNaughton ... The Countess
Lon Hill Lon Hill ... Mr. Valdes


May is waiting for her boyfriend in a run-down American motel, when an old flame turns up and threatens to undermine her efforts and drag her back into the life that she was running away from. The situation soon turns complicated.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

14 May 1986 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Extraña pasión See more »

Filming Locations:

El Dorado, New Mexico, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$55,637, 8 December 1985, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cannon Group See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The original source Sam Shepard "Fool for Love" play featured only four characters. This filmed adaptation almost triples that amount and has eleven. See more »


May: Do you want me to finish the story, Eddie?
See more »


Referenced in Altman on 'O.C. and Stiggs' (2005) See more »


Go Rosa
Written and Performed by Sandy Rogers
Produced by Jim Gaines
See more »

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User Reviews

Sam Shepard writes, scripts, and stars in this film. It's a dud.
16 February 2015 | by Red-125See all my reviews

Fool for Love (1985) was directed by Robert Altman. It's based on a Sam Shepard play. Sam Shepard did the screenplay. Sam Shepard also stars as Eddie, a rodeo rider who drives up to an end-of-nowhere motel, and starts causing trouble within the first 60 seconds.

I'm amazed that this movie is so bad. Shepard is a good actor, and so are the other leads: Kim Basinger as May, and Harry Dean Stanton as "Old Man." Randy Quaid has the unenviable supporting role as a "normal" guy who arrives at the motel to take May out on a date, and ends up enmeshed in the bizarre triangle.

It's hard to believe that a brilliant director, working with such skilled actors, could end up with a movie this bad. Nothing works, except that Eddie is a menacing presence throughout. It's obvious from the first minutes of the movie that bad things are going to happen, and they do throughout the film.

It's also obvious that Altman needed to open up the play so that he could turn it into a movie, and he did. He didn't do it all that well, but he did it.

It's clear that people didn't like the film. At the time I'm writing this review, the IMDb rating is a horrific 5.9. (I actually helped improve the rating when I gave the film a 6. That must be a first.)

The movie will work well enough on DVD, which is how I saw it. It would probably work better on the large screen, because you'd get even more of a sense of the total isolation of the motel location. However, my advice is to pick another movie. Fool for Love just isn't worth the time spent watching it.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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