7.4/10
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Arizona Dream (1993)

A young New Yorker goes to Arizona where he finds freedom to both love and dream.

Director:

Emir Kusturica

Writers:

David Atkins (story), Emir Kusturica (story) | 1 more credit »
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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Depp ... Axel Blackmar
Jerry Lewis ... Leo Sweetie
Faye Dunaway ... Elaine Stalker
Lili Taylor ... Grace Stalker
Vincent Gallo ... Paul Leger
Paulina Porizkova ... Millie
Michael J. Pollard ... Fabian
Candyce Mason Candyce Mason ... Blanche
Alexia Rane Alexia Rane ... Angie
Polly Noonan Polly Noonan ... Betty
Ann Schulman Ann Schulman ... Carla
James R. Wilson James R. Wilson ... Lawyer
Erik Polczwartek Erik Polczwartek ... Man with Door
Kim Keo Kim Keo ... Mechanical Doll
Patricia O'Grady Patricia O'Grady ... MC / Announcer
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Storyline

An Innuit hunter races his sled home with a fresh-caught halibut. This fish pervades the entire film, in real and imaginary form. Meanwhile, Axel tags fish in New York as a naturalist's gofer. He's happy there, but a messenger arrives to bring him to Arizona for his uncle's wedding. It's a ruse to get Axel into the family business. In Arizona, Axel meets two odd women: vivacious, needy, and plagued by neuroses and familial discord. He gets romantically involved with one, while the other, rich but depressed, plays accordion tunes to a gaggle of pet turtles. Written by Greg Pribyl <gpribyl@isd.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A rebellious young man. With his own vision of the future. And his own fantasy of love.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English | Spanish | Inuktitut

Release Date:

9 September 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Arrowtooth Waltz See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$106,658
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Johnny Depp and Faye Dunaway also co-starred in Don Juan DeMarco (1994). See more »

Goofs

Since the movie took about a year to shoot, Axel's hair length changes drastically throughout the film. In the beginning, when he talks to Paul up until when they arrive at Leo's house, his hair is longer than in the next few scenes when he spends time with his uncle. It's long again when he starts staying at Elaine's house. See more »

Quotes

Axel Blackmar: These philosophies, with pies and bananas and Q-tips and...
Paul Leger: I'm an artist.
Axel Blackmar: You're a bullshit artist.
Paul Leger: Bullshit artist, artist, whatever. Art is art.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits read: "Any reference to Cadillac dealerships or dealers is purely fictional. The Cadillac automobile was selected for the film because it was and continues to represent the epitomy (sic) of American automobile design." See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally released in Europe at 142 minutes. The USA version was cut down to 119 minutes but the complete version was also released theatrically. Only the short version is available on video in the USA. See more »

Connections

Referenced in O tzitzikas & o mermigas: Episode #1.3 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

The Streets of Cairo
Performed by James Thornton
[Also known as "Poor Little Country Maid" or "The Snake Charmer Song"]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sexy, faultless European masterpiece.
2 September 2004 | by charlotte_cloudSee all my reviews

Having seen this movie, I felt rather strange. This bubbly feeling in my gut kept me up in the night. I felt I had to do something for this film, confess my love in a letter, send it flowers, buy it Champagne. It left me gasping. I wanted more. So the rest of the night I watched the special features on the DVD.

I realise that it is sad to have emotions about a film that would usually be reserved for living beings, however I am completely unashamed. If this movie was a man, I'd do unspeakable things to it. I don't care what it's "about". I don't give a monkey's about any "plot" that it may or may not have. I have not searched for anything that everybody conditioned to Hollywood films, however good or bad they may be, inevitably searches for in a film. Why do you need to be spoonfed? Can you not just completely let go and enjoy a work of art for its mere beauty?

Sorry, journeying into pretentious land.

This is undoubtedly my absolute favourite Johnny Depp film, it used to be a toss up between Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Dead Man, but I admit that this surpasses them by a fraction. I'd actually like to say that I preferred Dead Man, but I, um, didn't. Sorry. I feel I have cheated on Dead Man.

There are certain scenes in Arizona Dream that show things about Johnny Depp as a performer that I never would have suspected. In this film he stepped into a realm shared by characters in the films of Fellini and Brunuel. It pleases me that he can do art house as fantastically as this and do mainstream as well, although I do not entirely approve of the stuff that is too mainstream (I.E. Pirates).

His character is beautifully complex, he is a kook, but a sexy kook, and he is everything else besides. The other performances are also wonderful. Gallo is a nutcase, Taylor needs therapy, Dunaway is at the same time tyrannical and naive. Sure the characters contradict themselves, but don't we? It just keeps it all the more desirable and fascinating.

For anybody who appreciates surrealist art, this is a must see. For anybody who appreciates Johnny Depp, there is no question that this film is absolutely essential.


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