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Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993)

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Sissy Hankshaw (Uma Thurman) is born with enormous thumbs that help her hitchhiking through the U.S. from a young age. She becomes a model in advertising, and her New York agent, "the ... See full summary »

Director:

Gus Van Sant (as Gus Van Sant Jr.)

Writers:

Tom Robbins (novel), Gus Van Sant (screenplay)
4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Uma Thurman ... Sissy Hankshaw
Lorraine Bracco ... Delores Del Ruby
Pat Morita ... The Chink (as Noriyuki 'Pat' Morita)
Angie Dickinson ... Miss Adrian
Keanu Reeves ... Julian Gitche
John Hurt ... The Countess
Rain Phoenix ... Bonanza Jellybean
Ed Begley Jr. ... Rupert
Carol Kane ... Carla
Sean Young ... Marie Barth
Crispin Glover ... Howard Barth
Roseanne Barr ... Madame Zoe (as Roseanne Arnold)
Buck Henry ... Dr. Dreyfus
Grace Zabriskie ... Mrs. Hankshaw
Treva Jeffryes Treva Jeffryes ... Young Sissy
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Storyline

Sissy Hankshaw (Uma Thurman) is born with enormous thumbs that help her hitchhiking through the U.S. from a young age. She becomes a model in advertising, and her New York agent, "the Countess" (Sir John Hurt), sends her to his ranch in California to shoot a commercial, set against the background of mating whooping cranes. There, she befriends Bonanza Jellybean (Rain Phoenix), one of the cowgirls at the beauty ranch. The cowgirls take command of the ranch from the Countess and drug the cranes with peyote. The Police besiege the ranch. Written by Pieter van Scherpenberg <mediavis@netland.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There have been many great drivers but only one great passenger.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

20 May 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Até as Vaqueiras Ficam Tristes See more »

Filming Locations:

Terrebonne, Oregon, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,710,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Jodie Foster wanted to play the lead. See more »

Quotes

The Countess: All of us are freaks in one way or another. Try being born a male Russian Countess into a white, middle class, Baptist family in Mississippi, and you'll see what I mean.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the beginning, lot of stars rise in the sky. One, aside and slower than the others, writes the words "For River". [River Phoenix] See more »

Alternate Versions

After a disastrous limited distribution in 1993, the film was recalled and heavily re-edited for a 1994 re-release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Elektra Luxx (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

String Quartet in G Minor; Opus 10
By Claude Debussy
Performed by Hollis Taylor, Lori Presthus, Kim Lorati and Karen Bryan
See more »

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User Reviews

Even Good Directors Get The Blues
18 December 2004 | by robc-11See all my reviews

Gus Van Sant has directed some truly brilliant films. His directorial credits include "My Own Private Idaho," "To Die For," "Drugstore Cowboy," and, most recently, the audacious and thought-provoking allegory of school violence, "Elephant." He also was the executive producer of the infamous, eye-opening "Kids." However, his reputation took a tumble with the needless, colorized shot-by-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho," with Vince Vaughn standing in for Anthony Perkins! However, "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues" goes down in history as one of the most witless, undramatic, incoherent, dumbest, laziest, and plot less films ever to be released upon the public. The counter-culture novel by Tom Robbins is 100% trashed here. The novel shouldn't have been filmed at such a late date anyway. Or, perhaps, it shouldn't have been filmed at all.

Uma Thurman stars as Sissy Hankshaw, who somehow is a professional hitch-hiker (remember the book is set in the 60's; the movie makes no attempt to let us know exactly what time period this is supposed to be) who manages to get easy rides by sticking out her bulging, grossly large thumb. Yeah, that pulls the guys over every time.

Sissy meets up with an insane slew of Hollywood stars who seem to be doing a special favor for Van Sandt. Meandering around are Roseanne Barr, John Hurt, Keanu Reeves, Crispin Glover, Carol Kane, and...are you ready...Angie Dickinson! For unknown reasons, Sissy hitches a ride to a "feminist ranch" that pampers spa services to rich women. For further unknown reasons, there's a gaggle of "cowgirls" living and working on the ranch, led by Rain Phoenix as "Bonanza Jellybean." What results is nothing...nothing at all. There is not even the slightest story to speak of. The film seems to have been edited with duct tape. Van Sandt reportedly re-edited this film furiously after it was "booed" off of the screen at various premieres. I would love to see what he cut out. He would have been better off just completely scrapping this project.

But Van Sant is all forgiven for this travesty. He has gone on to prove himself as a solid director/producer. "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues" is probably the only Gus Van Sant film that you can get for $2.00 out of a bargain bin at Family Dollar.


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