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My Own Private Idaho [DVD] [1997]

Keanu Reeves , River Phoenix , Gus Van Sant    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
Price: 7.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Keanu Reeves, River Phoenix
  • Directors: Gus Van Sant
  • Format: PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Dec 2008
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,956 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Mapping the spaces between fortune and degeneracy, Shakespeare and street cant, Europe and the Pacific Northwest, and gay and straight, My Own Private Idaho is the 1991 masterpiece by director Gus Van Sant. River Phoenix gave the most generous and memory-searing performance of his tragically shortened career as Mike Waters, a narcoleptic street hustler in search of his mother. His best friend, Scott, played by Keanu Reeves, is a son of privilege who fosters plans of rejoining the moneyed world of his father after gallivanting with assorted urchins and ne'er-do-wells. The beautifully symmetrical story that emerges between the two is one of friendship, yearning for lost time, and sexual identity conveyed with a poet's eye for landscape. The camera lingers on abandoned houses in golden fields and time-lapse clouds, providing what T.S. Eliot called "the objective correlative", external representations of interior emotional states. We're treated to striking iconic sequences like a barn falling from the sky and still-life scenes of carnal entanglement. The supporting cast is a rogues' gallery that includes Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Udo Kier, director William Richert, and a variety of "non-actors" pulled literally off the street to provide documentary veracity to a film that gleefully careens into riffs on Henry IV. It's beautiful. --Ryan Boudinot

Product Description

My Own Private Idaho

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My Own Private Idaho 19 Nov 2003
By Jack
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Not the most uplifting film. I have wanted to see it for a long time but was unable to find it in the local video hire store/library etc. Nor could I find it for sale. So, having waited so long to see it.....
It is a remarkable and moving piece of film. The cinematography is - unusual - in places. The 18 rating seems to be because there is a 'suggestion' and little more of gay (and hetero) sex. Where the more intimate scenes occur they are filmed in a frozen action sequence, but in that somewhat 'hammy' film genre where instead of freeze framing, the actors hold their pose, a little odd. I s'pose the 18 cert is because it went thru the censors in the early 90's so little more was possible.
The story follows Mike as the principal character, played by River Phoenix, who is screwed up from childhood, suffers from narcolepsy (uncontrollable falling into deep sleep)and tries to survive as a rent boy. His co star is Keaneau Reeves who is the badly behaving rich boy. Will he fall in love with Mike, as Mike declares his love for him? or not?
The ending - it's ambiguous!
Worth watching, worth owning but don't expect a feel good factor.
Good reflection of the mid Western States though I think, from my experience.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not one you'll be sitting on the fence over! 13 July 2006
By Johnentwistlespout VINE VOICE
Definitely one of those films you either love or hate; it's a surrealist and uncomfortably explicit road movie about rent boys who have Shakespearean pretensions! Those who like their films straight (in both senses of the word) will probably hate every minute, but saying that it does share a sense of humour with "Withnail and I" and that's loved by pretty much everyone, so who knows. The locations and photography are beautiful, music brilliant, characters larger than life and the script (based on Henry IV) full of wit and tragedy. However, one thing outshines the film itself and stays with you long after the final credits...River Phoenix. He died three years later and so, like James Dean (who he resembles here), is frozen forever in full narcoleptic, übercool glory. It's Phoenix's film and he is absolutely superb and should have been considered for an Oscar - in that same year Warren Beatty was nominated for Bugsy. Tragic.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A surreal character study 24 July 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film is a surreal character study, following the misfit lives of a small group of 20 something rent boys. It's a strange sort of film. I have never seen anything else quite like this. The best way to give you a better impression of what I mean is to say that it shares some parallels with Oliver Twist, if the Oliver character was older and gay, if his workhouse was really a brothel where he squatted illegally and where Fabien is really his pimp.

I first saw this film when I was far too young to understand what any of it was about. But, somehow, it made a big impression on me. So, I looked this film up not so long ago to check it out and to see if it left me with the same feelings as it did before.
I found it kind of sad, it's strange, because I find it heart warming and yet some how heart breaking. Sweet yet bitter!

We see the late River Phoenix playing the Oliver typed role, led by his very own Artful Dodger in the form of a young Keanu Reeves.
I was originally touched by the close friendship that they seemed to share. It seemed one of a real love that transcends sexual attraction.
There is some one-sided attraction going on in there; which the other is well aware of and doesn't mind, and I think that's what originally touched me. The concept of a straight guy being friends with a gay guy that is in love with him and it being a non-issue: A true friendship.
Watching this film again however I have a completely different take on it.
Now, it looks to me as if the whole friendship was just as one sided as the sexual attraction and that makes this film even more sad for me.

The only real plot is that one character is in search for his mother while the other tags along to hide from his father.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great piece of cinema 16 Nov 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This film is, more than anything else, proof of what a great actor River Phoenix truly was. The film itself is very interesting. While the subject matter may seem controversial, the touching and off-beat way in which it is handled by director/writer Gus Van Sant is never exploitive or offensive. It's the sort of film that you'd think could only have been made during that shining era of cinematic daring and innovation, the 1970's. I mean, I can picture it fitting in nicely on a double bill with 'Midnight Cowboy' or 'Taxi Driver' for example. It has that distinctive and independant nature. Surprizingly it's actually from 1991. Nevertheless, it's a fascinating and oddly romantic piece of work. Some scenes work better than others (as is the case with most movies, especially those of the so-called "art house" variety) but it's never anything less than totally unique and quietly touching. Plenty of interesting filmic, philosophical, and artistic ideas presented in an interesting and highly effective manner. There is no use questioning the fact that River Phoenix's intense and heartbreaking performance is the films centrepiece, but the film stands up very well even in the scenes he's not in. This is one of my favourite films of the 1990's and the one that I hope River Phoenix will long be lovingly remembered for.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Delighted with my purchase and the very fast delivery
Published 27 days ago by G Steward
1.0 out of 5 stars Hotties but not what i expected...
I Love Keanu Reeves and thought this Film would be a good. I was very confused at all the story line I just didn’t get it... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ms. Pauline E. Cowie
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious - moi?
I came to this film late and as I usually enjoy Keanu Reeves on screen, I thought I would catch up. I was never really sure of the point of the thing and the main characters were... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Marilyn
5.0 out of 5 stars River Phoenix forever~~
Excellent performance, touching storyline~
Recommend for movie lovers, especially River's fans.
Almost 25 years later, this film is still Amazing.
Published 6 months ago by Chang Yi-Chen
3.0 out of 5 stars Let down
Well I love River Phoenix but this film wasn't that good - I don't know whether I just didn't really give it a chance? but it did kinda seem all over the place. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Bex
5.0 out of 5 stars A very strange and very beautiful film.
This is one of the few films that Keanu Reeves is actually good in. He suits the role of rich bored boy turned bad. Read more
Published 9 months ago by ms. kit nader
5.0 out of 5 stars They do not make them like this anymore...
What can I write about this strange and beautiful film that will do it justice? Should I mention its outstanding bravery in challenging mainstream audiences, by tenderly depicting... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Count Spokeula
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a good film
What you have here isn't really a coherent film; it's a series of concepts which hang together only loosely. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Edwin Dion
5.0 out of 5 stars River's finest
Pretty simple review here - all i can say about this movie is that it demonstrates so beautifully just how much talent and potential River Phoenix had, what a sad loss. Read more
Published 16 months ago by nik.b
5.0 out of 5 stars cheap, low-budget movie
This is brave movie making. Gus Van Sant took a giant risk with this masterpiece about rent boys. The two stars (Reeves,Phoenix) took a major gamble as starring as said Rent boys. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Billy Ray Cyrus
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Does this release have subtitles? 1 7 Mar 2012
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