7.1/10
7,906
58 user 28 critic

The Indian Runner (1991)

Trailer
2:31 | Trailer

On Disc

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A Vietnam vet comes home to his small town and finds himself in conflict with rules that his brother has vowed to uphold.

Director:

Sean Penn

Writer:

Sean Penn
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Morse ... Joe Roberts
Viggo Mortensen ... Frank Roberts
Valeria Golino ... Maria
Patricia Arquette ... Dorothy
Charles Bronson ... Mr. Roberts
Sandy Dennis ... Mrs. Roberts
Dennis Hopper ... Caesar
Jordan Rhodes ... Randall
Enzo Rossi Enzo Rossi ... Raffael
Harry Crews Harry Crews ... Mr. Baker
Eileen Ryan ... Mrs. Baker
Trevor Endicott Trevor Endicott ... 12-Years-Old Joe Roberts
Brandon Fleck Brandon Fleck ... 7-Years-Old Frank Roberts
Kathy Jensen Kathy Jensen ... Lady at Carwash
James Devney James Devney ... Deputy #1 (as Jim Devney)
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Storyline

An intensely sad film about two brothers who cannot overcome their opposite perceptions of life. One brother sees and feels bad in everyone and everything, subsequently he is violent, antisocial and unable to appreciate or enjoy the good things which his brother desperately tries to point out to him. Frank understands the atrocities of life as a big picture; Joe does not. Joe is content to enjoy smaller pleasures: children, family, routine. Joe mistakenly believes he can straighten his little brother out and convince him that life is good. Frank is a cursed man. He is cut between his love for his brother and his repulsion at self-indulgent contentment. The result is a painful story of heartbreak, heartache, disappointment, despair, and the tragic side of love. Written by kwedgwood@hotmail.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language, and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 September 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Indian Runner See more »

Filming Locations:

Arlington, Nebraska, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$34,047, 22 September 1991

Gross USA:

$191,125

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$191,125
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Scenes including an additional character played by Cathy Moriarty were completely cut from the final version. See more »

Goofs

After the chase scene near the end of the film between Joe in the police car and Frank in the Buick, Joe turns off the red police lights, then the car's headlamps and steps out of the car and stands next to it. In the final scene we see Joe still standing next to the police car but the car's headlamps have mysteriously come on again. See more »

Quotes

Joe: This place looked better when I had it.
Frank: I'll bet it did. You know why? Because you had fire in you.
See more »

Connections

Features Gilligan's Island (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

CABALLITO CHONTALENO
Written by Carmino Zapata
Performed by Grupos Rio Rojo
Courtesy of Aid to the Arts of Nicaragua
See more »

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User Reviews

Best movie iv'e ever seen

This film has deeply affected me. The first time I saw it I had tears pouring down my face throughout. The second time I found myself really getting into it. Sure, you know what it's about from the other reviews. We ask ourselves why Frank isn't content with life. Most of us would feel closer to Joe, but Penn enables us to sympathise with this wretched character of Frank. He's not a nice guy. Myself; I am happy that this film is not necessarily a period piece. It takes a while for you to understand in what context the film is set. What makes this movie so good is that is underlining message remains ambiguous. This is certainly a film that will stand the test of time. It's not about the nation of America during the 70's. It's about the relationship of two brothers, and one just so happens to have come back from Vietnam. It could have been set in 2003 and the underlying message would remain the same. The talent of Penn is in that he never once blames Frank's actions on the Vietnam War. He was a bad kid before the War. I urge everyone to see this movie. You will either sympathise with the characters and understand the underlying message or you will not. I also urge you to open your mind before you see the movie, and if you don't understand it. Think about it for a while longer.


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