7.6/10
82,402
440 user 119 critic

Boys Don't Cry (1999)

Female-born Teena Brandon adopts his male identity of Brandon Teena and attempts to find himself and love in Nebraska.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 47 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kate
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Brian
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Cheyenne Rushing ...
Robert Prentiss ...
Trucker
Josh Ridgway ...
Kwik Stop Cashier
Craig Erickson ...
Trucker in Kwik Stop
Stephanie Sechrist ...
April
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Storyline

Based on actual events. Brandon Teena is the popular new guy in a tiny Nebraska town. He hangs out with the guys, drinking, cussing, and bumper surfing, and he charms the young women, who've never met a more sensitive and considerate young man. Life is good for Brandon, now that he's one of the guys and dating hometown beauty Lana; however, he's forgotten to mention one important detail. It's not that he's wanted in another town for GTA and other assorted crimes, but that Brandon Teena was actually born a woman named Teena Brandon. When his best friends make this discovery, Brandon's life is ripped apart. Written by Zhe

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A true story about finding the courage to be yourself.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence including an intense brutal rape scene, sexuality, language and drug use | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

31 March 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Take It Like a Man  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$73,720 (USA) (10 October 1999)

Gross:

$11,533,945 (USA) (21 May 2000)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To prepare for her role, Hilary Swank lived life as a man for at least a month, including wrapping her chest in tension bandages and putting socks down the front of her pants much the same way that Brandon Teena did. See more »

Goofs

The cuts and bruises on Brandon's face change while he talks to Lana inside the shack. See more »

Quotes

Lana: What were you like... before all this? Were you like me, like a GIRL girl?
Brandon: Yeah... like a long time ago... but then I guess I was just like a boy girl, then I was just a jerk.
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Crazy Credits

A special thanks to all of the transmen and butch dykes who helped, advised and auditioned for this project and supported the process of bringing this story to the screen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Zombie Girl: The Movie (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

She's a Diamond
Written by David Roback (as David Robach) and Kendra Smith
Performed by Opal
Published by Sally Gardens Publishing (BMI)/Northern Line Music (BMI)
Courtesy of Serpent Records
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User Reviews

 
A Moving Piece of Filmmaking.
2 December 2000 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

Boys Don't Cry was a major success with the critics and the Academy Award's, so I looked forward to seeing it. Easily one of the best films of the past year, Boys Don't Cry is a moving experience that deserved all the credit it got, and then some.

The film takes for its source material the true story of Brandon Teena (Hilary Swank), a girl who, well, just wants to be a boy. A sex-changing (getting her hair cut and sticking a dildo down her pants) credit sequence sees our hero(ine) at first on the pull, duping a local girl into a bit of nookie, and then on the run, when the truth about her sexuality rears its bizarre head. A fugitive of the law, as well as a few irate townsfolk, a twist of fate leads to her befriending a bunch of trailer-trash misfits and, temporarily, enjoying a new-found freedom under her manly guise. Of course, it's all going to go horribly wrong - particularly when she falls in love with the local girlie sweetheart (Chloe Sevigny).

Chloe Sevigny, who plays the girl Brandon falls in love with, deserved to win an Academy Award. Her performance still lives in my memory, and it has been some time since I first saw Boys Don't Cry. Hilary Swank, who did receive an Oscar, pulls off an absolute barnstormer of a performance as Brandon Teena, it is easily one of the boldest and most memorable performances I saw in the 20th century. Kimberley Pierce is also another stand-out, she is in the director's chair, and she hardly got any praise for her amazing effort that she put into this film. I applaud everyone involved in Boys Don't Cry, even the one's who got little credit, particularly Brendan Sexton III (who plays a trouble-making misfit) and Andy Bienen (co-writer).

Groundbreaking performances and a brilliant debut directing effort make this film unmissable.

I rate Boys Don't Cry 9 out of 10.


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