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Boys Don't Cry (1999)

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A young man named Brandon Teena navigates love, life, and being transgender in rural Nebraska.

Director:

Kimberly Peirce
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2,945 ( 286)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 47 wins & 38 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hilary Swank ... Brandon Teena
Chloë Sevigny ... Lana Tisdel
Peter Sarsgaard ... John Lotter
Brendan Sexton III ... Tom Nissen
Alicia Goranson ... Candace
Alison Folland ... Kate
Jeannetta Arnette ... Lana's Mom
Rob Campbell ... Brian
Matt McGrath ... Lonny
Cheyenne Rushing Cheyenne Rushing ... Nicole
Robert Prentiss Robert Prentiss ... Trucker
Josh Ridgway Josh Ridgway ... Kwik Stop Cashier
Craig Erickson Craig Erickson ... Trucker in Kwik Stop
Stephanie Sechrist Stephanie Sechrist ... April
Jerry Haynes ... Judge
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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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Fox Searchlight

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 March 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Take It Like a Man See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$73,720, 10 October 1999

Gross USA:

$11,540,607

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,540,607
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Following Hilary Swank's Oscar acceptance speech, JoAnn Brandon took offense at Swank for thanking "Brandon Teena" and for referring to him as a man. "That set me off," said JoAnn Brandon. "She should not stand up there and thank my child. I get tired of people taking credit for what they don't know."[ See more »

Goofs

When Lana is talking to Candace and Kate about the first time she had sex with Brandon, she throws herself down on her bed, and puts her hands on her face. Her right hand is in front of her left hand, but in the next shot, they have swapped, and her left is in front of her right. See more »

Quotes

Brandon: Boy, I... I really fucked up. I borrowed one of Candace's checks, then I got that speeding ticket, and this fake I.D. I guess, I just need to learn to stay home, huh?
Lana's Mom: Brandon, I invite you into my home and you expose my daughter to your sickness. D'ever think about Lana in all this?
Brandon: That's all I been thinking about.
See more »

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 »

Alternate Versions

The USA version originally garnered an NC-17 from the MPAA. The film was cut and re-rated R. The European version reportedly is uncut. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 One-Hit Wonder Movie Directors (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Who Do You Love
Written by Bo Diddley (as Ellas McDaniel)
Performed by Quicksilver Messenger Service
Published by Arc Music Corporation (BMI)
Courtesy of Capitol Records under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Moving Piece of Filmmaking.
2 December 2000 | by flickjunkie-3See 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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