Benny & Joon

April 16th, 1993


Benny & Joon

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Still of Johnny Depp and Mary Stuart Masterson in Benny & JoonStill of Mary Stuart Masterson and Aidan Quinn in Benny & JoonStill of Johnny Depp and Mary Stuart Masterson in Benny & JoonStill of Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson and Aidan Quinn in Benny & JoonStill of Aidan Quinn in Benny & JoonStill of Johnny Depp in Benny & Joon

A mentally ill young woman finds her love in an eccentric man who models himself after Buster Keaton.

Release Year: 1993

Rating: 7.0/10 (26,142 voted)

Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik

Stars: Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson, Aidan Quinn

In a small town, an auto mechanic named Benny is devoted to taking care of his mentally ill sister, Joon, who can barely function alone in the real world despite being a talented artist. This relatively stable situation is shaken up when Benny is obliged in a poker game to welcome another player's relative, Sam, to his home for a few days. When Sam arrives, he quickly makes an impression with his quietly eccentric ways which emulate the antics of the great silent movie comedian, Buster Keaton. Without Benny's full knowledge, Sam and Joon find themselves drawn to each other to the fullest degree. However when Benny finds out, it creates a rift in the siblings as they struggle to accept their relationship is profoundly changing with the presence of this odd newcomer.

Writers: Barry Berman, Lesley McNeil

Johnny Depp - Sam
Mary Stuart Masterson - Juniper 'Joon' Pearl
Aidan Quinn - Benjamin 'Benny' Pearl
Julianne Moore - Ruthie
Oliver Platt - Eric
CCH Pounder - Dr. Garvey (as C.C.H. Pounder)
Dan Hedaya - Thomas
Joe Grifasi - Mike
William H. Macy - Randy Burch
Liane Curtis - Claudia
Eileen Ryan - Mrs. Smail
Don Hamilton - UPS Man
Waldo Larson - Waldo
Irvin Johnson - Orderly
Shane Nilsson - Orderly

Taglines: A romance on the brink of reality.


Official Website: MGM |

Release Date: 16 April 1993

Filming Locations: Pend Oreille River, Washington, USA

Gross: $23,202,734 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Sam tasting the paint was totally improvised by Johnny Depp.

Continuity: Joon lights a tissue and Benny stamps it out wearing sneakers. Moments later he's wearing Oxfords when he flushes the dead goldfish.

Sam: You don't like raisins?
Joon: Not really.
Sam: Why?
Joon: They used to be fat and juicy and now they're twisted. They had their lives stolen. Well, they taste sweet, but really they're just humiliated grapes. I can't say I am a big supporter of the raisin council.
Sam: Did you see those, those raisins on TV? The ones that sing and dance and stuff?
Joon: They scare me.
Sam: Yeah me too
Joon: It's sick. The commercial people they make them sing and dance so people will eat them.
Sam: It's a shame about raisins.
Joon: Cannibals.

User Review

from someone who's mentally ill...


I really identify with this movie, and with Joon. I myself am mentally ill (in fact, disabled by it). I don't think it matters that her mental illness is unspecified... so many mental illnesses overlap in real life, and often DO go unspecified even if the person is counselling.

I am mentally ill and (as birds of a feather flock together) know many people who are also mentally ill. As for it being representation of what it's really like to be or live with a mentally ill person, you can't really lump such an experience together. Mentally ill people vary just as much as "normal" people do.

Some of the details in this movie are great. They depicted Joon as a rounded character, a creative, sensitive, intelligent person. This is often the case with mentally ill people. I love the eccentricities of the characters. I think the details, writing, and everything about this movie are just wonderful. I've seen it many times.

Most people who I know who have seen this movie adore it. I think it's great.


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