100 Movies You Need to See Before You Die

My Own Private Idaho (1991)

Country: USA
Director: Gus Van Sant
Screenwriter: Gus Van Sant
Stars: River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, Rodney Harvey, Grace Zibriskie, William Richert, James Russo

In 1991, gay cinema hit the mainstream with My Own Private Idaho, Gus Van Sant's reimagining of Shakespeare's Henry histories. Starring River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves, the film follows two hustlers exploring the American Northwest.

Stripped of sentiment, it's a careful study of one of film's most beloved characters: the drifter. It gave Van Sant the clout to become the filmmaker behind hits like Good Will Hunting, important political films like Milk, and art house gems like Elephant Paranoid Park. —RS

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