Thelma & Louise


2h 8m 1991
Thelma & Louise

Brief Synopsis

Fighting back against a rapist turns two women on vacation into desperate fugitives.

Film Details

Also Known As
Thelma & Louise: Un final inesperado, Thelma and Louise, Thelma et Louise
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Adventure
Release Date
1991
Distribution Company
METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER STUDIOS INC. (MGM )
Location
Bakersfield, California, USA; Moab, Utah, USA; Los Angeles, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 8m

Synopsis

Thelma and Louise are accidental outlaws on a desperate flight across the Southwest after a tragic incident at a roadside bar. With a determined detective on their trail, a sweet-talking hitchhiker in their path and a string of crimes in their wake, their journey alternates between hilarious, high-speed thrill ride and empowering personal odyssey even as the law closes in.

Crew

Steve Adcock

Assistant Camera Operator

Andrew Aguilar

Grip

Anne H. Ahrens

Set Decorator

Robin Allen

Production Assistant

David Alvin

Song

Paul Amorelli

Best Boy

Leslie Anne Anderson

Hair Stylist

Audie Aragon

Best Boy Grip

J Tom Archuleta

Assistant Director

Richard Arrington

Makeup Artist

Christine Baer

Production Coordinator

Gregory J Barnett

Stunt Player

Bobby Bass

Stunt Coordinator

Bobby Bass

Stunt Player

Richard J Bayard

Construction Coordinator

Ira Belgrade

Casting Associate

Paul Bellman

Production Assistant

Walter Berner

Swing Gang

Sam Bernstein

Production Accountant

Scott Bernstein

Assistant

Adrian Biddle

Director Of Photography

Gerald Bowne

Craft Service

Steve Boyum

Stunt Player

Tony Brown

Song

Cary Burns

Assistant

David Burton

Stunt Player

Larry D Campbell

Location Assistant

Diana Campbell-rice

Other

David Canestro

Grip

Michael A Carter

Sound Re-Recording Mixer

Toni Childs

Song

Toni Childs

Song Performer

Gary A. Clark

Other

Stephanie Claxton

Assistant Production Accountant

Norman Cole

Adr Editor

Lynn Collis

Transportation Captain

Terry Collis

Stunt Player

Terry Collis

Transportation Coordinator

John Anthony Connell

Camera

Anthony Cortino

Hair Stylist

James M. Cox

Electrician

Thomas P Cox

Chief Lighting Technician

Steve Danton

Assistant Director

Gordon Davie

Assistant Sound Editor

Lisa Dean

Art Director

Tracy Defreitas

Assistant Production Coordinator

Bonita Dehaven

Makeup Artist

Mel Dellar

Unit Production Manager

Bob Dewitt

Stunt Player

Louis Digiaimo

Casting

Dennis Dodd

Generator Operator

John Doe

Song

K C Douglas

Song

Bernard Edwards

Song

Kenny Endoso

Stunt Player

Tony Epper

Stunt Player

Audrey Evans

Apprentice

Marianne Faithfull

Song Performer

Glory Fioramonti

Other

Addie Flores

Production

Glenn Frey

Song

Glenn Frey

Song Performer

Craig Galloway

Assistant Editor

Frank Galvan

Other

Robert Geddins

Song

Marty Gibbons

Special Effects Technician

Mimi Polk Gitlin

Producer

Anthony Goldschmidt

Titles

Tim Gonzalez

Craft Service

Craig Graham

Set Decorator

Pauline Granby

Accounting Assistant

Diane Kay Grant

Other

Kenneth Haber

Location Manager

Jeffrey J. Haboush

Rerecording

Lisa Hackler

Projectionist

Marguerite Happy

Other

Ross Harpold

Assistant Set Decorator

Paul Arthur Hartman

Swing Gang

Graham V Hartstone

Rerecording

Pete Haycock

Music

Les Healey

Assistant Sound Editor

John Hiatt

Song

Don Hildebrand

Helicopter Pilot

Michael Hirabayashi

Assistant Art Director

Buddy Joe Hooker

Stunt Player

Hank Hooker

Stunt Player

Norman Howell

Stunt Player

Grayson Hugh

Song

Grayson Hugh

Song Performer

Kenji Inouye

Grip

Roger Janson

Foreman

Martin Jedlicka

Dga Trainee

Will Jennings

Song

Todd K Jensen

Special Effects

Scott Judge

Dolly Grip

Aaron Katz

Video Assist/Playback

Alan S Kaye

Set Designer

Nisa Kellner

Set Costumer

James M Kelly

Assistant Location Manager

Paul Kennerly

Song

Callie Khouri

Coproducer

Callie Khouri

Screenplay

B. B. King

Song Performer

Holly Knight

Song

Luca Kouimelis

Script Supervisor

Sherman Labby

Production

Taneia Lednicky

Costumes

Nicolas Lemessurier

Sound Re-Recording Mixer

Alexandra Leviloff

Assistant Editor

Stewart Levine

Song

Blake Lewin

Music Coordinator

Kenny Loggins

Song

Billy Lucas

Stunt Player

J. Steven Matzinger

Other

Elizabeth Mcbride

Costume Designer

Michael Mcdonald

Song

Michael Mcdonald

Song Performer

Gavin Mckillop

Song

John C. Meier

Stunt Player

Ann Melville

Stunt Player

Michelle Michael

Other

Patrick Mignano

Location Assistant

Dan Mindel

Assistant Camera Operator

Bob Miyamoto

Grip

Tim Monich

Dialect Coach

Bennie Moore

Stunt Player

Timothy J Moran

Special Effects

Van Morrison

Song

Mark Miller Mundy

Song

Johnny Nash

Song

Johnny Nash

Song Performer

Michael Neale

Location Manager

Roland Neveu

Photography

Kevin Newett

Electrician

Thom Noble

Editor

Stephen Patrick Norman

Assistant Camera Operator

David Nowell

Aerial Director Of Photography

Dean O'brien

Unit Production Manager

Dean O'brien

Coproducer

James Olson

Foreman

David Orr

Color Timer

Cee Ozenne

Other

Brett Palmer

Special Thanks To

Dan Parada

Extras Agent/Coordinator

David Paris

Helicopter Pilot

Stan Parks

Special Effects Coordinator

Julie Payne

Post-Production Coordinator

Chris Peppe

Assistant Editor

Laura Perlman

Music Editor

Richard Perry

Song

Mary Peters

Stunt Player

Wendolyn Peterson

Assistant Director

Victor Petrotta

Property Master

Victor Petrotta

Props Assistant

Mike Porter

Song

Janet L Powell

Set Costumer

Richard Raymond Powell

Swing Gang

John Poyner

Adr Editor

Darrin Pulford

Electrician

Kevin S Quibell

Special Effects

Monti Rainbolt

Props Assistant

James T Randol

Swing Gang

Brad Rea

Dolly Grip

Martha Reeves

Song Performer

David Richards

Apprentice

David Ricketts

Song

Jay Rifkin

Music

Bob Risk

Sound Effects Editor

Cal Roberts

Assistant Camera Operator

Mary Margaret Robinson

Set Decorator

William Robinson Jr.

Song

Nile Rodgers

Song

Robert Rogers

Song

Ronnie Rondell

Stunt Player

Bobby Rose

Key Grip

Erich O Rose

Grip

Chuck Roseberry

Assistant Property Master

Joe Rowan

Electrician

Michael C Ryan

Stunt Player

Tim Salmon

Boom Operator

Lazar Samarzich

Other

Robert Samarzich

Other

Joe Sample

Song

Ed Sanford

Song

Elliot Scheiner

Song

Michael Scott

Camera Operator

Ridley Scott

Producer

Brian Scott Senechal

Assistant Director

Charlie Sexton

Song

Charlie Sexton

Song Performer

Billy Sherrill

Song

Jimmy Shields

Sound Editor

Gerald L Sidwell

Transportation Captain

Shel Silverstein

Song

Don Smith

Song

John Smock

Electrician

Scott Snyder

Foreman

Norris Spencer

Production Designer

Bette Stanton

Special Thanks To

Deborah Stenard

Other

Film Details

Also Known As
Thelma & Louise: Un final inesperado, Thelma and Louise, Thelma et Louise
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Adventure
Release Date
1991
Distribution Company
METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER STUDIOS INC. (MGM )
Location
Bakersfield, California, USA; Moab, Utah, USA; Los Angeles, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 8m

Award Wins

Best Original Screenplay

1991

Award Nominations

Best Actress

1991
Geena Davis

Best Actress

1991
Susan Sarandon

Best Cinematography

1991

Best Director

1991
Ridley Scott

Best Editing

1991
Thom Noble

Articles

Thelma & Louise


If America is about self-reinvention and finding yourself amid the wide-open spaces on either side of a beckoning road, Thelma & Louise (1991) is a quintessentially American movie - twice over. Its dynamite protagonists - Geena Davis's Thelma, trapped in a marriage too small for her, and Susan Sarandon's Louise, spinning her wheels waiting tables in a coffee shop while waiting for a commitment-phobic boyfriend to marry her - breathe new life into two classic American movie genres: the existential road movie and the outlaw buddy movie. It stands both genres on their heads not only by reversing the sexes, but by bringing to the rejiggering a more mature, more emotionally generous outlook than these movies usually get when guys propel them.

And do they ever propel! There's no sign of a soapbox here. It's all gearbox as you're swept up in the exhilaration of their flight from small-town Arkansas drudgery in Louise's sea-green vintage T-Bird. They floor it after thumbing their noses at Thelma's stifling fathead salesman and Louise's country'n'western Peter Pan. Even when initial larkiness gives way to something darker and more desperate after an ugly attempted rape and an act of violence that follows it, the film still sweeps you along. Like the best road movies, Thelma & Louise is drunk on recklessness, intent on seeing the open road as an escape hatch, even though it may end up being just another noose.

As they run the gamut of American male loserdom en route - from the vicious would-be rapist to a caricatured clown of a chauvinist truck driver, with several easier-to-take if hardly more admirable types in between, including a slick hustler played by Brad Pitt on the verge of his career breakout -- the film never simply sets up their adversaries to be offed, as most male excursions in this genre do. The women react humanly and in some cases humanely, as in Sarandon's touching scene when she kisses off Michael Madsen's nice guy lightweight. Or in a scene when, cornered and armed, they display a change of heart and decide not to shoot a state trooper pursuing them when he tells them he has a wife and children. "You be sweet to them," says Thelma in the film's most quoted line. "My husband wasn't sweet to me, and look how I turned out!"

By then, they're in deep trouble. Thelma & Louise abounds in ironies. The big one is that as both women's spirits expand, their range of possibilities cruelly shrinks. Another is that they have liberation thrust upon them by a would-be rapist who attacks Thelma in a parking lot. After he's gunned down, the film takes the plunge into no-looking-back territory. No less than Faye Dunaway's Bonnie in Bonnie and Clyde (1967) or Glenn Close's uncontrollable career women in Fatal Attraction (1987), it's a seizure of power by a strong woman who isn't afraid to pull the trigger. In doing so, these two women also boldly grab what had pretty much been a hitherto exclusively male prerogative - the right to hit the road and get in touch with themselves. And, secondarily, subvert male monopoly.

Just when Sarandon's Louise, the earth mother of the two, finds her spirits flagging after Pitt's slickster robs them, Davis's hitherto dependent Thelma acquires newfound nerve. Suddenly you feel rangy Thelma testing her wings, and delighted to find they work. Later, when the possibility of surrender is raised, you believe her when she says she can't go back, that somewhere she crossed a line. And you note the proud tilt Sarandon brings to Louise's chin to realize that Louise won't clip their wings, either. You feel that both have crashed through a male-dominated society's roadblocks - literal and figurative - in an ending that amounts to a moral victory if not quite a triumph.

It was shrewd of screenwriter Callie Khouri to make Harvey Keitel's pursuing cop the nicest guy in Thelma & Louise, seen chasing them, occasionally speaking to them by phone, and leading the army of men closing in on them. The women, who embark on desperate remedies in the aftermath of a rape attempt because they're convinced nobody will believe they've been attacked (not hailing from a milieu that would have immediately realized a reasonably competent defense attorney could have got them off), can, inevitably, run only so far. But not before they become whole in a landscape that - temporarily at least - gives them some spiritual elbow room. The film's big, bold panoramic images mythify with enduring potency the themes it taps.

Thelma & Louise is Hollywood doing what it does best - vividly connecting with simmering issues waiting to erupt as works of pop culture, giving them shape and form, then shoving them into a national arena starved for vigorous - as opposed to merely strident - discourse. More than reinventing and repopulating Easy Rider (1969), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), or The Sugarland Express (1974), the big pop myth that isThelma & Louise does more than just reverse a lot of the power plays in which male-dominated Hollywood has been trafficking for years. It's a depth charge, exploding at some subterranean level, providing an exit point for huge masses of disequilibrium needing redress. And its visuals reinforce its theme of expanding spirits through sheer scale and spaciousness.

Thelma & Louise giddily inhales the open spaces of the American West as perhaps only an outsider can - director Ridley Scott is British. Not since the wonderstruck cameras of Wim Wenders and Percy Adlon wandered America's Southwestern desert in Paris, Texas (1984) and Bagdad Café (1987), respectively, has the West (well, Bakersfield, California, where most of the filming took place) been served up in the last decades of the 20th century in so visually supercharged a manner. Although Khouri won the film's only Oscar® (for Best Original Screenplay), Scott earned his directing nomination, while Sarandon and Davis presumably canceled one another out when both were nominated as Best Actress. (Also nominated: Adrian Biddle, for Best Cinematography.)

The movie isn't perfect. There are times, you note with irritation, when Scott hasn't entirely got away from his advertising background. Davis's sex scene is merely slick (although Pitt contributes wit), and Scott has a way of backlighting his heroines in the manner of a shampoo ad. But who had any idea that Scott - whose reputation rests mainly on his visuals, and who has since retreated to a string of boldly-contoured but thematically safe action movies - could get this far with a character-based film in a classical American mold? Even though the stacking of the odds against the women is pretty blatantly manipulative, and the men are pretty simplistically drawn, you'd have to be dead inside not to respond to the friendship forged by these two women. They surprise us as much as they convince us they surprise each other as the ante keeps getting raised. You don't have to be a woman to love Thelma & Louise.

Producer: Mimi Polk, Ridley Scott
Director: Ridley Scott
Screenplay: Callie Khouri
Cinematography: Adrian Biddle
Art Direction: Lisa Dean
Music: Hans Zimmer
Film Editing: Thom Noble
Cast: Susan Sarandon (Louise Sawyer), Geena Davis (Thelma), Harvey Keitel (Hal), Michael Madsen (Jimmy), Christopher McDonald (Darryl), Stephen Tobolowsky (Max), Brad Pitt (J.D.), Timothy Carhart (Harlan), Lucinda Jenney (Lena, the Waitress), Jason Beghe (State Trooper)
C-130m. Letterboxed. Closed Captioning. Descriptive Video.

by Jay Carr
Thelma & Louise

Thelma & Louise

If America is about self-reinvention and finding yourself amid the wide-open spaces on either side of a beckoning road, Thelma & Louise (1991) is a quintessentially American movie - twice over. Its dynamite protagonists - Geena Davis's Thelma, trapped in a marriage too small for her, and Susan Sarandon's Louise, spinning her wheels waiting tables in a coffee shop while waiting for a commitment-phobic boyfriend to marry her - breathe new life into two classic American movie genres: the existential road movie and the outlaw buddy movie. It stands both genres on their heads not only by reversing the sexes, but by bringing to the rejiggering a more mature, more emotionally generous outlook than these movies usually get when guys propel them. And do they ever propel! There's no sign of a soapbox here. It's all gearbox as you're swept up in the exhilaration of their flight from small-town Arkansas drudgery in Louise's sea-green vintage T-Bird. They floor it after thumbing their noses at Thelma's stifling fathead salesman and Louise's country'n'western Peter Pan. Even when initial larkiness gives way to something darker and more desperate after an ugly attempted rape and an act of violence that follows it, the film still sweeps you along. Like the best road movies, Thelma & Louise is drunk on recklessness, intent on seeing the open road as an escape hatch, even though it may end up being just another noose. As they run the gamut of American male loserdom en route - from the vicious would-be rapist to a caricatured clown of a chauvinist truck driver, with several easier-to-take if hardly more admirable types in between, including a slick hustler played by Brad Pitt on the verge of his career breakout -- the film never simply sets up their adversaries to be offed, as most male excursions in this genre do. The women react humanly and in some cases humanely, as in Sarandon's touching scene when she kisses off Michael Madsen's nice guy lightweight. Or in a scene when, cornered and armed, they display a change of heart and decide not to shoot a state trooper pursuing them when he tells them he has a wife and children. "You be sweet to them," says Thelma in the film's most quoted line. "My husband wasn't sweet to me, and look how I turned out!" By then, they're in deep trouble. Thelma & Louise abounds in ironies. The big one is that as both women's spirits expand, their range of possibilities cruelly shrinks. Another is that they have liberation thrust upon them by a would-be rapist who attacks Thelma in a parking lot. After he's gunned down, the film takes the plunge into no-looking-back territory. No less than Faye Dunaway's Bonnie in Bonnie and Clyde (1967) or Glenn Close's uncontrollable career women in Fatal Attraction (1987), it's a seizure of power by a strong woman who isn't afraid to pull the trigger. In doing so, these two women also boldly grab what had pretty much been a hitherto exclusively male prerogative - the right to hit the road and get in touch with themselves. And, secondarily, subvert male monopoly. Just when Sarandon's Louise, the earth mother of the two, finds her spirits flagging after Pitt's slickster robs them, Davis's hitherto dependent Thelma acquires newfound nerve. Suddenly you feel rangy Thelma testing her wings, and delighted to find they work. Later, when the possibility of surrender is raised, you believe her when she says she can't go back, that somewhere she crossed a line. And you note the proud tilt Sarandon brings to Louise's chin to realize that Louise won't clip their wings, either. You feel that both have crashed through a male-dominated society's roadblocks - literal and figurative - in an ending that amounts to a moral victory if not quite a triumph. It was shrewd of screenwriter Callie Khouri to make Harvey Keitel's pursuing cop the nicest guy in Thelma & Louise, seen chasing them, occasionally speaking to them by phone, and leading the army of men closing in on them. The women, who embark on desperate remedies in the aftermath of a rape attempt because they're convinced nobody will believe they've been attacked (not hailing from a milieu that would have immediately realized a reasonably competent defense attorney could have got them off), can, inevitably, run only so far. But not before they become whole in a landscape that - temporarily at least - gives them some spiritual elbow room. The film's big, bold panoramic images mythify with enduring potency the themes it taps. Thelma & Louise is Hollywood doing what it does best - vividly connecting with simmering issues waiting to erupt as works of pop culture, giving them shape and form, then shoving them into a national arena starved for vigorous - as opposed to merely strident - discourse. More than reinventing and repopulating Easy Rider (1969), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), or The Sugarland Express (1974), the big pop myth that isThelma & Louise does more than just reverse a lot of the power plays in which male-dominated Hollywood has been trafficking for years. It's a depth charge, exploding at some subterranean level, providing an exit point for huge masses of disequilibrium needing redress. And its visuals reinforce its theme of expanding spirits through sheer scale and spaciousness. Thelma & Louise giddily inhales the open spaces of the American West as perhaps only an outsider can - director Ridley Scott is British. Not since the wonderstruck cameras of Wim Wenders and Percy Adlon wandered America's Southwestern desert in Paris, Texas (1984) and Bagdad Café (1987), respectively, has the West (well, Bakersfield, California, where most of the filming took place) been served up in the last decades of the 20th century in so visually supercharged a manner. Although Khouri won the film's only Oscar® (for Best Original Screenplay), Scott earned his directing nomination, while Sarandon and Davis presumably canceled one another out when both were nominated as Best Actress. (Also nominated: Adrian Biddle, for Best Cinematography.) The movie isn't perfect. There are times, you note with irritation, when Scott hasn't entirely got away from his advertising background. Davis's sex scene is merely slick (although Pitt contributes wit), and Scott has a way of backlighting his heroines in the manner of a shampoo ad. But who had any idea that Scott - whose reputation rests mainly on his visuals, and who has since retreated to a string of boldly-contoured but thematically safe action movies - could get this far with a character-based film in a classical American mold? Even though the stacking of the odds against the women is pretty blatantly manipulative, and the men are pretty simplistically drawn, you'd have to be dead inside not to respond to the friendship forged by these two women. They surprise us as much as they convince us they surprise each other as the ante keeps getting raised. You don't have to be a woman to love Thelma & Louise. Producer: Mimi Polk, Ridley Scott Director: Ridley Scott Screenplay: Callie Khouri Cinematography: Adrian Biddle Art Direction: Lisa Dean Music: Hans Zimmer Film Editing: Thom Noble Cast: Susan Sarandon (Louise Sawyer), Geena Davis (Thelma), Harvey Keitel (Hal), Michael Madsen (Jimmy), Christopher McDonald (Darryl), Stephen Tobolowsky (Max), Brad Pitt (J.D.), Timothy Carhart (Harlan), Lucinda Jenney (Lena, the Waitress), Jason Beghe (State Trooper) C-130m. Letterboxed. Closed Captioning. Descriptive Video. by Jay Carr

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Nominated for a 1992 French Cesar award for Best Foreign Film.

Susan Sarandon was named runner-up for best actress of 1991 by the National Society of Film Critics.

Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis tied for the Best Actress of 1991 citation from the National Board of Review.

Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis tied for 1st runner-up in the New York Film Critics Circle's voting for Best Actress of 1991. Callie Khouri was also named 1st runner-up in the category of Best Screenplay.

Ridley Scott was nominated for the Directors Guild of America's 1991 Outstanding Directorial Achievement Award.

Harvey Keitel was named best supporting actor of 1991 by the National Society of Film Critics for his performances in "Thelma & Louise" (USA/91), "Bugsy" (USA/91) and "Mortal Thoughts" (USA/91).

Geena Davis was named first runner-up for best actress of 1991 by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Geena Davis was named best actress of 1991 by the Boston Society of Film Critics.

Released in United States Summer May 24, 1991

Released in United States on Video January 8, 1992

Released in United States July 1991

Released in United States August 1991

Released in United States October 1991

Shown at International Taormina Film Festival July 21-28, 1991.

Shown at Norwegian Film Festival in Haugesund August 18-24, 1991.

Shown at Valladolid Film Festival October 18-26, 1991.

Callie Khouri received a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Began shooting June 11, 1990.

Completed shooting August 31, 1990.

In addition to letterbox and pan-and-scan formats, "Thelma & Louise" will be made available in Beta, 8mm and in a Spanish-subtitled VHS version.

Expanded release in Australia September 5, 1991.

Released in United States Summer May 24, 1991

Released in United States on Video January 8, 1992 (in both letterbox and pan-and-scan formats)

Released in United States July 1991 (Shown at International Taormina Film Festival July 21-28, 1991.)

Released in United States August 1991 (Shown at Norwegian Film Festival in Haugesund August 18-24, 1991.)

Released in United States October 1991 (Shown at Valladolid Film Festival October 18-26, 1991.)