Johnny Suede


Character: Johnny Suede
Release Date: 14 August 1992
Directed By: Tom DiCillo
Written By: Tom DiCillo
Genre: Romance/Comedy
Tagline: Keeping up an image can be a full time job.
MPAA Rating: –
Produced by: Arena, Balthazar Productions, Starr, Vega Film Productions
Distributed by: Miramax Films
Budget: $500,000
Filming Dates: –

Brad Pitt…Johnny Suede
Nick Cave…Freak Storm
Calvin Levels…Deke
Alison Moir…Darlette
Catherine Keener…Yvonne
Samuel L. Jackson…B-Bop

Filming Locations:
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
New York City, New York, USA
New York, USA
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA

Johnny Suede is a young man with an attitude and an immense pompadour, who wants to be a rock n’ roll star like his idol Ricky Nelson. He has all the stylistic accouterments, except a pair of black suede shoes. And one night, after leaving a nightclub, like manna from heaven, a pair of black suede shoes falls at his feet. Soon afterwards, the recently completed Johnny meets Darlette, a sultry bohemian whom he beds down for the night. In spite of Darlette’s abusive boyfriend with a gun, Johnny begins to see Darlette everyday. But when Johnny is forced to pawn his guitar for rent money, Darlette mysteriously leaves him. Johnny’s pal Deke fronts him the money to get his guitar out of hock, and the two form a band. Depressed about Darlette’s desertion, he wanders aimlessly, and he meets Yvonne, a woman much wiser than Johnny who teaches him that there are things in life much more important than a pair of black suede shoes

Trivia & Facts:
Tom DiCillo developed the screenplay from a monologue he wrote/performed in New York City.

Johnny Suede’s costumes came out of director Tom DiCillo’s personal wardrobe. During filming, they were all stolen from a truck which was left unlocked.

A few weeks into filming, Tom DiCillo fired the original director of photography after finding all of the footage shot to be worthless. When confronted with this, DiCillo claims the DP confessed to deliberately sabotaging the film due to jealosy.

Tom DiCillo took a hammer to the set created for Johnny’s apartment to make it look as dilapidated as he wanted. Near the end of filming, the fire department ordered them to leave the building, as it was too unsafe to go inside.

Tom DiCillo insisted on casting the relatively unknown Brad Pitt over the objections of the producer, who wanted him to consider Timothy Hutton. Ironically, DiCillo was ultimately dissatisfied with Pitt’s portrayal of Johnny as being “slow” or “stupid” instead of just childish.

From the gallery


External Links
Official website

SB Store (US)
Johnny Suede (DVD)

SB Store (UK)
Johnny Suede (DVD)