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Don Juan DeMarco

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Don Juan DeMarco
Don juan demarco.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJeremy Leven
Written byLord Byron (Character)
Jeremy Leven
Produced byFrancis Ford Coppola
Fred Fuchs
Patrick Palmer
CinematographyRalf D. Bode
Edited byTony Gibbs
Music byMichael Kamen
Distributed byNew Line Cinema
Release date
  • April 7, 1995 (1995-04-07)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$25 million[1]
Box office$69 million[1]

Don Juan DeMarco is a 1995 American romantic comedy-drama film starring Johnny Depp as John Arnold DeMarco, a man who believes himself to be Don Juan, the greatest lover in the world. Clad in a cape and domino mask, DeMarco undergoes psychiatric treatment with Marlon Brando's character, Dr. Jack Mickler, to cure him of his apparent delusion. But the psychiatric sessions have an unexpected effect on the psychiatric staff, some of whom find themselves inspired by DeMarco's delusion; the most profoundly affected is Dr. Mickler himself, who rekindles the romance in his complacent marriage.

The movie is based on two different sources; the modern-day story is based on director/screenwriter Jeremy Leven's short story Don Juan DeMarco and the Centerfold (the movie's original title before the studio changed it shortly before release), while the flashbacks depicting DeMarco's back-story are based on the more familiar legend of Don Juan, especially as told by Lord Byron in his version of the legend.

Depp received the London Film Critics Circle Award for Actor of the Year, along with his performance in Ed Wood while the film's theme song, "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?", co-written and performed by Bryan Adams, was nominated for the Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.


Psychiatrist Jack Mickler (Marlon Brando) dissuades a would-be suicide jump from a billboard. The 21-year-old man dresses like Zorro, with a similar mask, hat and cape and claims to be Don Juan (Johnny Depp). He is then held for a ten-day review in a mental institution.

Mickler, who is about to retire, insists on doing the evaluation and conducts it without medicating the youth. "Don Juan" tells his story to 'Don Octavio'- born in Mexico, he has an affair with his school tutor which ultimately leads to the death of his father in a swordfight, then he's kept two years in a harem as the lover of the sultaness, and finding true love (and being rejected) on a remote Greek island.

Don Juan says he sees beyond what is visible to the eye, that he sees women as they truly are: glorious, radiant, spectacular, perfect he sees the beauty within. He thinks that's why he is successful with them.

Listening enlivens Mickler's (Don Octavio) relationship with his own wife, Marilyn (Faye Dunaway). As the ten days tick down, and pressure mounts on Mickler to support the youth's indefinite confinement, finding reality within the romantic imagination becomes Jack's last professional challenge.

Not only does Mickler (and 'Don Juan') convince the judge to release him from the institution, but they fly, along with the doctor's wife, to the remote island that Don Juan has described where he met his true love.



The film features the original Bryan Adams song, "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?"; the lyrics incorporate quotes from Depp's character, and the melody is used as a musical motif throughout the film. In addition, the song itself is performed three times, once by Selena and a mariachi band serenading the characters in Spanish, once by Jose Hernandez and Nydia, as background music (again in Spanish), and once by Bryan Adams during the closing credits. The song is also available on the soundtrack. The song was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song at the 68th Academy Awards, but lost to "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas.

Selena recorded other songs for the soundtrack, including "El Toro Relajo". The score was composed, orchestrated, and conducted by Michael Kamen and was performed by the London Metropolitan Orchestra.

Tori Amos and Michael Stipe of R.E.M. recorded a duet for the film called It Might Hurt a Bit but it remains unreleased.


Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 72% based on reviews from 39 critics, with an average rating of 6.2/10. The site's consensus was "Don Juan DeMarco proves that a slight story can translate to entertaining cinema if it's acted out by a pair of well-matched professionals enjoying their craft."[2] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 63 out of 100 based on reviews from 19 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[3] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade "A-" on scale of A+ to F.[4]

Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote: "It benefits not only from Mr. Brando's peculiar presence, but also from Johnny Depp, who again proves himself a brilliantly intuitive young actor with strong ties to the Brando legacy. The movie is cheesy, but its stars certainly are not."[5] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 2 out of 4, and wrote "Brando doesn't so much walk through this movie as coast, in a gassy, self-indulgent performance no one else could have gotten away with."[6]

Box office

The film had an estimated budget of $25 million, grossing just $22,150,451 in the U.S. With a total $68,592,731 gross worldwide, it was then considered a hit for New Line Cinema.[1] Upon its opening weekend, Don Juan DeMarco opened at #4 with $4,556,274 behind the openings of Bad Boys and A Goofy Movie, and the second weekend of Tommy Boy.[7]

See also

  • The Brave, a film which Depp directed and in which he again acted alongside Brando


  1. ^ a b c "Don Juan de Marco (1995)". Box Office Mojo. 1995-05-23. Retrieved 2020-02-02.
  2. ^ "Don Juan DeMarco". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2022-05-27.
  3. ^ "Don Juan DeMarco". Metacritic. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  4. ^ "Cinemascore". Archived from the original on 2018-12-20. Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  5. ^ Maslin, Janet (7 April 1995). "FILM REVIEW; Johnny Depp With a Don Juan Complex (Published 1995)". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger (April 7, 1995). "Don Juan DeMarco movie review (1995)". Chicago Sun-Times.
  7. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for April 7-9, 1995". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-12-10.

External links

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