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Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989)

Comedy | 78 minutes
3,11 82 votes

Genre: Comedy / Music

Duration: 78 minuten

Country: Finland / Sweden

Directed by: Aki Kaurismäki

Stars: Matti Pellonpää, Kari Väänänen and Sakke Järvenpää

IMDb score: 7,0 (8.498)

Releasedate: 24 March 1989


This movie is not available on US streaming services.


Leningrad Cowboys Go America plot

The 'Leningrad Cowboys', a band of Finnish musicians and their manager, travel to America in search of fame and fortune. As they cross the country trying to get to a wedding in Mexico, they are followed by the village idiot who wants to join the band.

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Full Cast & Crew

Actors and actresses

Vladimir (Manager)

Igor (Village Idiot)

The Leningrad Cowboys

The Leningrad Cowboys

The Leningrad Cowboys

The Leningrad Cowboys

The Leningrad Cowboys

The Leningrad Cowboys

The Leningrad Cowboys

The Leningrad Cowboys

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avatar van mister blonde

mister blonde

  • 12486 messages
  • 5443 votes

Because of the fantastic Kaurismaki box that fell on the mat yesterday, I first watched the first part of his Leningrad Cowboys trilogy. Those were the films that meant nothing to me. I've read up on it a bit now, but the Lenigrad Cowboys are actually a very witty project by Kaurismaki.

This was nice and dry. Have read several times about Kaurismaki's aversion to Hollywood assembly line work. His approach makes a world of difference. No forced witty dialogues or exaggerated how-did-we-get-into-here-again situations or other tricks, because the audience should be entertained. No, it has become a crazy reasonable straight-forward road movie, where a look says much more than the fast dialogues of a team of screenwriters.

It is a very likeable film, which, despite the occasionally very lame (but in the good sense of the word wmb) humor, never goes too far or goes off the rails. The tone remains pleasant. Kaurismaki also knows how to work well with his colorful characters in his visual style. Actually, the only thing I have to say about the film is that it isn't really special. At some point it gets stuck a bit in the repetitive concept of performances, moving on, doing nothing and doing it again.

Anyway, this is a very pleasant film by a very witty director. 3.5 stars.

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avatar van Spetie


  • 38582 messages
  • 5667 votes

What a story this is. Aki Kaurismäki has a unique sense of humor, which I usually appreciate. This is also the case here, fortunately, although it is not the case that I fall on the floor laughing.

Just take the first sight of the 'Leningrad Cowboys' with their striking black crests and you know from the first second that you should fortunately not take this too seriously. There's not much to it in terms of content and even though it sometimes drops a bit, it remains fun on a regular basis. Sometimes it is so dry that the humor only comes through a few seconds later. Sometimes it doesn't make any sense at all and sometimes it's quite lame, but luckily it remains entertaining most of the time.

I have to say that the guys' musical numbers were still quite good at times. Some songs were clearly inferior and it is a shame that the quality was not always good, otherwise it might have been a lot better. It is certainly not the best Kaurismäki, but it certainly invites me to watch the rest of this crazy trilogy.


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avatar van De filosoof

De filosoof

  • 2048 messages
  • 1416 votes

The films of Aki Kaurismäki are very similar to those of Jim Jarmusch: they focus on the reprobates of the Earth who - unlucky in love and with no money in their pockets - try to survive at the bottom of society, whereby the gravity of the theme is illuminated with dry humor – they are comedies – and a touch of romance. This breakthrough film by Kaurismäki completely resembles a Jarmusch film because it is set in the US: it is a road trip by an eccentrically dressed polka band from the European tundra that is exploited by their manager but who always adapts to the local situation in the US. popular music style and eventually becomes successful. The emergence of these films in the 1980s is perhaps a response to the neoliberalism that was also emerging in politics at that time and both the films such as Jarmusch and Kaurismäki remind me strongly of the films of Charlie Chaplin that responded to the recession ( Great Depression) of his time, but who in terms of genius far exceeds Jarmusch and Kaurismäki (the films of Jarmusch and Kaurismäki seem to be somewhat amateurish casts of Chaplin's work). This film by Kaurismäki in particular remains stuck in mediocrity with a somewhat lame plot and some bland humor throughout.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original