Night on Earth

Watch Night on Earth

"Five taxis. Five cities. One night."
  • R
  • 1991
  • 2 hr 9 min
  • 7.7  (65,326)
  • 68

Night on Earth is a 1991 film directed by Jim Jarmusch that tells five separate stories taking place in five cities, all of which are happening during the same night. The film is a collection of short stories, each with its own unique characters and storylines that are all interconnected in some way. The film begins in Los Angeles, where a talkative cab driver named Corky, played by Winona Ryder, picks up Victoria Snelling, played by Gena Rowlands, who is a casting agent. Throughout the ride, Victoria complains about her failing career in Hollywood and her failing eyesight while Corky shares her experiences working as a taxi driver.

The second story takes place in New York City, where a Haitian cab driver, named YoYo, played by Isaach De Bankolé, picks up a series of eccentric passengers including a woman who has just been dumped by her boyfriend, a group of rowdy men, and finally a blind woman, played by Beatrice Dalle, who has never seen the city before.

In Paris, an African driver, named Djamel, played by a hitherto unknown Béatrice Dalle, picks up a wealthy African businessman named Abass, played by musician Scatman Crothers, who is looking for a good night on the town. Abass is impressed by Djamel's knowledge of the city and asks him to be his personal driver for the rest of his trip.

In Rome, a driver named Gino, played by Roberto Benigni, picks up a priest who is struggling with his faith, played by Paolo Bonacelli. Gino, a highly animated character, proceeds to act out all of the priest's confessions while driving him around Rome.

The final story takes place in Helsinki, where a quiet driver named Mika, played by Matti Pellonpää, picks up three drunken men who proceed to harass and belittle him. However, Mika has a surprise in store for the three men when they finally reach their destination.

The unique aspect of Night on Earth is the way in which each story is connected to the others. While each story stands on its own as a separate vignette, there is an overarching theme of character study that binds them together. Each story is a glimpse into the lives of people in different parts of the world, during a single night and the challenges they face. The film also explores the intricacies of communication between people from different cultures, dealing with different languages, and navigating through barriers of understanding.

Throughout the film, a sense of isolation and detachment is portrayed, almost eerie in its execution. The nighttime backdrop for each story mimics the darkness and loneliness of each character's experiences. The viewer is left questioning if it is the night specifically which causes a lonesomeness to each character or their inability to communicate with others, whether it be language or understanding. All of these combine to make a poignant and heartfelt film that offers a glimpse into the lives of people across the world.

The film boasts an impressive cast, with performances from Gena Rowlands and Winona Ryder standing out in particular. While the performances are excellent, the real star of the film is Jarmusch's direction. His ability to weave together five unique stories that are all connected in some way is masterful, as he balances the serious and the humorous moments throughout the film with great skill.

The film's cinematography is beautiful, with each city portrayed in its own unique way. The use of color and lighting is particularly striking, accentuating the contrast of light and darkness. The score for the film is also excellent, with composer Tom Waits creating an evocative and haunting sound that adds to the film's dreamlike quality.

Overall, Night on Earth is a beautiful and moving film that explores the complexities of human relationships and the difficulties of communication. The varying cultures and backgrounds portrayed in each story offer a unique and intriguing look at the human experience. The performances, direction, cinematography, and score all come together to create a masterpiece of cinema that is a must-see for any film lover.

Night on Earth is a 1991 comedy with a runtime of 2 hours and 9 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.7 and a MetaScore of 68.

Night on Earth
Where to Watch Night on Earth
Night on Earth is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Max, Apple TV and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Night on Earth for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 9 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.7  (65,326)
  • Metascore