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Fool for Love is a 1985 drama directed by Robert Altman. The film stars Sam Shepard, who also wrote both the original play and the adaptation's screenplay, alongside Kim Basinger, Harry Dean Stanton, Randy Quaid and Martha Crawford. It was entered into the 1986 Cannes Film Festival.[4] It was filmed in Eldorado and Las Vegas, New Mexico.

Fool for Love
Fool for love.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRobert Altman
Produced byMenahem Golan
Yoram Globus
Written bySam Shepard
Music byGeorge Burt
CinematographyPierre Mignot
Edited byLuce Grunenwaldt
Steve Dunn
Distributed byCannon Group
Release date
  • December 6, 1985 (1985-12-06)[1]
Running time
106 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$2 million[2]
Box office$900,000[2][3]



May (Kim Basinger) is hiding out at an old motel in the Southwest. An old flame and childhood friend, Eddie (Sam Shepard) shows up. He threatens to metaphorically and, at times, literally drag her back into the life she had fled from. The film focuses on the couple's fluctuating past and present relationships, and the dark secrets hidden within, including one from an old man who lives near the motel (Harry Dean Stanton).



Sandy Rogers wrote the soundtrack songs including the title country pop ballad ("Fool for Love"), which later would also appear in the film Reservoir Dogs and on its soundtrack album release.[5]


Roger Ebert gave the film three stars out of four and wrote, "With 'Fool for Love,' [Altman] has succeeded on two levels that seem opposed to each other. He has made a melodrama, almost a soap opera, in which the characters achieve a kind of nobility."[6] Gene Siskel also gave the film three out of four stars, writing that Altman "has served the play well."[7] A negative review in Variety wrote that the film made the material "look like specious stuff filled with dramatic ideas left over from the 1950s. Some highbrow critics here and abroad likely will proclaim this a masterpiece, but general audiences will react as they did to the last Shepard-scripted pic, 'Paris, Texas' — with a yawn."[8] Vincent Canby of The New York Times wrote that the film "has several exceptional things going for it, namely the performances by Mr. Shepard as Eddie, Kim Basinger as May and Harry Dean Stanton as The Old Man." His main criticism was finding Altman's close-ups and cross-cutting too frequent: "You don't have to know and admire Mr. Shepard's text to want to shout out to the director to pull the camera back and sit still."[9] Sheila Benson of the Los Angeles Times stated, "As played by Shepard himself and a ferociously wonderful Kim Basinger, it's a raw, explosively funny, elemental tragicomedy about the pure willfulness of love."[10] Lawrence O'Toole of Maclean's wrote that "the performances of Shepard and Basinger are often mannered and too emotionally confined for all the noisy fighting that takes place. Despite those flaws, Fool for Love is sizzlingly effective. What emerges is a portrait of two lives that are painfully, inexorably, even tragically united."[11]

The film presently holds a score of 75% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 8 reviews.[12]


  1. ^ "Fool for Love - Details". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Andrew Yule, Hollywood a Go-Go: The True Story of the Cannon Film Empire, Sphere Books, 1987 p189
  3. ^ Fool for Love at Box Office Mojo
  4. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Fool for Love". Retrieved 2009-07-11.
  5. ^ Sandy Rogers website
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger (December 18, 1985). "Fool For Love". Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  7. ^ Siskel, Gene (December 18, 1985). "Altman doesn't fool around with tempestuous 'Love' story". Chicago Tribune. Section 5, p. 2.
  8. ^ "Film Reviews: Fool For Love". Variety. November 27, 1985. 16.
  9. ^ Canby, Vincent (December 6, 1985). "Shepard's 'Fool for Love'". The New York Times. C12.
  10. ^ Benson, Sheila (December 6, 1985). "Eddie & May: Fools For 'Love'". Los Angeles Times. Part VI, p. 1.
  11. ^ O'Toole, Lawrence (January 13, 1986). "The knots of passion". Maclean's. p. 46.
  12. ^ "Fool For Love". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 10, 2018.

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