Hedwig and the Angry Inch

July 27, 2001 0 By Fans
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Still of John Cameron Mitchell and Michael Pitt in Hedwig and the Angry InchStill of John Cameron Mitchell in Hedwig and the Angry InchStill of John Cameron Mitchell in Hedwig and the Angry InchStill of John Cameron Mitchell in Hedwig and the Angry InchStill of John Cameron Mitchell and Miriam Shor in Hedwig and the Angry InchJohn Cameron Mitchell in Hedwig and the Angry Inch


A transexual punk rock girl from East Berlin tours the US with her rock band as she tells her life story and follows the ex-boyfriend/bandmate who stole her songs.

Release Year: 2001

Rating: 7.6/10 (17,401 voted)

Critic's Score: 85/100

John Cameron Mitchell

Stars: John Cameron Mitchell, Miriam Shor, Stephen Trask

Hedwig, born a boy named Hansel in East Berlin, fell in love with an American G.I. and underwent a sex-change operation in order to marry him and flee to the West. Unfortunately, nothing worked out quite as it was supposed to – years later, Hedwig is leading her rock band on a tour of the U.S., telling her life story through a series of concerts at Bilgewater Inn seafood restaurants. Her tour dates coincide with those of arena-rock star Tommy Gnosis, a wide-eyed boy who once loved Hedwig… but then left with all her songs.

Writers: John Cameron Mitchell, Stephen Trask


John Cameron Mitchell


Miriam Shor


Stephen Trask

Skszp – Band Member

Theodore Liscinski

Jacek – Band Member

Rob Campbell

Krzysztof – Band Member

Michael Aronov

Schlatko – Band Member

Andrea Martin

Phyllis Stein

Ben Mayer-Goodman

Hansel – 6 years old

Alberta Watson

Hansel's Mom

Gene Pyrz

Hansel's Dad

Michael Pitt

Tommy Gnosis

Karen Hines

Tommy's Publicist

Max Toulch

Goth Menses Boy

Maurice Dean Wint

Sgt. Luther Robinson

Ermes Blarasin

Fat Man

An anatomically incorrect rock odyssey


Official Website:
Fine Line |
Fine Line |

Release Date: 27 July 2001

Filming Locations: The Eaton Center, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Box Office Details

Budget: $6,000,000


Opening Weekend: $156,724
(22 July 2001)
(9 Screens)

Gross: $3,029,081
(30 September 2001)

Technical Specs



Did You Know?


The date that Hedwig and Tommy are arrested for the accident is shown on the arrest photo as 8-13-01, exactly 40 years after the Berlin wall was erected.


Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers):
On the poster advertising for auditions for a production of
Rent, the character of Collins is described as 'Young, Edgy, Black, Aspiring Musician.' However, Collins is actually a philosophy professor. The 'aspiring musician' of Rent is Roger.


Our apartment was so small, that mother made me play in the oven. Late at night I would listen to the voices of the American masters, Tony Tennille, Debby Boone, Anne Murray who was actually a Canadian working in the American idiom. And then there were the crypto-homo rockers: Lou Reed…

User Review

I could never hope to praise this enough: 10/10

Rating: 10/10

No matter how much I do praise it, I'll end up turning people against it.
But, let me ask you: what were you expecting when you first heard of Hedwig
and the Angry Inch? It's been billed as a punk rock musical about a
transsexual from East Germany who was duped into coming to live in a
park in Kansas City. So what was I expecting? A gay camp film. I had no
doubts that it would be anything else. And that's not to say that I
have enjoyed a gay camp movie. After all, I liked Moulin Rouge. But I got a
surprise that was entirely unexpected: what I experienced was the best new
film I had seen in years. And I mean that. Hedwig and the Angry Inch is
equally hilarious and touching. Not that I want to spread cliches, but I
seriously laughed and I seriously cried, often simultaneously. This manages
to be the best American comedy since, damn, Preston Sturges was still
writing and directing. It's easily the best movie musical since Cabaret.
It's also one of the most heartfelt and passionate dramas, and one of the
best character studies I've ever seen. Along with that, John Cameron
Mitchell delivers a performance that perhaps hasn't been equalled since, I
don't know, Robert DeNiro in Raging Bull, which might be the ultimate
cinematic character study. I shouldn't say that, because it might hint that
Hedwig is a dark character, but, well, I'd call her just a great
protagonist. She's a heroine, especially to anyone experiencing sexual
confusion, but even to me, a straight, Midwestern boy. Hedwig is a heroine
for anyone who's ever felt that they've been treated like crap their entire
life. I wanted to clap for and support Hedwig emotionally throughout the
entire film. In short, Hedwig is a character I deeply loved, equal to just
few other characters I've met throughout my extensive journeys in the
cinema. Parallel to a situation in the film, if I should ever see John
Cameron Mitchell on the street, I'd have to hug him.

I also have another heap of praise that I have to go through before I am
done. I've always thought that movie musicals adapted from stage plays were
the death of the genre. Only a few exceptions ever seemed more than
unimaginative, slavish films that worked only to bring Broadway to an
audience who could or would never visit NYC. Cabaret was the one big
exception that I had seen previously, but you also hear West Side Story
mentioned as being a great film. But, in adapting a stage play for the
screen, I always expect the film to seem stranded on stage. To boot, Hedwig
had another mark against it: the director, Mitchell again, had never
directed a film before. Well, I really don't know what training he had in
the art, but it must have been enough. The cinematic art, at least the
visual aspect of it, has nearly been forgotten in the 1990s and 2000s, but
John Cameron Mitchell creates a visual tour de force as much as he does one
of writing and acting. I love the scene where Hedwig the adult reminisces
about how his mother forced him to put his head in the oven if he wanted to
sing when he was a child. And Hedwig and the Angry Inch's (that's the
name as well as the film's) appearance outside the Menses Festival next to
the port-o-potties. A goth chick, who presumably didn't have tickets for
actual Menses Festival, watches the band in deep curiosity and confusion;
Hedwig invites the girl to sit up on stage with her while she relates her
past. I also love the sequence where the American G.I. discovers him laying
naked in rubble. Hedwig's original name was Hansel, which leads to one of
the funniest jokes I can ever recall seeing. Or how about the scene where
Hedwig, when babysitting, discovers Tommy, the future rock star who steals
all her songs, masturbating in the bath tub? That scene is handled so well
that I almost died laughing. To tell you the truth, I don't think there is
anything ostensibly wrong with the film, period. I just wanted to talk
the amazing direction because the one review of it I have on hand says "the
direction can't help from being flat." FLAT? How can you say that it is
PS: The animated number and the song that goes along with it is adapted
Aristophanes' speech in Plato's Symposium, about which I wrote my senior
thesis in college. The rock star's stage name, Gnosis, is Ancient Greek for
"knowledge," which Hedwig actually says in the film. One of the filmmakers
must have learned Ancient Greek at some point in his life. Bravo, good