Mala Noche

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Mala Noche
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGus Van Sant
Produced byGus Van Sant
Screenplay byGus Van Sant
Based onMala Noche: And Other "Illegal" Adventures
by Walt Curtis
StarringTim Streeter
Doug Cooeyate
Ray Monge
Nyla McCarthy
Music byCreighton Lindsay
CinematographyJohn Campbell
Edited byGus Van Sant
Release date
  • May 4, 1988 (1988-05-04) (United States)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States

Mala Noche (also known as Bad Night) is a 1986 American drama film based on Walt Curtis' autobiographical novel. It marked Gus Van Sant's directorial film debut, and stars Tim Streeter, Doug Cooeyate, Ray Monge, and Nyla McCarthy. The film was shot in 16 mm with black-and-white at Portland, Oregon.


The story follows relationship between Walt, a gay store clerk, and two younger Mexican boys, Johnny and Roberto Pepper. Walt and his female friend convince them to come over for dinner, but Johnny and Pepper have to return to their cheap hotel because another friend is locked out. Walt makes his first pass at Johnny by offering him $15 to sleep with him. Johnny refuses and runs to his hotel room, leaving Roberto locked out with nowhere to spend the night but Walt's. Settling for second best, Walt lies down next to Pepper and allows him on top for sex. However, he does not give up on trying to win over Johnny. The film progresses from there into not always clearly defined relationships, unbalanced by age, language, money, race and sex.


  • Tim Streeter as Walt Curtis
  • Doug Cooeyate as Johnny
  • Ray Monge as Roberto Pepper
  • Nyla McCarthy as Betty
  • Don Chambers as Himself
  • Walt Curtis as George


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