Trouble in Mind (film)

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Trouble in Mind
Trouble in mind post.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Alan Rudolph
Produced by David Blocker
Written by Alan Rudolph
Music by Mark Isham
Cinematography Toyomichi Kurita
Edited by Tom Walls
Distributed by Alive Films
Release date
  • December 11, 1985 (1985-12-11)
Running time
111 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $3 million[1]

Trouble in Mind is a 1985 neo-noir film, shot in Seattle, which follows an ex-cop just released from jail after serving time for a murder sentence as he returns to the mean streets of the fictional "Rain City."

It was directed and written by Alan Rudolph, and stars Kris Kristofferson, Keith Carradine, Geneviève Bujold, and Lori Singer, with an out-of-drag appearance by Divine.

The story starts off with the world-weary 1920s blues standard "Trouble in Mind" and ends with a song of love and reassurance, both performed by Marianne Faithfull. The opening line is "I wouldn't say no to a woman or a job".

The movie flips between reality and unreality in a variety of ways, with the time, language and setting unclear. The leading characters all display traits of the opposite of what they seem to be (the heroic ex-cop, for example, is a convicted murderer; the protective mother abandons her child; criminals show themselves to be sensitive philosophers; the wayward husband loves his wife; the straight woman shows a dark past; etc.).

There are déjà vus and some uncanny look-alike side characters that turn up in separate times and places, adding somewhat to the dream- or nightmare-like quality of the movie.

The four main characters convene by ones and pairs, get involved with one another, are joined by others, and end up in a final and absurd overall showdown to separate again.


In the mysterious metropolis of Rain City, a former policeman, Hawk, is out of prison after serving eight years on a murder rap. He returns to his former hangout, Wanda's Cafe, run by his former love, Wanda.

New arrivals in town are the down on his luck: Coop, his naive wife Georgia and their baby boy, Spike. In desperate need of money, Coop goes to work for a gangster, Solo, but he isn't very good at his job.

Hawk, meanwhile, begins to develop a protective and even romantic attachment to Georgia, who is hired by Wanda to be a waitress. Coop runs afoul of the mob boss in town, Hilly Blue, leading to a wild shootout at Hilly's unique mansion.


Production notes[edit]

The music, performed by Marianne Faithfull, is arranged and accompanied by Mark Isham. Peter R. Tromp (now Peter Trump, author of Milk the Children and Poems and Portions) provided music as Divine’s strolling violinist. In the Chinatown restaurant scene, Tromp performed Pachelbel’s Canon in D and J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3. During scenes filmed at the Seattle Art Museum, Tromp performed Telemann’s Fantasia No. 6, “Autumn” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Biber’s Passacaglia, and Reveille. Tromp’s appearance and music in Trouble in Mind were uncredited.

"Rain City" was filmed at Seattle locations, largely older areas on the edges of downtown, giving an impression of a less modern city.


It was entered into the 36th Berlin International Film Festival.[2] On December 14, 2010 Shout! Factory released a 25th Anniversary DVD of the film.


  1. ^ FILM COMPANY MAKES HIT MOVIES ON MINI-BUDGETS: ISLAND ALIVE'S HIT MOVIE FORMULA Pollock, Dale. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 29 Dec 1984: sd_c1.
  2. ^ "Berlinale: 1985 Programme". Retrieved 2011-01-08. 

External links[edit]