Hedwig and the Angry Inch

2001

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Critics Consensus

Hedwig and the Angry Inch may very well be the next Rocky Horror midnight movie. It not only knows how to rock, but Hedwig's story has an emotional poignancy.

93%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 111

93%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 49,674
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Movie Info

Hedwig was born a boy named Hansel in Communist East Berlin who dreamed of finding his other half and becoming a big American rock star. When a handsome American GI promises love and liberation, it seems like a dream come true. But there's a catch-in order to marry and emigrate Hansel must "leave a little something behind." Hedwig survives a botched sex change operation that leaves her with an "angry inch" only to be stranded in a Kansas trailer park the very day the Berlin Wall comes down. Undeterred, Hedwig dons immaculate makeup and a Farrah Fawcett wig and forms a rock band-The Angry Inch. While supporting herself with babysitting gigs, she falls for a 16-year-old Jesus freak she renames Tommy Gnosis. Tommy steals her songs and becomes the rock star Hedwig always dreamed she'd be. Refusing to be defeated, she fiercely performs in crumbling theme restaurants seeking recognition, retribution, and reconciliation with her other half.

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Cast

Michael Pitt
as Tommy Gnosis
Miriam Shor
as Yitzhak
Rob Campbell
as Krzysztof
Andrea Martin
as Phyllis Stein
Ben Mayer-Goodman
as Hansel (age 6)
Alberta Watson
as Hansel's Mom
Gene Pyrz
as Hansel's Dad
Karen Hines
as Tommy's Publicist
Max Toulch
as Goth Menses Boy
Maurice Dean Witt
as Sgt. Luther Robinson
Sook Yin Lee
as Kwahng-Yi
Maggie Moore
as Trailer Park Neighbor
Renat Options
as Tranny Hooker
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Critic Reviews for Hedwig and the Angry Inch

All Critics (111) | Top Critics (33)

  • Those expecting a rockin' good time are likely to be left cold by this screen translation, which despite some imaginative packaging too often proves a drag in more than the sartorial sense.

    May 20, 2008

    Dennis Harvey

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Despite the creator/actor/director's energetic efforts, the material never feels comfortable in its new form.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • It is fairly short and fairly enjoyable.

    Aug 31, 2001
  • Flamboyant, irreverent, naughty and oddly, profoundly moving.

    Aug 17, 2001 | Rating: 4/4
  • What in any other hands than Mitchell's might have been a sexual sight gag becomes a symbol of personal freedom and expression.

    Aug 17, 2001 | Full Review…
  • The film's not only funny and weird, it's oddly poignant.

    Aug 3, 2001 | Rating: 5/5

Audience Reviews for Hedwig and the Angry Inch

  • Jul 05, 2016
    I began viewing with very little expectation, the title card seemed quite flimsy and cheap. But I was completely blown away by how fantastic this film was. The story itself symbolized freedom of a refugee who escaped East Germany and came to America to start his own band. The musical numbers were quite catchy and well sung. The acting was perfect from Mitchell. Hedwig and the Angry Inch is the next cult movie after Rocky Horror Picture Show.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Apr 08, 2014
    This film isn't just some crazy glam rock tribute, in fact its a musical with serious emotional substance. Probably one of the few times where the significant changes to the source material contributed to the success of the film adaptation.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 30, 2011
    A drag queen rock star escapes from East Berlin and pursues his ex-boyfriend who stole his songs. I found this film both bizarre and heartfelt. The subject matter lends itself to extremes in both filmmaking and performance, and writer/director/star John Cameron Mitchell commits so fully to these extremes that the film is often so hypnotic that one gets lost in the ride. By the same token, he doesn't deviate from a very human story about the search for love in the face of rejection and alienation. I did think, however, that some of the songs detracted from, rather than added to, the film's central story, with the main love song being the exception. Overall, if you have a choice of transvestite rock and roll films, and you're choosing between Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Breakfast on Pluto, choose Hedwig.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Jan 24, 2011
    If more musicals were like this, then I could consider myself a fan of musicals. Great acting, great direction, great music. One of the most unique and entertaining movies I have seen in a while.
    Reid V Super Reviewer

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