Paradise Alley (1978)

Movie directed by Sylvester Stallone.
TW: actor, composer. Movie debut as pianist Mumbles. On soundtrack: "Meet Me In Paradise Alley" and "Annie's Back In Town".
Peter Guttridge (1983): "Sylvester Stallone hired Waits for a cameo role in the ill-fated 'Paradise Alley' as a Hoagy Carmichael bar pianist. A few snatches of his music make it onto the soundtrack, though Waits did not score the movie nor write the main theme, sung over the credits by Stallone himself. Intended as a Damon Runyan comedy the film didn't fare too well with either critics or public. 'I went and sat in front of a piano for three weeks and then I went home. I didn't go to see it after.' Waits' appearance seems rather truncated in the film. He agrees. 'I had more scenes but they got cut. I finally saw it on TV with my wife (a script-writer from Twentieth Century Fox he married in '81 after breaking up with long-time partner Rickie Lee Jones). I sat her down to watch it, got really excited - look honey, here I am - shit where'd I go?' (Source: "A Simple Love Story" City Limits magazine (UK), by Peter Guttridge. Date: London. July 1-7, 1983)

Tom Waits For No One (1979)

Hand painted animated short featuring Tom Waits crooning "The One That Got Away" to an apparition of a stripper who is conjured up in an exhaled puff of cigarette smoke. Directed by John Lamb. Character design by Keith Newton. Head animator: David Silverman. The 5 1/2 minute animation was filmed live on a set in 1978 in Hollywood at the La Brea stage and completed in 1979.
TW: actor, composer. Further reading: Tom Waits For No One

Wolfen (1981)

Movie directed by Michael Wadleigh.
TW: actor, composer. Uncredited cameo as inebriated piano player. On soundtrack: "Jitterbug Boy".

The Stone Boy (1982)

Movie directed by Chris Cain.
TW: actor. Plays petrified man in carnival.

One From The Heart (1982)

Movie directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
TW: actor, composer. Soundtrack with Crystal Gayle, and cameo as trumpet player (original cinema version only).
Read full story: One From The Heart

The Outsiders (1983)

Movie directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
TW: actor. Plays Buck Merrill.
Tom Waits (1988): "I had one line: 'What is it you boys want?' I still have it down if they need me to go back and re-create the scene for any reason." (Source: "Tom Waits and his Act". Rolling Stone Magazine: David Sheff. October, 1988)

Rumble Fish (1983)

Movie directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
TW: actor. Plays Bennie the pool hall owner.
Tom Waits (1983): "In 'Rumble Fish' I play Bennie of Bennie's Pool Hall. I'm like Doc at the Maltshop, that kinda, you know? It's where the kids hang out, it's my joint, keep ya feet off the tables, knock it off, watch ya language. I got a chance to pick out my own costume and write my own dialogue. Gotta nice scene with a clock." (Source: "Tom Waits For No Man". Melody Maker. Brian Case. October 29, 1983)

The Cotton Club (1984).

Movie directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
TW: actor. Plays club owner Irving (Herman?) Stark.
Tom Waits (1988): "I was in a tuxedo for like two and a half months." (Source: "Tom Waits and his Act". Rolling Stone Magazine: David Sheff. October, 1988)

Down By Law (1986)

Movie directed by Jim Jarmusch.Shot on location in New Orleans in 1985.
TW: actor & composer. Plays main role as DJ Zack. On soundtrack: "Jockey Full Of Bourbon" and "Tango Till They're Sore".
YouTube link1, YouTube link2, YouTube link3

Ironweed (1987)

Movie directed by Hector Babenco.An adaptation of William Kennedy's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Ironweed. With Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep.
TW: actor. Plays Rudy the Kraut.

Candy Mountain (1987).

Movie directed by Robert Frank. Written by Rudy Wurlitzer. Also features Jim Jarmusch.
TW: actor, composer, musical performer. Plays rich guy Al Silk. Performs: "The Big Rock Candy Mountain" & "Once More Before I Go".

Mystery Train (1989)

Movie directed by Jim Jarmusch.
TW: actor (voice only). Voice of radio DJ.

Cold Feet (1989)

Movie directed by Robert Dornhelm.
TW: actor. Plays Kenny the hitman.

Bearskin - An Urban Fairytale (1989)

Movie directed by Ann Guedes.Stars J�lia Britton, Charlotte Coleman, Damon Lowry, Isabel Ruth, Tom Waits.
TW: actor, composer. Plays Punch & Judy man Silva. British film unreleased in the US. Soundtrack features "Singapore".
"When 17 year old Johnny Fortune chances upon a newspaper advertisement which reads simply "Entertainer Requires Assistant", he thinks he sees a way out of a seemingly hopeless situation. Employed as a dancing bear by an unconventional Punch & Judy man called Silva, he finds that his past catches up with him nonetheless."

The Two Jakes (1990)

Movie directed by Jack Nicholson.
TW: actor. Uncredited one-minute cameo as plainclothes policeman.

The Fisher King (1991)

Movie directed by Terry Gilliam.
TW: actor. Cameo as disabled veteran.
Interviewer: In The Fisher King, Tom Waits puts in a really memorable performance. I've been a fan of Tom for ages. It was a real shock to see him since he wasn't credited. How did Tom get involved?Terry Gilliam: He was a friend of Jeff Bridges, basically. He said, "You ought to meet Tom". It's funny because when I met him and even in the course of making the film, I'd never heard a Tom Waits record. I'd never listened to them at all. I just met him and liked him immediately. So into the film he went, and he was great. The studio was trying to cut him out. They felt it wasn't advancing the narrative in any significant way so they thought that was things that could go. They were totally wrong. (Source: "Dreams: December 1997 interview with Terry Gilliam Edited by Phil Stubbs)

Transcript: NY station hall. Jeff Bridges as DJ Jack Lucas. Tom Waits as disabled veteran in wheelchair. Legs hidden. Holds cup which says "I love NY". TW: Did you hear Jimmy Nickels got picked up yesterday? JL: Oh yeah? TW: Yeah, he got caught pissin' on a bookstore. Man is a pig. No excuse for that! (woman throws coin in cup ) TW: Thank you babe. We're heading for social anarchy when people start pissin' on bookstores. (man throws coin next to cup ) JL: Asshole. Didn't even look at you... TW: Well, he's paying so he don't have to look. You see, the guy goes to work every day. Eight hours a day, seven days a week. He gets his nuts so tight in a vice he starts questioning the very fabric of his existance. Then one day by quitin' time, boss calls him into the office and says: "He Bob! Why don't you come on in here and kiss my ass for me will you?" Well, he says: "Hell with it! I don't care what happens. I just want to see the expression on his face as I jam this pair of scissors into his arm." Then he thinks of me. He say: "Wait a minute! I got both my arms. I got both my legs. At least I'm not begging for a living." Sure enough Bob's gonna put those scissors down and pucker right out. You see, I'm much like a moral travellight really. I'm like saying: "Red, go no further! Boo-ie, boo-ie, boo-ie, boo-ie, boo-ie, boo-ie, boo-ie, boo-ie, boo-ie... " (Transcription by "Pieter from Holland". As sent to Raindogs Listserv discussionlist. April 1, 2000)

Queens Logic (1991)

Movie directed by Steve Rash.
TW: actor. Plays Monte.

At Play In The Fields Of The Lord (1991)

Movie directed by Hector Babenco (book by Peter Mathissen).
TW: actor. Plays Wolf.

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

Movie directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
TW: actor. Plays R.M. Renfield.
Rip Rense (1992): "Renfield was a masochist's nirvana. Waits wore a straitjacket for much of it, as well as manacles that imprisoned each finger individually (based on an actual apparatus used in Italy two centuries ago to teach young pianists to keep the proper position at the keyboard), thick glasses and one of those Supercuts-from-Bedlam haircuts. For a good deal of the movie, he was wet. "I was hosed down," he says. "And they seemed to want me that way...I got to have a really meaningful scene with Winona Ryder. Not how I imagined it would be, though. Bug juice dripping from the corners of my mouth. Unshaven. Totally gray. Screaming behind bars. Not how I saw our scene together. But I tried to rise above it." One more "Dracula" item, heretofore unreported, bears mentioning: Waits' voice was employed for the "primitive" vocal utterances of the Count. Gary Oldman was unable to get the desired horrific element into the lusty animalistic grunts and snarls of the character, so Waits was enlisted: "There's the lady in the back of the room with the bifocals on the chain, and the sweater, and the hair up, coffee and a cigarette, looking at the script," says Waits with bemusement, "and they're telling me, 'Tom, it's deep growl - you're killing her, and yet you're drinking of her'. And she looks up from her coffee and says, 'Tom - savor it!' And then looks back at her script. 'Oh, OK, savor it.' It was like porno radio. It was actually demeaning. But I think it will be good." (Source: "Waits In Wonderland" Image magazine (USA), by Rip Rense. Date: December 13, 1992)

Keanu Reeves (2005): "It was great to be in that enviroment (Francis Ford Coppola's house during the recording of Dracula): going for a run in the morning, looking at the stars at night, going into Francis's research library, spending time with him. You know watching Tom Waits sing "Waltzing Matilda" to Winona a the piano, Winona crying. It was a beautiful life. Les enfants du paradis." (Source: "Your Time With Mister Reeves" Premiere Magazine (USA), February, 2005)

Fishing with John (1992)

TW: musical performer/ actor and interviewee.
TV comedy serieswritten and directed by John Lurie (Lagarto Productions, 1992). Stars as himself on a fishing trip with John Lurie. Improvises: "River of Men" and "World Of Adventure".
Tom Waits (1999): "John's an unusual guy. Met him in New York around the time of Rain Dogs. I did [Fishing] because of John. But once I got down there, I wanted to kill him. He knows this. It was pretty pathetic. A fishing show. High concept - the idea is that it doesn't matter if we catch anything, which is the whole idea of fishing, anyway, getting out in the woods and being together. Just an excuse to hold something in your hand and look off into the distance and talk about life. We caught nothing, which is embarrassing. It got to the point where we bought fish from fishermen in a passing boat, which was humiliating. And I got seasick and sunstroke -- I was an unhappy guy for most of it. But it turned out to be funny anyway." (Source: "The Man Who Howled Wolf": Magnet magazine, by Jonathan Valania. Date: Astro Motel/ Mission Cafe, Santa Rosa. June-July, 1999)

Coffee And Cigarettes - Part III (1993)

Movie directed by Jim Jarmusch.Subtitled: "Somewhere In California". Third installment of the film, shot in Northern California. This segment won the Golden Palm at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival as best "Short Film".
TW: actor (conversation with Iggy Pop as himself)
YouTube link
Jim Jarmusch (1994): "Tom was exhausted. We had just shot a video the day before for "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" and he had been doing a lot of press. He was kind of in a surly mood as he is sometimes, but he's also very warm. He came in late that morning - I had given him the script the night before - and I was with Iggy. Tom threw the script down on the table and said, "Well, you know, you said this was going to be funny, Jim. Maybe you better just circle the jokes 'cause I don't see them". He looked at poor Iggy and said, "What do you think Iggy?" Iggy said, "I think I'm gonna go get some coffee and let you guys talk." So I calmed Tom down. I knew it was just early in the morning and Tom was in a bad mood. His attitude changed completely, but I wanted him to keep some of that paranoid surliness in the script. We worked with that and kept it in his character. If he had been in a really good mood, I don't think the film would have been as funny." (Source: "Jim Jarmusch". Village Noize, 1994 by Danny Plotnick)

Short Cuts (1993)

Movie directed by Robert Altman. Features cameo by: Greg Cohen (bassplayer The low note quintet). Original music by Gavin Friday.
TW: actor. Plays limo driver Earl Piggot.

Luck, Trust & Ketchup (1993)

Documentary insight behind the scenes of Roberts Altman's Short Cuts. Directed by John Dorr and Mike E. Kaplan.
TW: actor/ interviewee (clips from Short Cuts)

Mystery Men (1999)

Movie directed by Kinka Usher.
TW: actor. Plays weapons designer Dr. A. Heller.

Cadillac Tramps (2000)

Movie directed by Thomas Sj�lund.
TW: actor. Plays adversary of gangster

In The Boom Boom Room (2001)

Movie directed by Barbara Kopple. "Production had been scheduled to start on May 29th, 2000, but it appears that something caused it to be delayed. There's no word now on when (or if) production might start."
TW: actor.

Coffee And Cigarettes (2004 re-release)

Movie directed by Jim Jarmusch.
TW: actor (conversation with Iggy Pop as himself), soundtrack. The 2004 version has new track "Saw Sage" by Tom Waits and C-side (Instrumental from "Moanin' Parade - Gatmo Sessions Volume 1". Gatmo 2000). Coffee and Cigarettes DVD will be released on September 21, 2004.
Coffee and Cigarettes shown at opening night of the 47th San Francisco International Film Festival. "The movie -- a series of oddball conversations around various tables -- may not be everyone's cup of tea. But Thursday evening's crowd appreciated its dark humor, a trademark of director Jim Jarmusch, who told the audience this was his film's U.S. premiere. "We did show it at the Toronto festival, but that's a whole different country, and their leaders aren't on a death trip." Somehow, I don't think he was referring to closet smokers in the Bush administration. Waits and Pop had quit smoking before Jarmusch cast them, but he made them start again. "They were really mad about it, too," he said. All must be forgiven because Waits stood beside him onstage, along with the Wu-Tang Clan's the RZA... Following the screening, everybody repaired to the Galleria to party. Waits was spotted patiently waiting in line until it was pointed out that he could use the VIP entrance." (Source: "Java, smokes, stars in Jarmusch opener at festival" San Francisco Chronicle. Ruthe Stein. April 17, 2004).

"Coffee and Cigarettes" began as a short film made in 1986 starring Stephen Wright and Roberto Benigni. Jarmusch followed it up in 1989 with a second version set in Memphis starring Steve Buscemi and Spike Lee's siblings Cinque and Joie Lee. A third version popped up in 1993 teaming Tom Waits and Iggy Pop. Now Jarmusch has taken these three short films and edited them together with eight new segments to make a 96-minute feature film." (Source: It's a java jamboree, By Jeffrey M. Anderson | Special To The Examiner Published on Friday, May 14, 2004). Further reading:

Domino (October 2, 2005)

Movie directed by Tony Scott.
TW: actor (as a wandering soothsayer). On soundtrack: "Jesus Gonna Be Here"
YouTube link

La Tigre E La Neve (October 14, 2005)

Movie directed by Roberto Benigni.
TW: actor, composer. On soundtrack: "You Can Never Hold Back Spring" (first release, several variations)

Wristcutters - A Love Story (January, 2006)

Independent feature film directed by Goran Dukic. DVD release january 2006.
TW: actor (plays Kneller), composer (soundtrack features "Dead and Lovely")
"In 2004 Dukic was accepted into Sundance's Screenwriters Lab. He said the help of Sundance, along with securing Waits, was one of the many things that help get the movie produced. "We actually sent him (Waits) the script and he actually read it," Dukic said. "After we offered him the role, he accepted it, so then it was easier to get other actors and then also it was easier to get money and the whole circle starts to unwind."" (Source: "Finding Love In The Monotony Of Death". CBS3 April 4, 2006. � MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc)

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