Down by Law

Down by Law

Directed by Jim Jarmusch • 1986 • United States
Starring Tom Waits, John Lurie, Roberto Benigni

Director Jim Jarmusch followed up his brilliant breakout film STRANGER THAN PARADISE with another, equally beloved portrait of loners and misfits in the American landscape. When fate brings together three hapless men—an unemployed disc jockey (Tom Waits), a small-time pimp (John Lurie), and a strong-willed Italian tourist (Roberto Benigni)—in a Louisiana prison, a singular adventure ensues. Described by Jarmusch as a “neo-Beat noir comedy,” DOWN BY LAW is part nightmare and part fairy tale, featuring sterling performances and crisp black-and-white cinematography by the esteemed Robby Müller.

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Down by Law
  • Down by Law

    Directed by Jim Jarmusch • 1986 • United States
    Starring Tom Waits, John Lurie, Roberto Benigni

    Director Jim Jarmusch followed up his brilliant breakout film STRANGER THAN PARADISE with another, equally beloved portrait of loners and misfits in the American landscape. When fate brings together t...

Extras

  • Thoughts and Reflections

    In this audio piece, recorded by the Criterion Collection in 2002, director Jim Jarmusch discusses the making of DOWN BY LAW and reminisces about the experiences of the cast and crew, on and off the set.

  • Robby Müller on DOWN BY LAW

    This interview with DOWN BY LAW cinematographer Robby Müller was recorded at the Hortus Botanical Garden in Amsterdam in 2002.

  • Bill Hader on DOWN BY LAW

  • DOWN BY LAW Cannes Film Festival: Press Conference

    The following 1986 press conference features DOWN BY LAW director Jim Jarmusch, executive producer Otto Grokenberger, actor-composer John Lurie, and actors Nicoletta Braschi and Roberto Benigni. The color loss evident in the image is inherent in the master footage.

  • DOWN BY LAW Cannes Film Festival: John Lurie

    This interview with actor-composer John Lurie was shot for French television during the 1986 Cannes Film Festival.

  • DOWN BY LAW Outtakes

    The following outtakes were assembled by Jay Rabinowitz, apprentice editor on DOWN BY LAW, who went on to edit many of Jim Jarmusch’s subsequent films.

  • “It’s All Right with Me”

    Tom Waits recorded the Cole Porter classic “It’s All Right with Me” for the 1990 AIDS benefit album “Red Hot + Blue.” This music video for the song was directed by Jim Jarmusch in Los Angeles in 1989.

  • Jim Jarmusch on “It’s All Right with Me”

    Tom Waits recorded the Cole Porter classic “It’s All Right with Me” for the 1990 AIDS benefit album “Red Hot + Blue.” This music video for the song was directed by Jim Jarmusch in Los Angeles in 1989. This is an audio interview with Jarmusch in which he describes the making of the video.

  • DOWN BY LAW Q&A with Jim Jarmusch

    In 2002, the Criterion Collection invited fans to send in questions for director Jim Jarmusch about DOWN BY LAW. Hundreds of questions came in from around the world. In the following audio piece, Jarmusch responds.

  • Phone Calls: Tom Waits

    In 2002, director Jim Jarmusch used a low-tech telephone recording device and a portable audiocassette recorder to tape the following conversations with his friends and DOWN BY LAW stars.

  • Phone Calls: Roberto Benigni

    In 2002, director Jim Jarmusch used a low-tech telephone recording device and a portable audiocassette recorder to tape the following conversations with his friends and DOWN BY LAW stars.

  • Phone Calls: John Lurie

    In 2002, director Jim Jarmusch used a low-tech telephone recording device and a portable audiocassette recorder to tape the following conversations with his friends and DOWN BY LAW stars.

  • French-Dubbed Version

  • Jim Jarmusch on Dubbing

  • DOWN BY LAW Trailer