Thelma & Louise is a 1991 American road movie which breaks with tradition by featuring two female leads. Directed by Ridley Scott and written by Callie Khouri, the film's plot revolves around Thelma and Louise's escape from their troubled home lives. It stars Geena Davis as Thelma, and Susan Sarandon as Louise, and co-stars Harvey Keitel as a sympathetic detective trying to trace them as they go on the run and become outlaws. Michael Madsen plays Louise's boyfriend and Christopher McDonald plays Thelma's controlling husband. Brad Pitt (in his first significant role in a major Hollywood film) plays a parolee robber who befriends Thelma on the road.
Thelma & Louise became an instant critical and commercial success, becoming one of the highest grossing films of 1991, and receiving six Academy Award nominations, winning one for Best Original Screenplay. Both Sarandon and Davis were nominated for their roles in the same category.
Then struggling actor George Clooney auditioned five times for Ridley Scott for the part of J.D. that went to Brad Pitt.
Cher was also offered the role of Thelma, but turned it down.
The part played by Brad Pitt was originally intended for William Baldwin but he jumped ship when he landed the lead in Backdraft (1991).
Michelle Pfeiffer and Kathleen Turner were both offered the role of Thelma but turned it down. Tatum O'Neal auditioned for the role but lost out to Geena Davis in the final audition.
Debra Winger was offered the role of Thelma but turned it down.
Kris Kristofferson was offered the part of 'Jimmy', but he turned it down and it eventually went to Michael Madsen.
Thelma: I don't ever remember feeling this awake.
Thelma: I've had it up to my ass with sedate.
Max: You know, the one thing I can't figure out are these girls real smart or real real lucky?
Hal Slocumb: Don't matter. Brains'll only get you so far and luck always runs out.
Thelma: You're a real live outlaw, aren't ya?
J.D.: Well I may be an outlaw, darlin', but you're the one stealing my heart.
GOOFS AND BLUNDERS
In one of the parking lot scenes, and this is mentioned in the 'making of' documentary, the shooting lights are clearly visible at the back of the parking lot.
When Thelma and Louise are driving in the convertible, not too long after meeting J.D., they are in the front and he is in the back seat. The womens' hair are blowing like crazy, but J.D. has no trouble keeping his cowboy hat firmly seated on his head.
Austin Chronicle Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten This is a movie to love, that touches you in places you never suspected, that shows you that the road less traveled is the road to your dreams.
The New York Times Reviewed by: Elvis Mitchell
It reimagines the buddy film with such freshness and vigor that the genre seems positively new.
Rolling Stone Reviewed by: Peter Travers
Begins like an episode of "I Love Lucy" and ends with the impact of "Easy Rider."
Newsweek Reviewed by: Jack Kroll
Sarandon and Davis give superb, wonderfully interactive performances: funky, fierce, funny and poignant.
Variety Reviewed by: Staff
Even those who don't rally to pic's fed-up feminist outcry will take to its comedy, momentum and dazzling visuals.