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Don's Plum

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Don's Plum
Film poster
Directed byR. D. Robb
Written by
Produced by
  • David Stutman
  • Dale Wheatley
  • Steve Adcock
  • Brian Bellamy
Edited by
  • Paul Heiman
  • Nabil Mehchi
Music byBlake Sennett
Distributed byPolo Pictures Entertainment
Release dates
  • February 10, 2001 (2001-02-10) (Berlinale)
  • August 24, 2001 (2001-08-24) (Denmark)
Running time
89 minutes
CountriesUnited States
Box office€6,297

Don's Plum is a 2001 black-and-white independent drama film directed by R. D. Robb, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Kevin Connolly.[1] It was filmed in 1995–1996, and written by Robb with Bethany Ashton, Tawd Beckman, David Stutman and Dale Wheatley. The film takes place over the course of one night in which a group of young adults discuss life while eating at a diner.

The film was blocked from release in the U.S. and Canada, as DiCaprio and Maguire claim that they had only agreed to star in a short film but not a feature film.[2]

Blake Sennett of Rilo Kiley provided the soundtrack for the film. His bandmate Jenny Lewis has a role as Sara.

It is the second film collaboration between Maguire and DiCaprio, the first being This Boy's Life, released in 1993, and the third being The Great Gatsby, released in 2013.


The film is centered around a group of young male friends, about 20 years old, who meet at a Los Angeles restaurant, Don's Plum, every Saturday night. The four friends like to bring new girls they've picked up to hang out with them. Ian, a strange but somewhat charismatic young man is seen at a Jazz bar attempting to bring a woman to hang out with his friends at the eponymous diner. He’s rejected twice before asking out a waitress acquaintance to of his, Juliette. Amy, a young drifter, is kicked out of a car by her boyfriend and hitchhikes, getting picked up by Ian’s friend Jeremy, a brash aspiring actor. Jeremy and Ian’s friend, Derek, meets up with a fellow acquaintance, Leon, takes his phone, and mostly ignores Leon’s rambling as he attempts to call a girl to hang out with to no avail, upsetting Leon after refusing his invitation for a hangout.

Brad, Ian, Derek’s, and Jeremy’s bisexual friend, finishes sleeping with Sara, and invites her to hangout which she agrees to as long as he pretends they only just met. At the dinner, the group meet and introduce themselves before chatting and ordering food, from the gitty Flo, who through various narration is revealed to hate her job and put on a fake persona, and sleeps with the owner, Don, in order to get a better schedule. The group chat about various topics such for a bit, before Amy becomes upset when Derek insults an overweight woman, despite mostly everyone finding it funny. Jeremy and especially Derek begin to isolate and antagonize her, with only Ian coming to her defense. She storms out in a fit of rage, briefly returning to throw a bag at the group. Sara’s friend Constance joins the group after spotting her through the window. The group conversate more about various topics, getting into a minor spat with a man at another table. Jeremy sees a big time female producer that he auditioned for and goes to introduce herself. She drunkenly flirts with him and tells him to meet up with her the next day for a sexual liaison. As they discuss this, they see a young woman slap her boyfriend after an argument, shocking them, with Derek particularly going silent. Jeremy pries Derek for information, eventually making Derek tell the group how he felt uncomfortable due to his father committing suicide due to his mothers abuse. He retreats to the bar, and is followed by Sara, who relates to his woes, due to her own struggles with her parents. The two begin to make out at the bar, but she eventually relents, upsetting him briefly. He apologizes for his forwardness and politely asks to be left alone, but Sara becomes aggressive, leading to an argument, with Sara eventually retreating to the bathroom, breaking down in tears over her failures.

Ian and Jeremy argue over Derek’s trauma, eventually resulting in a fist fight. Derek arrives and breaks it up. The group then excitedly leave the diner and walk down the street in glee, looking forward to another night at Don’s Plum. In various scenes in the mid credits, Jeremy discovers his car destroyed and his tires slashed, due to Amy being shown earlier, unleashing her rage on it, Brad and Sara walking away, Brad asking to see her again, and Ian and Juliette looking forward to another date.



Much of the film is improvised.[2] DiCaprio and Maguire were paid $575 per day to appear in the film.

Release issues[edit]

DiCaprio and Maguire were opposed to having the film released. They claimed the film was pitched to them as a short film but was later re-edited into a feature-length film.[2] Producer David Stutman said Maguire opposed the film's release due to his improvised performance revealing too much about him.[2]

Stutman filed a lawsuit in 1998 against DiCaprio and Maguire.[3] They settled on allowing the film to be released outside the U.S. and Canada, and had some scenes removed.[4]

Free streaming[edit]

In 2014, Dale Wheatley published an open letter to DiCaprio on the website freedonsplum.com, giving his take on the history of the film and the ensuing legal issues.[5] Wheatley also uploaded the film to the website so that it could be streamed for free.[1] It was removed in January 2016 after a third-party notification by DiCaprio and Maguire claiming infringement.[6] Wheatley made the following statement to Fox News: "It saddens me deeply that in 2016 we witness the senseless oppression of film and art by one of America's most beloved actors". "While the world celebrates — and certainly Americans celebrate — his great achievements in cinema, he chooses to use an iron fist to suppress the work of many other artists including him in a film made 20 years ago."[7]


It premiered on February 10, 2001, in Berlin. Time Out New York writer Mike D'Angelo called it "the best film [I saw] in Berlin".[8] Variety called it an "unpleasant and tedious ensemble."[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lyne, Charlie (2016-01-02). "Don's Plum: the film Leonardo DiCaprio would rather forget". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-02-04.
  2. ^ a b c d "Don's Plum: the film Leonardo DiCaprio would rather forget". the Guardian. 2016-01-23. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  3. ^ "Producer: DiCaprio Capsized My Film". The Smoking Gun. 1998-06-22. Retrieved 2016-02-04.
  4. ^ christophernguyen726 (2019-03-13). "Don's Plum: DVD Vs. Workprint". Bootleg Comparisons. Retrieved 2019-04-30.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Dale, Wheatley (2014-09-05). "Don's Plum". Letter to Leonardo DiCaprio. Retrieved 2016-02-04.
  6. ^ "Video unavailable". Vimeo. 2016-01-27. Retrieved 2016-02-04.
  7. ^ Falzone, Diana (2016-01-28). "Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire have film 'Don's Plum' removed from streaming site". Fox News. Retrieved 2016-02-04.
  8. ^ "Berlin 2011". Panix. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  9. ^ Cockrell, Eddie (2001-02-12). "Review: 'Don's Plum'". Variety. Retrieved 2012-10-18.

External links[edit]