A LOW-budget film that Leonardo DiCaprio spent the better part of 20 years trying to suppress has again been quashed from public view.
DiCaprio filmed the black and white indie drama Don’s Plum in just a few days across 1995 and 1996, following early success in films like The Basketball Diariesand What’s Eating Gilbert Grape — but before his starring role in what was to become one of the biggest blockbusters of all time, 1997’s Titanic.
Also in the film: Tobey Maguire, before his breakout performance in 1998’sPleasantville and his stint as action hero Spider-Man.
DiCaprio and Maguire both later claimed they made the film — for which they were paid around $US500 per day — as a favour to a friend, and never intended it to have a wide release outside of independent film festivals.
Cracked reports that, in the year after shooting and as DiCaprio and Maguire’s careers blossomed, director R.D. Robb began meeting with distributors to discuss getting his low-budget indie film out to a wider audience thanks to the rising star power of two of its leads.
The matter went to court, and DiCaprio and Maguire successfully sought a ban for the film ever being screened in the US or Canada.
Don’s Plum did see a brief release in 2001 in Germany, where reviews were decidedly mixed: Variety called the film, which is largely improvised, often sexually frank and set entirely in a diner, an “unpleasant and tedious ensemble”.
To date, the film remains unreleased in DiCaprio’s home country — but Dale Wheatley, another of the film’s producers, set up a website, freedonsplum.com, hosting a Vimeo link to watch the film in full.