Back in the mid-1990s, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire made a black-and-white, partially ad-libbed indie movie called Don’s Plum that was later blocked from being viewed in the U.S. and Canada–and the full details why are just now coming to light.
“Don’s Plum was a group of friends saying, ‘Let’s all make a movie …,’ ” producer Dale Wheatley told the New York Post. “In many ways, [it] was a love letter to our friends.”
The Post recently shared footage, images, and court documents about Don’s Plum, the one film that DiCaprio and his buddy Maguire never wanted fans to see. The low-budget flick was shot over six days between July 1995 and March 1996, and followed a group of 20-something guys who hang out at an L.A. diner with a new set of girls every Saturday night, not unlike the real-life, hard-partying “Pussy Posse” that DiCaprio and Maguire were affiliated with back in those days.
DiCaprio plays a douchey guy named Derek whose include, “Do you girls masturbate at all?” and “I’ll f–king throw a bottle at your face, you goddamn whore,” uttered before he hurls a bottle at actress Amber Benson. Maguire’s character is named Ian and in a scene that was cut from the final version of the movie reveals that he has unusual masturbation habits
It’s for that reason that Wheatley, Beckman and others suspect DiCaprio and Maguire didn’t want US audiences to ever see their characters on the big screen.
In depositions given as part of a 1998 lawsuit — which resulted in the film being banned in the country — DiCaprio and Maguire said it was because they never meant for the film school-like project to become a full-length feature.
The Post also explained how the film came to fruition:
Just weeks into moving to Los Angeles, wide-eyed Canada transplant Wheatley says, he fell in with the Posse — including DiCaprio, Maguire, Kevin Connolly and R.D. Robb — after an introduction from Jeremy Sisto of “Clueless” fame.
Wheatley was starstruck the moment he laid eyes on DiCaprio — and had his own aspirations of making it big.
“I was obsessed with success …,” Wheatley said. “I didn’t come to LA to stare up at the Hollywood sign, I wanted to make something of myself.”
An advantage of hanging with DiCaprio’s crew was that “there wasn’t a club I couldn’t get into, there wasn’t a famous person that didn’t want to meet us,” Wheatley said.
“We were really in one of the most-watched circles in Hollywood at the time.”
Wheatley collaborated with aspiring filmmakers David Stutman and Beckman on the project that eventually became “Don’s Plum.”
DiCaprio was in.
“Having that guy in your corner obviously means that the rest are probably going to follow him,” Wheatley said. “That’s exactly what happened. Everybody got excited about the experiment.”
Don’s Plum was never meant to be a feature film, but Robb decided to release it as an actual movie despite DiCaprio and Maguire being against it.
“It was originally a short film, and then he tried to make it into a feature. I worked one night on it,” he told Detour magazine in 1996. “And I heard all this stuff about how he was going to pit the press against me if I didn’t go along with him and do the feature. I just did it as a favor, you know?”
Eventually the filmmakers sued DiCaprio and Maguire, saying they pushed for the film to be blacklisted — but the actors sued right back and a settlement was reached preventing the film from being released in the U.S. and Canada.
The movie was eventually released in several European countries and Japan, but any profits reportedly went to legal fees.
“The black-and-white, cigarette-smoke-filled, largely improvised indie is as pretentious as it is disgusting,” New York Post critic Johnny Oleksinski writes of the ill-fated film. “It’s 82 minutes of hot-shot jerks degrading everyone in sight while rambling on about masturbation, bisexuality and their lack of acting careers.”
Don’s Plum may have been (rightfully) buried, but, unsurprisingly, that hasn’t stopped it from hitting the internet. One YouTuber posted the entire movie with the caption, “posting because leo and toby don’t want it seen.”