Empire Records: Wikis


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Empire Records

Promotional film poster
Directed by Allan Moyle
Produced by Tony Ludwig
Arnon Milchan
Michael Nathanson
Alan Riche
Written by Carol Heikkinen
Starring Anthony LaPaglia
Maxwell Caulfield
Debi Mazar
Johnny Whitworth
Liv Tyler
Renée Zellweger
Rory Cochrane
Robin Tunney
Ethan Embry
Studio Regency Enterprises
New Regency
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) September 22, 1995 (1995-09-22) (limited)
Running time 90 minutes (original)
107 min (2003 edition)
Language English
Budget N/A

Empire Records is a 1995 comedy film about a group of record store employees. The film was directed by Allan Moyle and stars Anthony LaPaglia, Robin Tunney, Rory Cochrane, Renée Zellweger, Ethan Embry, and Liv Tyler.


Plot summary

Empire Records is a small record shop managed by Joe (Anthony LaPaglia). His employees are all local teenagers, many of whom are outsiders.

Joe selects Lucas (Rory Cochrane) to close the store. Lucas discovers that Empire Records is on the brink of being converted to a franchise of a chain called Music Town. In an attempt to save the store, Lucas takes the day's cash receipts to Atlantic City, where he loses it all.

The following morning, the young employees arrive for work. A washed-up pop star named Rex Manning (Maxwell Caulfield) is due to arrive to sign autographs, but no one is looking forward to it except Corey (Liv Tyler), a cashier who is obsessed with Rex and plans to lose her virginity to him. When the hyperactive skater punk Mark (Ethan Embry) and the artist AJ (Johnny Whitworth) show up at the store, they discover what Lucas has done, and decide not to tell Joe.

Joe finds the money gone. He had hoped to buy out Empire's owner, Mitchell Beck (Ben Bode), but will instead have to use his own savings to replace the stolen money in order to protect Lucas.

Corey and her friend Gina (Renée Zellweger) arrive at work. AJ decides that today is the day he will confess his love for Corey. Lucas arrives, and Joe forbids him to leave the store (or even the couch) until he is able to repay the $9,000.

Deb (Robin Tunney), another store employee, arrives. She locks herself in the bathroom, where she shaves her head. As she exits the bathroom, AJ sees that her wrists are bandaged and she admits that she attempted suicide.

A young shoplifter named Warren (Brendan Sexton III) is apprehended in the store.

Rex Manning arrives with his assistant Jane (Debi Mazar). Corey attempts to seduce him during his lunch break. After he makes a crude pass at her, however, she flees, crying in embarrassment.

A lovesick AJ attempts to tell the upset Corey how he feels. Corey is overwhelmed and tells him that she only sees him as a friend.

After an argument with Corey, Gina seduces Rex Manning, much to the horror of her friends. When Corey confronts her, calling her a slut, Gina retaliates by revealing Corey's secret amphetamine habit. Corey is hysterical until Deb calms her.

Rex Manning leaves and Corey, after hearing about Deb's suicide attempt, arranges a "funeral" for her where all her friends gather around and say things that they love about her. At the end of the day, the young shoplifter who was caught earlier returns with a gun and fires blanks in the store. He stops after Joe offers him a job.

Mark suggests a benefit party/concert to repay the money Lucas lost. Enough money is made to save the store. Corey tells AJ that she really does love him, and they kiss on the roof. Gina fulfills a dream and gets to sing with a band on the roof of the store. Jane, who has quit her job as Rex Manning's assistant, has become Joe's new girlfriend.

Underneath the closing credits, Mark and another employee, Eddie, discuss music outside the store.


This teen comedy-drama did poorly at the box office and received generally negative reviews. As of December 2009, it has only a 24% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.com.[1] Roger Ebert called the film a "lost cause," but felt some of the actors might have a future in other, better films. However, it is still considered a cult classic by many.[2]

Original soundtrack

  1. "Til I Hear It from You" by Gin Blossoms
  2. "Liar" by The Cranberries
  3. "A Girl Like You" by Edwyn Collins
  4. "Free" by The Martinis
  5. "Crazy Life" by Toad the Wet Sprocket
  6. "Bright As Yellow" by The Innocence Mission
  7. "Circle of Friends" by Better Than Ezra
  8. "I Don't Want to Live Today" by Ape Hangers
  9. "Whole Lotta Trouble" by Cracker
  10. "Ready, Steady, Go" by The Meices
  11. "What You Are" by Drill
  12. "Nice Overalls" by Lustre
  13. "Here It Comes Again" by Please
  14. "The Ballad of El Goodo" by Evan Dando
  15. "Sugarhigh" by Coyote Shivers
  16. "The Honeymoon Is Over" by The Cruel Sea (This track only appears on the revised version of the soundtrack)

The version of the song "Sugarhigh" that appears in the movie differs significantly from the one included on the soundtrack. The main differences are that the movie version has additional lyrics and chorus vocals provided by Renée Zellweger and it is musically one semitone lower than the CD version. What many people don't realize is that the lead singer in the movie is also the actual artist who released the song. Francis "Coyote Shivers" plays Berko, the eccentric band member who has a thing for Debra. He was also married to the mother of his Empire Records co-star Liv Tyler from 1992 to 1997.

Also notably absent from the soundtrack are the tracks "This Is The Day" by The The, played during the rooftop dancing scene before the closing credits, "Seems" by Queen Sarah Saturday, chosen by Mark after he wins the M&M challenge while preparing to open the store, "Romeo and Juliet" by Dire Straits, "Snakeface" by Throwing Muses, when Cory is getting lunch ready for Rex Manning, "If You Want Blood, (You've Got it)" by AC/DC, "Money" by the Flying Lizards played as a tribute to Lucas, "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles played during the Rex Manning preparation scene, "I Shot the Devil" by Suicidal Tendencies played during Mark and some of the customers start moshing in the shop, and the song "Plowed" by Sponge.

Main cast


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Empire Records is a 1995 comedy about the employees of an independent music store who learn about each other as they try anything to keep the store from being absorbed by a large chain.

Directed by Allan Moyle and written by Carol Heikkinen.
Open 'til Midnight. Taglines



  • [Wearing nothing but a MusicTown apron] Welcome to MusicTown, may I service you?
  • I really think Musictown is torn on the revealing garment issue.
  • Attention Rex Manning fans, to your left you will notice a shoplifter being chased by night manager, Lucas. This young man will be caught, deep fried in a vat of hot oil and served to our first hundred customers. Just another tasty treat from the gang at Empire Records.
  • Oh now, Debra, don't be bitter, surely with your ever growing collection of flesh mutilating silver appendages and your brand new Neo-Nazi boot camp makeover, the boys will come a-runnin'.


  • In the immortal words of The Doors, 'The time to hesitate is through.'
  • The fat man walks alone.
  • [Lucas has just gambled away all Joe's money] I wonder if I'll be held responsible for this.
  • Joe, I can categorically say that you are not a bigger banana-head.
  • I do not regret the things I have done, but those I did not do.
  • I used to pee in my bed. I did. I, I wet my bed until I was ten. My mother turned me over to the county when I was ten too- not for being a bed wetter- but for being a bad seed. Anyways, 3 years went by, then Joe came. And he took me out, and I became the well adjusted person I am today.
  • The long arm of the law has embraced our dear friend Warren.
  • [Warren is being taken to jail] Don't drop the soap, Warren.
  • Joe, is it okay if I leave the couch? 'Cause I'm gonna leave the couch now, okay? My ass has fallen asleep, so I gotta go. I'm leaving.
  • What's with today, today?

A. J.

  • You know that feeling when you get out of a warm bath... well... you make me feel like a bath?
  • [To Lucas] What's with you today? Yesterday you were normal and today you're like the Chinese guy from the Karate Kid.
  • I'll tell her at noon....By noon or one...By 1:37 exactly Joe!
  • I don't feel the need to explain my art to you, Warren...


  • [Answering the phone] Empire Records, open 'til midnight, this is Mark. [pause] Midnight.
  • We mustn't dwell... no, not today. We CAN'T. Not on Rex Manning day!
  • [into television camera] Damn the man! Save the Empire!


  • Warren: Me Joe, you Jane.
  • Corey: My dad always said that there's 24 usable hours in every day.
  • Corey: So is this how your life's gonna be now, huh? You're just gonna screw every has-been until your tits fall down and they don't want you anymore?
  • Eddie: [Corey left her bra] You forgot your thingy.
  • Eddie: They're my special recipe... and you know what that means... Lots of sugar.
  • Debra: I went to rock and roll heaven, and I wasn't on the guest list.
  • Debra: I tried to kill myself with a Lady Bic. A pink plastic razor with daisies on it and a moisturizing strip.
  • Rex Manning: Why don't you all just fade away.


Lucas: $9104. I counted it... twice.
Lady at Craps Table: I like your style.
Lucas: [proud, humble] Well, Joe told me to count it twice...

High Roller: That's an 18,000 dollar bet, you sure you know what you're doin', kid?
Lucas: I know this, that if I win this roll, I will save the place that I work from being sold, and the jobs of my friends that work there. Thus striking a blow at all that is evil and making this world a better place to be in.
Lady at Craps Table: Huh?
Lucas: ...And I'll buy you guys a drink. [Lady smiles]

Eddie: Can I ask you something? Do you know where Harvard is?
A.J.: It's near Boston.
Eddie: No I mean, do you really know where Harvard is? It's another planet man- another universe. Totally unlike the one we know. Filled with big blond guys who eat ivy and row boats. What I'm trying to say is, you and Corey just aren't made for each other. She's different from you.

Lucas: Mitchell's the man, Joe.
Joe: And the man calls all the shots.
Lucas: Damn the man.
Joe: Let me explain it to you. Mitchell's the man. I'm the idiot. You're the screw-up. And we are all losers. Welcome to Musictown.

A.J.: Joe, I need to ask your advice. Now I know you know a lot about love and women and all that sort of thing...
Joe: Oh, yeah, my wife left me for another woman and my girlfriend forced me to leave at gunpoint. Does this qualify me?
A.J.: Oh yeah, definitely.

A.J.: ...You know, I gotta tell her that I, uh, well, you know, that I uh...
Joe: ...Love her.
A.J.: Yeah, now how do I do that?
Joe: You say 'I love you.' What do you want, written instructions?

Joe:[after Joe beats Lucas up in his office] Here.
[hands Lucas a washcloth]
Joe: You deserved that, you know that.
Lucas: Yeah, I know it.

Gina: Lucas, what are you doing in here?
Lucas: My life has reached its pinnacle. Joe is letting me close the store tonight.

Debra: Hey Lucas, is it true you committed the perfect crime?
Lucas: Not entirely perfect.

Eddie: This music is the glue of the world, Mark. It's what holds it all together. Without this, life would be meaningless.
Mark: Hey, did you hear about Lucas?
Eddie: Hey Lucas, man, I hear you went to Vegas and you married a mobster's wife and now you've got a hit on you and stuff. Is that true?
Lucas: Not entirely true.
Eddie: Well, outlaw man, we salute you.
Lucas: Thank you, Eddie.
Eddie: No problem.

Debra: [Reading the new Musictown rules] No visible tattoos.
Gina: No revealing clothing.
Debra: We're both screwed. At least you're used to it.
Gina: Oh now, Debra, don't be bitter, certainly with your ever growing collection of flesh mutilating silver appendages and your brand new Neo-Nazi boot camp makeover, the boys will come a-runnin'.
Debra: Let's not fight, let's just rip (both start tearing lists of rules)

A.J.: Mark, listening to this crap is guaranteed to make you sterile.
Mark: [sulking under his breath] Maybe I want to be sterile.

Warren: Who glued these quarters down?
A.J.: I did.
Warren: What the hell for, man?
A.J.: I don't feel the need to explain my art to you, Warren.

Mark: Whoa... so many babes out there! Rex needs some water... gotta get Rex some water...
Lucas: Mark, who's your favorite singer?
Mark: Axl!
Lucas: Ok, so if Axl Rose was driving down the highway and saw Rex Manning stranded on the side of the road, do you think that he would stop and help him?
Mark: [thinking hard] Does Axl have a jack?
Warren: No way, man! Axl would spin the wheel, take aim, pound on the gas... and take that sucker out [pretends he's driving and crashing into someone]
Lucas: WARREN! WARREN! Where do you get all this hostility from?!

Mark: Hey, Lucas. I've decided I'm going to start a band.
Lucas: The first thing you need is a name. Then you'll know what kind of band you've got.
Mark: Right, right. I was thinking about, um, Marc. How does that sound?
Lucas: Is that with a C or with a K?
Mark: Well, my name is with a K, so I was thinking my band's name could be with a C. That way it's kind of that psychedelic, you know, trip thing.
Lucas: Always play with their minds.

A.J.: You did have hair when you went in there, right?
Debra: Yeah. It's still in the sink, if you want to glue it.

Corey: I'm not like you, I don't need to do what you do with guys.
Gina: Oh, I see, not like me, the turbo-slut.

Joe: Go stand up against that wall and hold these CDs up to your chest.
Warren: Why don't you shove them up your ass?
Lucas: Because it would hurt a lot, Warren.

Lucas: [flipping through the CDs that Warren tried to shoplift] Rap, metal, rap, metal... Whitney Houston?
Warren: It's for my girlfriend.
Lucas: You know, someone like you needs to diminish their criminal impulses, not magnify them. Maybe some jazz or some classical.
Warren: Maybe you bite me.

Mitch: Why do I get the feeling that I'm being royally screwed?
Joe: Because you are, Mitch.

Lucas: Joe, I think it's gonna be okay.
Joe: What makes you think that?
Lucas: Who knows where thoughts come from? They just appear.

A.J: What's with you? Yesterday you were normal and today you're like the Chinese guy from Karate Kid. What's with you today?
Lucas: What's with today, today?

A.J.: Lucas, do you think it's possible for a person to be in love with someone else and not even know it?
Lucas: In this life there are nothing but possibilities.
A.J.: Well, that's good, because I have to tell Corey I love her by 1:37.
Lucas: That's an excellent time.

Joe: Where's the money, Lucas?
Lucas: Joe, the money is gone.
Joe: I know it's GONE, where's it gone to?
Lucas: Atlantic City.
Joe: Atlantic City. ...Is it coming back from Atlantic City?
Lucas: I... I don't think so.
Joe: What's it doing in Atlantic City?
Lucas: Recirculating.
Joe: Recirculating?
Lucas: Yeah.
Joe: Lucas, listen to me. I told Mitchell Beck that you forgot to deposit the money. I told Mitchell that the money was still here.
Lucas: Joe, that's not true. It's in Atlantic City... I swear!
Joe: Shut up, sit down, and don't you move.
Lucas: [sitting down] It could be in other cities by now...

Gina: Well, Sinead O'Rebellion. Shock me, shock me, shock me with that deviant behavior!
Debra: God, that is so clever. You know, I swear you get smarter the shorter your skirt gets.
Gina: And you get smarter the shorter your hair gets, so it's probably good you went with that.

Joe: Deb, what are you doing?
Debra: I just wanted to have a little chat with Warren.
Warren: Oh, yeah? Well, have a little chat with my gun.
Debra: [into the barrel of Warren's gun] What do you want, Warren?
Debra: Well, you can't kill me, 'cause I'm already dead. Oh, and I talked to God, and she says, "Yo, wassup?" and, she wants you to lose the gun.
Warren: What? You are psycho. You're a psycho.

Jane: [Referring to Rex Manning] Actually, his new album tested well among teenage males.
Lucas: Jane, did you compare the percentage of teenage male Rex Manning fans to the incidence of homosexuality amongst teenage males?

Gina: [As Warren comes running back through the store] Isn't it customary to leave the scene after committing the crime?
Debra: Definitely an amateur.

[Joe is talking to the police about Warren]
Joe: [to Warren] How old are you?
Warren: Old enough to kick your butt through your skull and splatter your brains on the wall.
Joe: [to the cops on the phone] Yeah, he's a juvenile.

Joe: Could you please not sing, Mark.
Mark: You know what, Joe? One of these days, I'm gonna show you little people.
Joe: Yeah, well on that day I'm gonna jump outta my wheelchair and do a dance.
Mark: How 'bout today, huh? Rex Manning day.

[Gina is telling Rex about her ability to guess what kind of underwear men have on without looking.]
Gina: I don't know, it's just something I've always been able to do.
Rex Manning: Alright. What am I wearing now?
Gina: Jockies. Navy Blue. Am I right?
Rex Manning: I don't know.
Gina: Well, why don't you check it out, and you let me know.

Corey: Can I bring Rex his lunch?
Joe: Berko's taking him his lunch.
Corey: You know that Berko's going to insult him right to his face. It's not a good idea.
Joe: I don't care if Berko sticks an M-80 up his butt and lights it. I hope he sticks one up mine. It'd be an improvement.
Corey: I have to bring Rex his lunch.
Joe: Berko is.
Corey: Joe, I need to bring him his lunch.
Joe: Berko is.
Joe: ...All right.

Debra: I guess nobody really has it all together.
Corey: No.
Debra: I feel like I should welcome you to the club or something. Anyway, did you really want to do Rex Manning in the count-out room? Is that how you always imagined your first time would be? Your back up against the daily totals, your feet pounding against the safe... "Oh, Rexy, stop that! You're so sexy." [they both laugh]
Corey: Why are you being so nice to me?
Debra: Let's save our Hallmark moment. [flushes toilet]

Jane: What are you doing later?
Joe: I don't know. I'm either going to jail or hell. I can't decide.

Mitch: Doesn't anybody work here?
Warren: [holds up his work id] i do


  • Open 'til Midnight.
  • They're selling music but not selling out.
  • Damn the Man! Save the Empire!
  • This music is the glue of the world. It holds it all together.
  • What's with today, today?


External links

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