Mr. Jones (Richard Gere) is a man suffering from bipolar disorder, a disease that affords him periods of intense emotional pleasure and expansiveness but which also results in periods of suicidal depression. In one of his manic periods he jumps up onto the stage during a concert performance of Beethoven's ninth and starts conducting, resulting in his arrest. Elizabeth Bowen (Libbie), a doctor at a psychiatric hospital, takes an interest in his condition and falls for him, has sex with him, and has to resign from her position.
Richard Gere as Mr. Jones
Lena Olin as Dr. Elizabeth "Libbie" Bowen
Anne Bancroft as Dr. Catherine Holland
Tom Irwin as Dr. Patrick Shaye
Delroy Lindo as Howard
Lauren Tom as Amanda Chang
Bruce Altman as David
Albert Henderson as Patient
The film was released to mixed reviews; movie historian Leonard Maltin remarked that "Gere is fine, but his onscreen behavior turns this into The Jester of Tides." Indeed, Gere received praise for his performance as the troubled title character. Many critics noted that the film would have been better if the romance plot between Jones and Libbie was left out, since it appeared forced and contrived.
The movie debuted at No. 7 at the box office. Mr. Jones holds a 46% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
To prepare for the film, Richard Gere, Mike Figgis and Eric Roth did a tremendous amount of research and studying on bipolar disorder. Gere met with several people who have the disorder to gain insight and knowledge on what to accurately portray. There is a shorter director's cut that Figgis presented at the Munich film festival in 2006.
Michelle Pfeiffer gave up the female lead to take on the part of Catwoman in Batman Returns.
As in his earlier hit film, An Officer and a Gentleman, Gere's character rides a Triumph Bonneville motorcycle.