A wealthy New Orleans businessman becomes obsessed with a young woman who resembles his wife.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Sisters (1973)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A journalist witnesses a brutal murder in a neighboring apartment, but the police do not believe that the crime took place. With the help of a private detective, she seeks out the truth.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Margot Kidder, Jennifer Salt, Charles Durning
The Fury (1978)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A government agent is determined to come to his son's rescue when a sinister official kidnaps him to harbor his extremely powerful psychic abilities.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Kirk Douglas, John Cassavetes, Carrie Snodgress
Body Double (1984)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young actor's obsession with spying on a beautiful woman who lives nearby leads to a baffling series of events with drastic consequences.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Craig Wasson, Melanie Griffith, Gregg Henry
Mystery | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A mysterious blonde woman kills one of a psychiatrist's patients, and then goes after the high-class call girl who witnessed the murder.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen
Raising Cain (1992)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The oncologist wife of a prominent child psychologist suspects her husband has an unhealthy scientific obsession with their child, unaware of what - or who - is really going on inside his head.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: John Lithgow, Lolita Davidovich, Steven Bauer
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A disfigured composer sells his soul for the woman he loves so that she will perform his music. However, an evil record tycoon betrays him and steals his music to open his rock palace, The Paradise.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Paul Williams, William Finley, Jessica Harper
Blow Out (1981)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A movie sound recordist accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow
Femme Fatale (2002)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A woman tries to straighten out her life, even as her past as a con-woman comes back to haunt her.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Rebecca Romijn, Antonio Banderas, Peter Coyote
Redacted (2007)
Crime | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The devastating reconstruction of the rape and murder of a 15-year-old Iraqi girl by American soldiers in Samarra in 2006.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Patrick Carroll, Rob Devaney, Izzy Diaz
Wise Guys (1986)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Harry Valentini and Moe Dickstein are both errand boys for the Mob. When they lose $250,000, they are set up to kill each other. But they run off to Atlantic City and comedy follows.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Danny DeVito, Joe Piscopo, Harvey Keitel
Home Movies (1980)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Keith Gordon is a creative young man who films the oddball doings of his family and peers. "The Maestro" appears frequently to give him pointers on his techniques. It's almost a film about ... See full summary »

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Nancy Allen, Mary Davenport, Kirk Douglas
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A young businessman goes to a magic expert to learn hardness and skill with his cynical and greedy collaborators. He becomes a very good tap dancer, but will he be able to get free of his old boss?

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Tom Smothers, John Astin, Susanne Zenor
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Michael Courtland
...
Elizabeth Courtland / Sandra Portinari
...
Robert Lasalle
Sylvia Kuumba Williams ...
Maid (as Sylvia 'Kuumba' Williams)
Wanda Blackman ...
Amy Courtland
...
Third Kidnapper (as Patrick McNamara)
Stanley J. Reyes ...
Insp. Brie
Nick Kreiger ...
Farber (as Nick Krieger)
Stocker Fontelieu ...
Dr. Ellman
Don Hood ...
Ferguson
Andrea Esterhazy ...
D'Annunzio
Thomas Carr ...
Paper Boy
Tom Felleghy ...
Italian Businessman
Nella Simoncini Barbieri ...
Mrs. Portinari
John Creamer ...
Justice of the Peace
Edit

Storyline

New Orleans businessman Michael Courtland's life is shattered when his wife and daughter are tragically killed in a botched kidnap rescue attempt. Many years later whilst visiting Italy he meets and falls in in love with Sandra Portinari, who bears a striking resemblance to his wife. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Imagine the most terrifying dream you ever had . . . See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

13 September 1976 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Deja Vu  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,400,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The first Brian De Palma film shot by cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond. See more »

Goofs

In Robertson's first trip on the paddle-wheel boat to deliver ransom money in 1959, as it takes off, a pan to the street reveals traffic nearby with contemporary (1970's) cars. See more »

Quotes

Robert Lasalle: [Michael has pointed out Sandra to him] Oh my God...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film has no end credits, other than the words "The End" in the final frame. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Intriguing,dreamlike if slow romantic romantic thriller,certainly NOT just a Vertigo rip off
30 March 2005 | by See all my reviews

Obsession has been somewhat overshadowed by some of director Brian De Palma's other Hitchcock-influenced suspense thrillers like Dressed to Kill and Body Double. This is a shame,because Obsession is one of his very best. It's a very slow moving film,and requires total immersion in it's suffocating atmosphere. And it's certainly NOT simply a rip off of Vertigo.

What De Palma does is take the basic idea of Hitchcock's film-a man losing a woman and than encountering her 'double'and than spin a very different story off it. In fact,De Palma's 1984 film Body Double copies a lot more of Vertigo! Some parts of Obsession seem closer to Rebecca,and there are some obvious references {scissors from Dial M For Murder,for example}. However,Obsession is also entirely it's own film. It has an atmosphere and feel all it's own.

Although there are suspenseful bits in the film,and despite a very emphatic but appropriate score by Bernard Herrmann which in it's own way also tells the story,Obsession is a film of restraint,it's characters seeming to move in a dream,making Cliff Robertson's undoubtedly bland portrayal of the hero almost appropriate. There is a slow,balletic grace to the film. De Palma's signature show off moments are often less flashy but amongst his most brilliant,check out the scene with Robertson as he watches the creation of a mausoleum for his dead wife,and see if you notice the beautifully subtle transition to 18 years later. Some of the scenes of the heroine {a simply delightful Genevieve Bujold}in Robertson's house are extremely eerie and contain a very slow but effective 360 degree camera spin,while the flashback scenes near the end are very cleverly done-notice the way Bujold's character as an adult is put into the flashbacks when she was actually a child.

More than any other De Palma film,this has moments of pure beauty,often when film and score combine {one could write a whole review of the score itself}. One example is the scene when Robertson enters the church where he first met his wife. Vilmos Zsigmond's gorgeous photography and the quiet organ and string piece of music used create such a strong,almost ghostly atmosphere,and than Robertson sees Bujold,and she turns round in slow motion while the score's often used wordless choir plays. Beautiful.

The film's Big Twist is probably guessable,and any potentially questionable {you might consider the 'twist' in poor taste} elements are not really answered at the end. However,Obsession is a much more compassionate film than Vertigo and indeed most of De Palma's other films,which,while often brilliant pieces of cinema tend to treat it's characters like pawns to move to the next great set piece. Obsession is a very rewarding and satisfying experience it you relax and let it take over you.


38 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
1959 Scenes - Wha????? SamticJudd
DVD badassflicks
I really want to see this, but... brianc1211
Alternate ending (SPOILS) Hyag
My one concern seville08
Something I noticed. krazyhorse98
Discuss Obsession (1976) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?