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



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



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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 ...
Andrea Esterhazy ...
Thomas Carr ...
Paper Boy
Tom Felleghy ...
Italian Businessman
Nella Simoncini Barbieri ...
Mrs. Portinari
John Creamer ...
Justice of the Peace


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


The love story that will scare the life out of you See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

13 September 1976 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Deja Vu  »

Box Office


$1,400,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The church in Florence significant in the plot of the film is the Church of San Miniato, or San Miniato al Monte (Saint Minias on the Mountain), a Romanesque basilica built in 1018, on the site of a 4th century chapel. See more »


With exception of old cars, nothing in flashbacks to 1959 (hair, clothes, etc.) to remotely indicate that scenes weren't set in mid Seventies. See more »


Sandra Portinari: [noticing Michael watching her paint] Buon Giorno!
Michael Courtland: [smiles politely] Buon Giorno.
Sandra Portinari: [motions to her painting and speaks in Italian] Do you like it?
Michael Courtland: [answering slowly in halting Italian] I don't speak Italian.
Sandra Portinari: [speaks in English] That's okay. I speak English. You are an American?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

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User Reviews

De Palma's best Hitchcock-movie!
6 September 2003 | by (Oslo, Norway) – See all my reviews

"Obsession" is truly the best movie Hitchcock never made.

It came out the same year as the great master of suspense made his last movie, the disappointing "Family Plot", it has a classy, brilliant soundtrack by the legendary Bernard Herrmann that fits nicely in with the work he did for Hitchcock, it has a wonderful script by Paul Schrader that will keep you guessing till the last frame, and last but not least: it's directed by Brian De Palma, who despite being slammed by some (stupid) critics for ripping off Hitchcock should in stead be praised for being able to copy the master better than any other living filmmaker.

Hitchcock is my favorite director of all times, and "Obsession" is so much like one of his films that it's difficult to accept that it was put together by another man. But De Palma doesn't deserve criticism for honoring his idol, he deserves praise for delivering a movie that, had it been made by Hitchcock, would rank among his finest films.

That's quite a feat! If you are a fan of De Palma or Hithcock you are almost guaranteed to love "Obsession", a highly underrated thriller that left me an even greater fan of Robertson, Bujold, Lithgow, De Palma, Schrader, Herrmann and every one else involved. Sit back, enjoy it and watch out for those wonderful last 20 minutes!

37 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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