IMDb > Obsession (1976)
Obsession
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Obsession (1976) More at IMDbPro »

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Obsession -- An affluent American businessman believes he is responsible for the death of his wife and daughter. Years later he meets a girl in Europe who bears a remarkable resemblence to his wife and falls in lo

Overview

User Rating:
6.8/10   4,799 votes »
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Up 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Brian De Palma (story) and
Paul Schrader (story) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Obsession on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 September 1976 (Sweden) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The love story that will scare the life out of you See more »
Plot:
A businessman becomes fixated upon a young woman who resembles his dead wife. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(38 articles)
[De Palma’s] Vision
 (From MUBI. 3 June 2014, 5:35 AM, PDT)

Top Ten Brian De Palma Climaxes
 (From SoundOnSight. 13 May 2014, 9:05 PM, PDT)

Notebook Soundtrack Mix #4: "Fragments of the Mirror: The Music of Bernard Herrmann"
 (From MUBI. 22 October 2013, 1:58 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Obsession See more (51 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Cliff Robertson ... Michael Courtland

Geneviève Bujold ... Elizabeth Courtland / Sandra Portinari

John Lithgow ... Robert Lasalle
Sylvia Kuumba Williams ... Maid (as Sylvia 'Kuumba' Williams)
Wanda Blackman ... Amy Courtland

J. Patrick McNamara ... 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
Regis Cordic ... Newscaster

Loraine Despres ... Jane
Clyde Ventura ... Ticket Agent
Fain M. Cogrove ... Secretary
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Harper ... Man In Airport (uncredited)
Warren Kenner ... (uncredited)
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Directed by
Brian De Palma 
 
Writing credits
Brian De Palma (story) and
Paul Schrader (story)

Paul Schrader (screenplay)

Produced by
Harry N. Blum .... producer
Robert S. Bremson .... executive producer
George Litto .... producer
 
Original Music by
Bernard Herrmann 
 
Cinematography by
Vilmos Zsigmond 
 
Film Editing by
Paul Hirsch 
 
Art Direction by
Jack Senter 
 
Set Decoration by
Jerry Wunderlich 
 
Costume Design by
Frank Balchus 
 
Production Management
Frank Beetson .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Wiliam Pool .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
David M. Ronne .... sound
Dan Sable .... sound effects editor
 
Special Effects by
Joe Lombardi .... special effects
 
Stunts
Bob Herron .... stunt coordinator
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Nick McLean .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Paul B. Clay .... music editor
Louis Halsey .... choral director (uncredited)
Bernard Herrmann .... conductor (uncredited)
Laurie Johnson .... conductor: finale (uncredited)
Christopher Palmer .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Rachel Griffiths .... script supervisor
Hannah Scheel .... script supervisor
Rachel Ticotin .... production assistant
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
98 min | Australia:94 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-16 | France:U | Iceland:16 | Sweden:15 | UK:AA (original rating) | UK:12 (video rating) | UK:12 (video rating) (2011) | USA:PG | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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 »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: 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 »
Quotes:
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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Palermo Shooting (2008)See more »

FAQ

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15 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
Obsession, 30 October 2005
Author: lee953go from United States

No previews of this movie should be read if there is any chance that it gives away the plot of the movie. The ending is quite unbelievable and heart-stopping. You think all through this movie that you know what is going on--but you won't. I know people who saw this movie and still did not know what actually happened. I was fortunate enough to see this movie in a theater in 1976. There was hardly anyone else in the theater. In one week I saw the movie five times and would have seen it more but the theater ended the showing of it. In my city it was not shown at any other theater. The reason "Obsession" did not do well in ticket sales was that the title made people think of demon possession movies(which many were tired of at that time). It was not marketed correctly. The movie opens in 1959 as a rich business man in New Orleans, Courtland,(Cliff Robertson) is married to a wonderful wife and has a daughter who is about five years old. The wife and daughter are kidnapped and held for ransom. Courtland, thinking that he is doing the safest thing that he can do, contacts the police. The police find the kidnappers and the wife and daughter. The kidnappers escape with the hostages in a car and the police chase them. The kidnapper's car slams into a fuel truck on a bridge and all is lost. Courtland blames himself for the tragedy. Courtland spends the next sixteen years buried in guilt and remorse. Psychotherapy does not do much good. In 1975, Court(as he is known as) is finally persuaded to take a vacation in Italy where his firm conducts business. His partner(John Lithgow, who does a great job speaking Italian with a New Orleans drawl)goes with him. Court goes to a huge,beautiful, cathedral where he makes a heart-rendering, earth-shaking, discovery. All through the movie, care must be taken to carefully observe the paintings, whether they are in the cathedral or in a house. They all have meaning. There are art students in the cathedral who are restoring paintings that have been damaged during a flood(A second chance for the works of art). One of the students,a young woman, bears an uncanny resemblance to Court's dead wife. Court returns later with his business partner who is shocked by the resemblance of the woman. The musical score during these scenes are hauntingly beautiful and tell the story of a man who has awakened from a nightmare of self-reproach. Court meets the student, Sandra(Geniveve Bujold,one of the most beautiful actresses in the world) and takes her to lunch. Lunch turns into dinner and a relationship develops. Court falls madly in love with her. He is alive for the first time since 1959. Court returns with her to New Orleans and announces that he is going to marry her. His friends try to talk him out of this whirlwind romance and give himself time to think about it. Court dismisses their advice and decides to marry Sandra the next day without his friends. Sandra reluctantly agrees. The next morning, Court finds that Sandra has been kidnapped. The ransom note is a copy of the 1959 ransom note. This nearly drives Court info insanity and he decides that this time he will do the ransom right--but will he succeed? The rest of the movie is a frenzy. The last two minutes of the movie should not be viewed by anyone with a heart condition. It is that intense. I cannot explain further because the movie is not only a love story and thriller, but also a mystery. Brian DePalma was a genius for directing this movie. There are several scenes in this movie where the camera rotates around a character, painting a picture of an unsteady state of mind. You can see the same cinematography and effect in the 2005 movie, "Flightplan", with Jodie Foster. Both movies have the same portrayal of one who is desperately cares for a loved one and is dealing with intense guilt from the past. Both movies end in an airport with the main characters doing exactly the same thing, which I cannot reveal without ruining the ending of the movies. You must find a copy of "Obsession" and view it because it is like no other movie--even though some have compared it to Hitchcock's movie, "Vertigo".

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Obsession (1976)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Ah, the Nostalgia (spoils)! kenichiku
He Even Used Hitchcock's Composer goooooost8
Comparing it to Vertigo - spoilers ezkaban
1959 Scenes - Wha????? SamticJudd
Alternate ending (SPOILS) Hyag
This film is a tribute to not only 'Vertigo', but Hitchcock in general! yj270
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