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

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Obsession -- Cliff Robertson stars as a New Orleans businessman whose life is shattered when his wife (GenevieveBujold) and daughter are killed in a botched kidnap rescue attempt. Years later, he meets and fallsin love with a woman who bears a striking resemblance to the wife he lost.


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6.8/10   5,535 votes »
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Brian De Palma (story) and
Paul Schrader (story) ...
View company contact information for Obsession on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 September 1976 (Sweden) See more »
The love story that will scare the life out of you See more »
A businessman becomes fixated upon a young woman who resembles his dead wife. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Dreamlike.. See more (54 total) »


  (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)

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
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

Additional Details

Also Known As:
98 min | Australia:94 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
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?

Brian De Palma's older brother Bart painted the portraits that appear in the film.See more »
Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Court and Elizabeth are briefly seen dancing to a conspicuous waltz soundtrack (roughly five minutes into the film), their movements and steps are nowhere near in the style of a waltz, clearly indicating that the scene was filmed to another music, with the waltz soundtrack added later.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 »
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21 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
Dreamlike.., 18 September 2002
Author: dbdumonteil

...or rather nightmarish,this is probably De Palma"s finest achievement.Here his obsession with Alfred Hitchcock is subdued or thoroughly mastered.Of course we cannot help but thinking of "Vertigo" but De Palma's work is made with taste :two good leads -Cliff Robertson,whose eyes seem to reflect fatality,and Genevieve Bujold whose beauty seems to plunge the audience into a dream(the sequence in the church makes her look like a madonna)-.Besides,Bernard Herrman's score is absolutely mind-boggling,enhancing the strangest sequences in an almost religious incantation.The cinematography is up to scratch,and the directing remains sober.The Hitchcock quotations take a back seat to De Palma's talent:compare this work with the grand guignol of "Carrie" the follow-up,the sensationalism tinged with melodrama of "fury" (no,it's not a remake of the Fritz Lang classic),the plagiarism of "dressed to kill" or "Body double".

One may regret the last pictures in slow motion.But that's minor quibble.This is De Palma's magnum opus,and it will be "blow out" before he puts out a genuinely personal movie.Do not miss it.

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See more (54 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Obsession (1976)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
I can do all things through Bernard Herrman's score who inspires me... BrightsLights
Extended soundtrack re-issue londomollari
Q: the second briefcase (spoilers, obviously) dukeofauge
My one concern seville08
Ah, the Nostalgia (spoils)! kenichiku
He Even Used Hitchcock's Composer goooooost8
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