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   4,811 votes »
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Down 7% 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:
ONE OF BRIAN DEPALMA'S MOST UNDERRATED FILMS 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 seen at the beginning of the film, Church of San Miniato, is different from the one that Michael actually goes into when he sees Sandra. The reason for this is because the priests of the Church of San Miniato would not allow De Palma and his crew to film inside of the church, because of a previous film crew that turned out to be making a porno film, and had told them otherwise. This can be seen clearly when Michael goes into the church, which only has one door to enter into, and then in the next shot, where Michael's back is towards the door, and there are now two, and a windows on the doors that don't match the one that we saw on the outside shot. The collegiate church in the town of San Gimignano was used for the interior shots.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:How did she die?
Michael Courtland:I killed her.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Palermo Shooting (2008)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
26 out of 36 people found the following review useful.
ONE OF BRIAN DEPALMA'S MOST UNDERRATED FILMS, 16 July 2001
Author: Bill Treadway (treads22@hotmail.com) from Queens, New York

"Obsession" is one of Brian DePalma's most underrated films. It is a thriller of tremendous power and grace. It is also the recipient of some of the most negative reviews in DePalma's very checkered history.

I personally think that Brian DePalma is one of our very best directors. I would even classify him as a great director. His best films are his thrillers, which are inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's work. Most critics think DePalma is nothing more than someone who rips off Hitchcock. But in his defense, he does not rip off Hitch. He is his own artist. He has his own agenda in each and every film he has made.

"Obsession" is often touted as a "rehash of Vertigo". But DePalma takes the basic premise and turns it upside down, creating twists and revelations that Hitchcock only dreamed of. The film stars Cliff Robertson, in his usual fine performance as a man whose wife and daughter are kidnapped and killed in a setup gone bad. The film opens in 1959 and then skips ahead to 1975 with Robertson standing at the graves (really nice camerawork in this sequence as time fades away) Robertson is in Italy for business when he sees a young woman who strongly resembles his late wife (since both are played by Genevieve Bujold, this is no coincidence)You can pretty much guess the rest.

Or can you? What makes "Obsession" really stand out is the final 25 minutes in which DePalma and cowriter Paul Schrader (himself a fine director; his credits include "Hardcore", "Blue Collar", "American Gigolo" and "Mishima")put in so many twists and turns that a second viewing may be necessary to sort out all the details. While most people may dismiss this as a ripoff of "Vertigo", remember that at this time "Vertigo" was currently unavailable period. No TV viewings, no tapes, no theatrical runs, nothing. DePalma may have been trying to make a film to fill the void left behind by that disappearance. But he makes a film that is more satisfying than the Hitchcock film. "Vertigo", brilliant as it was, was a real downer. "Obsession" is shorter at 98 minutes, but it has a delibirate pace that makes it feel longer. In a lesser work, it would be intolerable, but here it is appropriate.

The technical credits are solid as a rock. The Panavision photography by Vilmos Zsigmond is outstanding as is the Bernard Herrmann score (his next to last). Robertson and Bujold give strong performances, but it is DePalma regular John Lithgow who is the most memorable.

See "Obsession" two or three times to get the full effect. It takes some effort to get used to, but it's worth it.

**** out of 4 stars

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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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