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

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Overview

User Rating:
6.8/10   4,975 votes »
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Down 1% 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:
Déjà vu and Déjà vu. See more (52 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)

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

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:
Alfred Hitchcock was reportedly furious when Brian De Palma decided to make Obsession (1976), because he thought it was a virtual remake of Vertigo (1958). Ironically, De Palma stopped making mystery/adventure films after Hitchcock's death in 1980, with the possible exception of Body Double (1984).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:

FAQ

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Déjà vu and Déjà vu., 12 February 2014
Author: The-Spike from United Kingdom

Obsession is directed by Brian De Palma and written by Paul Schrader. It stars Cliff Robertson, Genevieve Bujold and John Lithgow. Music is by Bernard Herrmann and cinematography by Vismos Zsigmond.

You either love him or hate him, it seems. Brian De Palma that is. He's an amazing stylist who made some piercingly great thrillers in the tradition of Maestro Hitchcock, or he's a knock off artist using style to hide his inadequacies as a story teller? One thing for sure, for a good portion of the 70s and 80s his films would not be ignored, for better or worse depending on your own proclivities of course.

Obsession, as has been noted numerous times, is De Palma's homage to Hitchcock's masterpiece, Vertigo. It's not a straight out copy as some reviewers have somehow managed to convince themselves, but narrative drive is similar. Robertson in grief for a passed on wife (Bujold) and daughter meets a doppelganger (also Bujold) of his dead wife 16 years down the line and becomes obsessed with her. As the new woman reciprocates the attraction, the relationship becomes wrought and borderline unhealthy, reaching a crescendo when muddy waters are stirred and revelations force the can to open and worms to spill everywhere.

When remembering that for a long time Vertigo was out of circulation in the 70s, Obsession was sure as hell a good second option for anyone hankering for a superbly stylish thriller boiling over with psychological smarts. Even if you buy into the style over substance argument, what style there is here though. Roving camera work, up tilts, haze surrounds, canted frames, pan arounds, dream shimmers and personalised focus. Add in the splendid use of New Orleans and Tuscany locations and Herrmann's sensually dangerous score (lifted in part and re-worked from Vertigo) and it has style to burn. While the big reveals at pic's culmination are in turn intriguing and daring; even if the original ending planned would have really put the cat among the pigeons and made for a more potent piece ripe for heated discussion.

Lead cast are on fine form, Robertson plays it superbly as a wistful and damaged wastrel, guilt and obsession seeping from every pore. Bujold is just darling, a telling twin performance that actually doesn't demand to be noticed until late in the play. While Lithgow stomps around the edges of the frame like some shyster lawyer whose tie is on too tight. Ultimately Obsession is a film crafted in the mode of Hitchcock, but not in anyway disgracefully so. This is no illegitimate relation to Vertigo, it's more like a reliable brother-in-law. Pulpy, Trashy but also Classy. Great. 8/10

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (52 total) »

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
See more »

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