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Altered States (1980)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 20,623 users  
Reviews: 125 user | 76 critic

A Harvard scientist conducts experiments on himself with a hallucinatory drug and an isolation chamber that may be causing him to regress genetically.

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Title: Altered States (1980)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Miguel Godreau ...
Primal Man
Dori Brenner ...
Peter Brandon ...
Charles White-Eagle ...
...
Megan Jeffers ...
Grace Jessup
Jack Murdock ...
Hector Orteco
...
Obispo (as Frank McCarthy)
Deborah Baltzell ...
Schizophrenic Patient
...
Young Rosenberg
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Storyline

It's the late 1960's. Just for a lark, graduate student Eddie Jessup, known for being unconventional, brilliant and slightly mad, conducts experiments with an isolation chamber, using himself as the subject. His experiences in the chamber cause him to hallucinate, much of the imagery being religious-based despite he not being a religious man. Seven years later, he is a respected full professor in the Harvard Medical School. Believing he has lost his edge and has fallen into an unwanted state of respectability, Eddie decides to resume his work with sensory deprivation, this time using hallucinogens, specifically untested ones used in mystical Mexican rituals, to enhance the experience of being in the isolation tank. After initial tests, he claims he entered an alternate physical and mental state. Although unbelieving of Eddie's claims, his colleagues Arthur Rosenberg and Mason Parrish, as well as Eddie's wife, Emily, who is in her own right a respected academic, are concerned for ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the basement of a university medical school Dr . Jessup floats naked in total darkness. The most terrifying experiment in the history of science is out of control... and the subject is himself See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Estados alterados  »

Box Office

Gross:

$25,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (MegaSound encoding)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was made and released about two years after its source novel of the same name by Paddy Chayefsky was first published in 1978. The book was a best-seller and was Chayefsky's only ever novel. The story was the second medically related screenplay Chayefsky had done in recent times, he having recently won an Oscar for The Hospital (1971). Chayefsky spent two years in Boston doing research for the novel and had a lot of stress during this consequently suffering a heart attack in 1977. Moreover, according to the "Guide to the Paddy Chayefsky Papers, 1907 - 1998", Chayefsky was sued by one of the people assisting him with the research. Chayefsky died just over six months after the movie first launched at the end of 1980. "Altered States" was the final film that was written by Chayefsky. See more »

Goofs

While Arthur takes Eddie's blood and Mason is yelling at him, the position of the bloody rag used to wipe Eddie's face clean as well as the EEG wiring changes positions between shots. See more »

Quotes

Emily Jessup: [crying] He doesn't love me. He never loved me. I was never real to him. Nothing in the human experience is real to him.
See more »

Connections

References Tommy (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Light My Fire
(uncredited)
Written by Robby Krieger, Jim Morrison, John Densmore and Ray Manzarek
Performed by The Doors
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Altered director...
7 December 2006 | by (Spain) – See all my reviews

A scientist experiments with an ancient drug that gets him on a "trip" to his primitive nature (physically and mentally). Well, it looks like Ken Russell took a little of that drug too to film some of the sequences of "Altered States".

The movie moves between the terror and metaphysics, and the script is incongruous, lacks rhythm, and the ending is completely absurd.

The best in "Altered States"? The work of William Hurt, no doubt about it.

*My rate: 4/10

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8 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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