IMDb > Altered States (1980)
Altered States
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Altered States (1980) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.9/10   20,149 votes »
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Up 15% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Paddy Chayefsky (written for the screen by)
Paddy Chayefsky (novel)
Contact:
View company contact information for Altered States on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 December 1980 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
When he heard his cry for help it wasn't human See more »
Plot:
A Harvard scientist conducts experiments on himself with a hallucinatory drug and an isolation chamber that may be causing him to regress genetically. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Not just for the FX... See more (124 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

William Hurt ... Eddie Jessup

Blair Brown ... Emily Jessup

Bob Balaban ... Arthur Rosenberg

Charles Haid ... Mason Parrish

Thaao Penghlis ... Echeverria
Miguel Godreau ... Primal Man
Dori Brenner ... Sylvia Rosenberg
Peter Brandon ... Hobart
Charles White-Eagle ... The Brujo

Drew Barrymore ... Margaret Jessup
Megan Jeffers ... Grace Jessup
Jack Murdock ... Hector Orteco

Francis X. McCarthy ... Obispo (as Frank McCarthy)
Deborah Baltzell ... Schizophrenic Patient

Evan Richards ... Young Rosenberg
Hap Lawrence ... Endocrinology Fellow
John Walter Davis ... Medical Technician
Cynthia Burr ... Parrish's Girl
Susan Bredhoff ... Echeverria's Girl

John Larroquette ... X-Ray Technician

George Gaynes ... Dr. Wissenschaft
Ora Rubinstein ... Young Medical Student
Paul Larsson ... Charlie Thomas
Eric Forst ... Mingus
Adriana Shaw ... Dr. Antonini
Martin Fiscoe ... Graduate Student
Olivia Michelle ... Veronica

Directed by
Ken Russell 
 
Writing credits
Paddy Chayefsky (written for the screen by) (as Sidney Aaron)

Paddy Chayefsky (novel)

Produced by
Stuart Baird .... associate producer
Howard Gottfried .... producer
Daniel Melnick .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
John Corigliano 
 
Cinematography by
Jordan Cronenweth 
 
Film Editing by
Eric Jenkins 
 
Casting by
Howard Feuer 
Jeremy Ritzer 
 
Production Design by
Richard Macdonald  (as Richard McDonald)
 
Set Decoration by
Thomas L. Roysden  (as Thomas Roysden)
 
Costume Design by
Ruth Myers 
 
Makeup Department
Carl Fullerton .... special makeup assistant
Michael Hancock .... makeup artist
Craig Reardon .... special makeup assistant
Dick Smith .... special makeup
Dione Taylor .... hair stylist (as Dione Taylor-Demsky)
 
Production Management
David Silver .... unit production manager (as Dave Silver)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gary Daigler .... assistant director
Peter Schindler .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Gary Clark .... head paint foreman
Stan Cockerell .... assistant props
Sidney H. Greenwood .... property master (as Syd Greenwood)
Jeff Howard .... assistant art director
Joseph Hurley .... illustrator (as Joe Hurley)
Bill Iiams .... general foreman
Roger Irvin .... construction coordinator
Ronald C. Jacobs .... lead man (as Ron Jacobs)
Stephane Goulet .... property supervisor (uncredited)
Richard M. Kristy .... set dresser (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Willie D. Burton .... sound mixer (as Willie Burton)
Michael Colgan .... supervising sound editor
Laurey Condon .... assistant sound editor
Les Fresholtz .... sound re-recording mixer
Don Higgins .... sound editor
Jerry Jacobson .... adr editor
Stephen Katz .... sound consultant
Marvin E. Lewis .... boom operator (as Marvin Lewis)
Michael Minkler .... sound re-recording mixer
Arthur Piantadosi .... sound re-recording mixer
Fred Stafford .... sound editor
Colin Waddy .... sound editor
Jay Wertz .... sound editor
 
Special Effects by
David Domeyer .... special effects
Larry L. Fuentes .... assistant special effects (as Larry Fuentes)
Chuck Gaspar .... special effects
James Kagel .... sculptor
Jeffrey A. Wischnack .... special effects technician
 
Visual Effects by
Robert Blalack .... special optical effects (as Robbie Blalack)
Bran Ferren .... special visual effects
Louie Schwartzberg .... time lapse photography (as Lou Schwartzberg)
Jamie Shourt .... special optical effects
Max W. Anderson .... visual effects (uncredited)
 
Stunts
M. James Arnett .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Garrett Brown .... Steadicam operator
James Glennon .... camera operator
Adam Glick .... set lighting technician
Barbara Hanania .... additional assistant camera: Boston
Gary Holt .... gaffer
Johnny E. Jensen .... first assistant camera (as John Jensen)
Carey Jones .... second assistant camera
Sal Martorano .... electrician
Morgan Renard .... still photographer
Bob Rose .... key grip (as Bobby Rose)
 
Casting Department
Stephen Kolzak .... additional casting (as Steve Kolzak)
Joel Thurm .... additional casting
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Darryl M. Athons .... costumer: men (as Darryl Athons)
Shanan Harrell .... costumer: women
 
Editorial Department
Cari Coughlin .... apprentice editor
Arthur W. Forney .... assistant editor
Paul Hamill .... post-production assistant: Cinema Research Corp.
Thomas Penick .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
John David Earnest .... orchestrator
Donald Harris .... music editor (as Don Harris)
Pierre Henry .... music excerpt: Voile d'Orphee
Christopher Keene .... conductor
Charles Morrow .... composer: additional music
Sheldon Shkolnik .... assistant to composer
John David Earnest .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Brian L. McCarty .... music playback (uncredited)
Dan Wallin .... scoring mixer (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Gina August .... driver
John M. Woodward .... transportation coordinator (as John Woodward)
 
Other crew
Scott Bartlett .... technical advisor
Richard Clark .... technical advisor
Carline Davis-Dyer .... script supervisor (as Cariline Davis-Dyer)
Jimsie Eason .... production associate
Richard Greenberg .... title designer
Christina Lear .... assistant to producer
Paul Pav .... location manager
Vivian Russell .... assistant: Mr. Russell (as Vivian Jolly)
David Sadava .... scientific advisor
Alan Shapiro .... production intern
Lee Stitch .... production secretary
Susan Tarr .... research assistant
John Cunningham Lilly .... scientific researcher (uncredited)
Bill Iiams .... general foreman (uncredited)
Craig Miller .... marketing consultant (uncredited)
Philip Sharpe .... effects technician (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
102 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Dolby | 70 mm 6-Track (MegaSound encoding)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The picture was part of a 1980s cycle of prehistoric man movies. The films included Caveman (1981), Cavegirl (1985), Hundra (1983), Iceman (1984), Ghost Warrior (1985), Missing Link (1988), Altered States (1980), Luggage of the Gods! (1983), Quest for Fire (1981) and The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986).See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): At one point, the character of Mason Parrish refers to the "nuc-you-lus" of a cell (as opposed to the correct "nuc-lee-us".) While it's a commonly mispronounced word, it's very unlikely that a scientist with Parrish's credentials would make that mistake on a word that they likely read, hear and use practically every day.See more »
Quotes:
[First line]
Arthur Rosenberg:The tank itself was unusual in that it was vertical, and looked like an old boiler.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Light My FireSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
31 out of 37 people found the following review useful.
Not just for the FX..., 3 December 2006
Author: boomaga1 from United States

Okay, the character of Dr. Eddie Jessup is kind of a pompous ass, and there are a few groaner moments of, call it, self-importance.

But this movie breaks real ground.

One of my all time favorites.

And I'd like to point out that everyone is crazy about the much-touted and notoriously-expensive hallucination sequences, ...

Of course if you've seen Russel's "Tommy," some of the over-the-top sequences will look familiar and tinged with peculiar British-isms. And then there's the ending - well, it's controversial, that's for sure - anticlimax or not ?

But for me the most electrifying parts are the ensemble cast acting.

In the scene where Blair Brown is trying to cope with the trauma of the events in the isolation tank room, there's a very beautifully conceived long single shot through house windows. Russel needs credit especially for the argument between Balaban and Haid - some of the best acting I've ever seen - character actors hardly EVER get to put this kind of stage-acting energy on film. It stays with me still. They truly seem absolutely furious with each other, their lines overlap, it's absolutely convincing.

Some of the greatest effects of this movie are simply good movie craft - when Jessup first sees the love of his life walk through the door, fantastically back-lit, and the music comes up and cross-fades into the next scene - it's breathtaking.

It's the moments like that, and the very intro of the movie, with the slow title crawl, the deadpan lines read by Balaban, the first shots of Hurt in the tank, the eerie music ... This movie still stands out, still looks good,... and stands superior to other, more recent imaginings of internal hallucination become external.

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See more (124 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Altered States (1980)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Why did I just lose 107 minutes of my life?! Silvrhelm
Would you try out the sensory deprivation tank? boognish-6
Forced Hollywood Ending? byzantym
Things to discuss kinslerz
Interesting movie Kunta_Kinte_III
So much potential... snook_ocreed
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