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   20,317 votes »
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Up 6% 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:
A flawed but sentimental favorite See more (125 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:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Dolby | 70 mm 6-Track (MegaSound encoding)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Movie poster artwork featured an upside-down, tanked and medically wired-up William Hurt it being similar in design concept to that previously used by the medical thriller movie Coma (1978) released a couple of years earlier.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: During the hallucination sequence in the cave, the pyrotechnic charges underneath the mushroom-shaped rock are visible as it elevates, as is the wire lifting it up.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:
Voile d'OrpheeSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
40 out of 58 people found the following review useful.
A flawed but sentimental favorite, 29 November 2002

Altered States is not everything that it could be, and that's because director Ken Russell was more interested in assaulting the viewer with a series of startling (by 1980 standards) images than he was in exploring the stories subtext. Eddie Jessup is a scientist so introverted and afraid of human connections that it's not enough to abandon his family, he also has to further deprive himself of any and all stimulation, performing sensory depravation experiments on himself to attain better understanding of "ultimate truth." Jessup proclaims himself to be an atheist, but the visual content of his hallucinations reveals him to be a man who's more at war with God than a man who disbelieves. His descent into a more primal state of being is an obvious metaphor for how easy it is for a man with commitment issues and fear of intimacy to turn completely inward, leaving the real world behind. Some of what the character says early on about family and love make his motivations clear... Jessup is a man shattered by his father's death and unable to accept the vulnerability of the human condition. A viewer has to really work to absorb and enjoy these metaphors, though, as Russell never slows his onslaught of special effects. The movie also suffers from smart but unrealistic dialogue and ham-fisted performances from some of the principle characters (watch Blair Brown's over-the-top breakdowns in the last act). Altered States isn't the total package, it doesn't combine the visceral and the philosophical as well as movies like Jacob's Ladder or Natural Born Killers. But it's better than most of today's equivalent movies (Donnie Darko, etc) that want to stimulate and provoke the viewer and don't quite pull it off.

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Message Boards

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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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