36 user 20 critic

The Fan (1981)

Douglas, a record salesman, is an obsessive fan of actress Sally Ross. When his letters are rejected, he strikes out at her and her loved ones.


(as Edward Bianchi)


(novel), | 1 more credit »

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1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Emily Stolz
David Branum
Feiga Martinez ...
Reed Jones ...
Douglas' Sister
Charles Blackwell ...
John Vetta
Saleswoman in Record Store
Terence Marinan ...
Young Man in Bar
Lesley Rogers ...


Douglas is a lonesome record salesman and a true fan of the actress Sally Ross. Every day he writes her gleaming letters of love. But the only response he gets are formal letters. So his love turns into hatred. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The final act is murder. See more »


Drama | Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 May 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Trance  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to "Terrortrap", this movie has been derided by its own star Lauren Bacall. See more »


Jake: Oh come on, babe, what's the matter?
Sally Ross: What's the matter? I've got a show to do in five days, the lighting man appears to be learning on the set, my secretary has been attacked, David is dead, and oh yes, there is some fruit cake out there who wants to kill me. Now to satisfy you more, will you please get the hell out of here!
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Referenced in Too Close for Comfort: A Fan for Henry (1982) See more »


Written by Rufus Thomas and Jerry Dammers
Performed by The Specials
See more »

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User Reviews

Fine Thriller, And Bacall Unfairly Criticized
15 September 2007 | by See all my reviews

I thought this film was much better than the critics made it out to be at the time. I found it to be an interesting character study of an obsessed fan, played by Michael Biehn. He was a new actor at the time and a total unknown, which helped in this role. He went to star in "The Terminator" and has had a decent career. The other co-star....well, you might have heard of her: Lauren Bacall.

I read a lot of criticism of Bacall for this role, and think it is totally unjustified. She was just fine, thank you, playing a believable character: a veteran actress being talked by some deranged killer.

With Maureen Stapleton, James Garner, Hector Elizondo, some great cinematography with wonderful close-up shots and a good score, what's not to like? It was a good thriller and deserves better ratings.

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