The Hunger (1983) Poster



Alan Parker was Richard Shepherd's first choice to direct, but Parker convinced Shepherd to hire Tony Scott after seeing his commercials.
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In The Celluloid Closet (1995), the 1995 documentary about the history of homosexuality in film, actress Susan Sarandon said that the screenplay for The Hunger (1983) originally called for her to be demonstrably drunk in the lead-up to her sex scene with Catherine Deneuve, but Sarandon asked for it to be changed so that her character had only a single sip of wine and then spilled the rest of the glass. She said she wanted to make it clear that her character was choosing to have sex with Miriam instead of doing it because of the alcohol, and also because "you wouldn't have to get drunk to bed Catherine Deneuve, I don't care what your sexual history to that point had been".
David Bowie said that, in order to make his voice suitably hoarse for when he aged so drastically in the movie, he stood on the George Washington Bridge every night and screamed all the punk rock songs he knew.
David Bowie actually learned to play the cello for his music scenes.
Although a movie about vampires, the word 'vampire' was never uttered.
One day during filming, costume designer Milena Canonero, who is famously dedicated to her craft, disappeared and was nowhere to be found. It was discovered eventually that she had flown to Rome to purchase fabric for a handkerchief David Bowie is supposed to wear. Unable to find fabric she liked in London, Canonero had flown to Rome at her own expense to find the fabric she needed instead.
David Bowie said of this film after it was made: "I must say, there's nothing that looks like it on the market. But I'm a bit worried that it's just perversely bloody at some points".
The age of female vampire Miriam Blaylock (Catherine Deneuve) was six thousand years. The amount of time she had been lovers with John Blaylock (David Bowie) was three hundred years.
In an interview with The Daily Beast in late July, 2014, Susan Sarandon revealed that she had an affair with David Bowie while the two were working on this film.
This film is dedicated in memory of Tony Scott's brother Frank Scott. Tony's big brother, Ridley Scott dedicated Blade Runner (1982) to Frank.
Tony Scott discovered the rock group Bauhaus in a London nightclub and decided to put them in the movie.
Though set in New York, nearly all of the picture was shot in London.
While working in London on this film, Susan Sarandon first met Rupert Everett, Ian McKellen and Suzanne Bertish, people she stayed friends with for decades after. On the DVD commentary for the film, she also said she was still in contact with David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve.
The movie has become a cult film since it was first released in 1983.
Director Tony Scott had to actively campaign for the casting of Willem Dafoe in a small part.
Under the direction of the MGM studio, the film's ending was changed so as to allow for the possibility of sequels and a franchise, something common to the horror film genre, but no such sequel ever eventuated.
Tony Scott cited the photography of Irving Penn as a major influence on the visual style of the film.
Tony Scott wanted to shoot the whole film in New York City, but had to settle for filming the bulk of the movie in London, England because the budget wasn't big enough to afford shooting the entire picture in New York.
David Bowie was reportedly somewhat intimidated by Catherine Deneuve but got on easily with Susan Sarandon.
Cameraman Hugh Johnson became involved with Catherine Deneuve while making this film and they lived together for about two years.
Director Tony Scott's first theatrical feature.
The classical piece of music entitled "Lakmé" (Viens Malika... Dôme épais le jasmine) by Léo Delibes featured in this Tony Scott film would also feature in his brother Ridley Scott's movie Someone to Watch Over Me (1987) which was made and released around four years later.
The 19th Century mansion seen in the movie was a house located in the affluent London suburb of Mayfair.
Source novelist Whitley Strieber wrote two sequels to his novel "The Hunger". They were "The Last Vampire" (2001) and "Lilith's Dream: A Tale of the Vampire Life" (2003), but neither have ever been filmed.
The famous love scene between Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon was shot on a closed set.
The film spurred a short-lived TV series of the same name The Hunger (1997) which ran for around three years. The series, first broadcast fourteen years after this movie, utilized the same title and vampire lore, but had no plot or character connections with this film.
The miniature cross dagger is called an Ankh. It is also known as the key of life, the key of the Nile and "crux ansata" (from the Latin meaning "cross with a handle"). The Ankh is an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character meaning "life", a trilateral sign for three consonants. The knife component of it is something which it was physically adapted into, the blade does not usually exist as part of the symbol. The Ankh knife featured prominently in one of the film's main movie posters.
Whilst the book was still in manuscript form, producer Richard Shepherd read the film's source novel by Whitley Strieber in 1980 and subsequently acquired the film rights. Even as the novel was published in book form, Shepherd had screenwriters busy writing the screenplay.
Apparently, Ridley Scott was set to direct the film, but decided to pass when he heard that David Bowie was in on the deal.
This was the second movie in not so many years with an erotic scene that actress Susan Sarandon appeared in that gained public notoriety. Sarandon had recently been seen in Louis Malle's Atlantic City (1980) where she washed topless with lemons in front of an open window whilst in The Hunger (1983), Sarandon performed a same-sex love scene with French actress Catherine Deneuve.
The film was exhibited out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 1983.
There was only one week's shooting in New York and that was for exteriors.
The piece of music played at the piano was "The Flower Duet" (French: Sous le dôme épais) from Léo Delibes' opera Lakmé. The duet has often been used in commericals, not unsurprisingly, director Tony Scott prior to this had been a director of them.
Second of three filmed adaptations [to date, April 2013] of novels by author Whitley Strieber. The first was Wolfen (1981) whilst the third was Communion (1989).
David Bowie's character and performance as John Blaylock in this film has been said to evoke his characterization from Nicolas Roeg's The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) made and released about seven years earlier.
Musical Director Howard Blake has said of this film on his personal website: "Tony [Scott] wanted to create a score largely using classical music and I researched this, many days going to his home in Wimbledon with stacks of recordings to play to him. One of these was the duet for 2 sopranos from Delibes 'Lakme', which I recorded specially with 'Elaine Barry' and Judith Rees, conducting my orchestra The Sinfonia of London. Howard Shelley joined with Ralph Holmes and Raphael Wallfisch to record the first movement of Schubert's Piano Trio in E flat. Ralph recorded the Gigue from Bach's Violin Partita in E and Raphael the Prelude to Bach's solo cello sonata in G, to which Bowie mimed. I was persuaded to appear in one scene as a pianist, for which I wrote a 'Dolphin Square Blues'. Tony wanted to add a synthesizer score and I introduced him to 'Hans Zimmer', then working at The Snake Ranch Studio in Fulham but Tony eventually used a score by Michel Rubini and Denny Jaeger with electronics by David Lawson. It is hard however to exactly separate these elements".
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Beth Ehlers spent six weeks learning the basic rudiments of violin playing for her role as Alice Cavender.
One of four 1983 theatrical films starring David Bowie. The others were a cameo in Yellowbeard (1983), Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983) and Bowie's concert film Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1973) which had actually been made in 1973, released in the UK then, then distributed wider in 1983.
In September 2009, the Warner Brothers studio announced a remake of this movie with the screenplay to be written this time by source novelist Whitley Strieber but to date [April, 2013] the remake has not been made.
The song "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus is heard during the opening credits and start of the film.
The film was made and released about two years after its source novel of the same name by Whitley Strieber had been first published in 1981.
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Makeup artist Antony Clavet, who was famous within the fashion world for his work in Italian Vogue, was brought onto the project after he was introduced to the director by Milena Canonero.
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Final film of actress Bessie Love who played Lillybelle.
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Two of the cast had been part of the music industry. Cliff De Young had been lead singer in the 1960s rock group "Clear Light" whilst David Bowie was an internationally known pop superstar.
Often considered the Tony Scott film most comparable to one of his brother Ridley Scott's pictures. Tony went on to become one of the key pioneers of the contemporary Hollywood action film.
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Actress Susan Sarandon previously starred in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) whilst Cliff De Young, her co-star in The Hunger (1983), previously starred in its sequel Shock Treatment (1981).
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This isn't the only movie where Catherine Deneuve or Susan Sarandon gets into a lesbian situation. Deneuve made out with Anne Parillaud in Écoute voir... (1979), Laurence Côte in Thieves (1996) and Fanny Ardant in 8 femmes (2002). Sarandon with Rae Dawn Chong in Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2011).
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Catherine Deneuve's character Miriam Blaylock was literally a French Vampire in America [See: Innocent Blood (1992)].
The film is apparently quite popular among some sectors of the goth subculture.
Hans Zimmer was considered to score the film by music director Howard Blake but Tony Scott turned him down. Ironically, Scott would later employ Zimmer for a number of films (and tried to get him for, Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) but the studio refused).
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The name of the academic book that Dr Sarah Roberts (Susan Sarandon) wrote was "Sleep and Longevity".
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The film Performance (1970), the first feature of directors Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg, was a big influence on this movie, which was Tony Scott's first feature.
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Played on piano is an excerpt from Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit.
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Willem Dafoe: As a youth at a phone booth.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Actress Susan Sarandon once said of the movie's changed ending: "The thing that made the film interesting to me was this question of, 'Would you want to live for ever if you were an addict?' But as the film progressed, the powers that be rewrote the ending and decided that I wouldn't die, so what was the point? All the rules that we'd spent the entire film delineating, that Miriam lived forever and was indestructible, and all the people that she transformed [eventually all] died, and that I killed myself rather than be an addict [was ignored]. Suddenly I was kind of living, she was kind of half dying... Nobody knew what was going on, and I thought that was a shame".
David Bowie's rapid aging scenes were likened to Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray".

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