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Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  12 April 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 15,446 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 27 critic

A bored suburban housewife, seeking adventure to her life, accidentally gets hit on the head, wakes up with amnesia, and is mistaken for a free-spirited New York City drifter named Susan.



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Title: Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anne Carlisle ...
José Angel Santana ...
Boutique Owner (as Jose Santana)
Street Vendor
Richard Hell ...


Bored Roberta spots a regular personal ad in the paper titled 'Desperately Seeking Susan'. She heads off to New York, following one of the ads, and finds Susan. When Susan sells her jacket, Roberta - trying to emulate her mystery ad writer - buys the jacket and wears it. Little does she know someon is looking for the jacket - and its owner... Written by Colin Tinto <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Roberta is desperate to be Susan. Susan is wanted by the mob. The mob finds Roberta instead... See more »


Comedy | Drama


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 April 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Recherche Susan désespérément  »

Box Office


$4,500,000 (estimated)


$27,400,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(original release)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ellen Barkin wanted the part of Susan and was the studio's first choice. The modest budget and director Susan Seidelman's insistence eventually benefited newcomer Madonna, who was ultimately given the part. See more »


When Susan picks up The New York Mirror newspaper, the word lotto is spelled Looto on the front page See more »


Leslie: I can't believe the two of you are eating in the middle of a crisis like this.
Gary: We're nervous, what do you want...
Leslie: Then take a Valium like a normal person.
See more »


Referenced in Chelsea Lately: Episode #7.189 (2013) See more »


Written by Carly Simon and Michael McDonald
Performed by Carly Simon
Courtesy of Elektra/Asylum Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

Madonna Rocks NYC
21 November 2001 | by (Florida) – See all my reviews

This movie has 5 great things going for it: Madonna, Rosanna Arquette, the soundtrack, shot in 1984 and in New York City. Arquette plays Roberta Glass, a bored and ignored housewife who is obsessed with a couple she reads about in the personals, Jim and Susan. Roberta reads that Jim and Susan will meet at Battery Park the following day, and goes down to watch the two. As Jim and Susan part again for a few days, Roberta decides to follow Susan (Madonna) though the streets and into a clothing store, where Susan trades the store-owner her pyramid jacket for some rhinestone boots. When Susan leaves, Roberta buys the jacket, goes home and finds a key in one of the pockets. Roberta then puts an ad in the paper for Susan to meet her at Battery Park to pick up the key she left in the jacket. As Susan gets to the park, she is arrested for short-changing the cab driver, just as a thug who is after Susan mistakes Roberta for her. Roberta knocks herself out cold accidentally and wakes up believing she is Susan. The rest of the film is non-stop comedic confusion and madness, played out by some great talents including Laurie Metcalf as Roberta's sister-in-law, Leslie, and Aidan Quinn, Robert Joy and Mark Blum as the hapless unfortunate love interests of our heroines. Directed by Susan Seidelman ("Smithereens"). Highly recommended.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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100 things learned from watching Desperately Seeking Susan eastcoastguyz
Madonna's armpits – hair today, gone tomorrow mryipyop
Has New York lost its edge/character? grw9952
Why such a low rating? parame
Was Susan a prostitute? morning_star
Susan's clothes stephaniebrown
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