5.9/10
17,529
63 user 27 critic

Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 12 April 1985 (USA)
A bored suburban housewife, seeking escape from her life, suffers amnesia after an accident, wakes up, and is mistaken for a free-spirited New York City drifter named Susan.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
4,394 ( 276)

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

The life of an uptight tax lawyer turns chaotic when he is asked to escort a young woman newly released from prison, who persuades him to help prove her innocence.

Director: James Foley
Stars: Madonna, Griffin Dunne, Haviland Morris
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Documentary following singer Madonna on her controversial Blond Ambition tour in 1990.

Director: Alek Keshishian
Stars: Madonna, Donna DeLory, Niki Harris
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.1/10 X  

Glendon Wasey is a fortune hunter looking for a fast track out of China. Gloria Tatlock is a missionary nurse seeking the curing powers of opium for her patients. Fate sets them on a hectic... See full summary »

Director: Jim Goddard
Stars: Sean Penn, Madonna, Paul Freeman
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Chronicles Madonna's 2004 Re-Invention World Tour and "new" Madonna

Directors: Jonas Åkerlund, Dago Gonzales
Stars: Madonna, Stuart Price, Steve Sidelnyk
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Abbie, tired of failed relationships, has a one-night-stand with her gay friend; they agree to raise the resulting baby together.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Madonna, Rupert Everett, Benjamin Bratt
Evita (1996)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The hit musical based on the life of Evita Duarte, a B-picture Argentinian actress who eventually became the wife of Argentinian president Juan Perón, and the most beloved and hated woman in Argentina.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Madonna, Jonathan Pryce, Antonio Banderas
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

This musical is based on four short stories by Damon Runyon. In one tale, gambler Feet Samuels sells his body to science just as he realizes that Hortense loves him and that he would rather... See full summary »

Director: Howard Brookner
Stars: Josef Sommer, Madonna, Tony Azito
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A New York film director, working on his latest movie in Los Angeles, begins to reflect the actions in his movie and real life, especially when he begins an affair with the lead actress.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Harvey Keitel, Madonna, James Russo
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Director: Mark Aldo Miceli
Stars: Madonna, Jai Winding, Michael Bearden
Madonna: The MDNA Tour (TV Movie 2013)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Madonna returns to stadiums and arenas for her ninth tour, and the highest grossing tour of 2012! EPIX is proud to exclusively broadcast this thrilling, dazzling, cutting edge and controversial concert. In HD.

Directors: Stéphane Sennour, Danny Tull, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Madonna, Kevin Antunes, Monte Pittman
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

A lawyer defends a woman accused of killing her older lover by having sex with him.

Director: Uli Edel
Stars: Madonna, Willem Dafoe, Joe Mantegna
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Filmed during Madonna's 1987 "Who's That Girl World Tour."

Directors: Jeffrey Hornaday, Mark Aldo Miceli, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Madonna, Patrick Leonard, Jai Winding
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Dez
...
...
Jim
...
...
...
...
Ian
...
...
Ray
...
José Angel Santana ...
Boutique Owner (as Jose Santana)
...
Street Vendor
Richard Hell ...
Edit

Storyline

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 someone is looking for the jacket - and its owner... Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's a life so outrageous it takes two women to live it. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 April 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Recherche Susan désespérément  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,526,098 (USA) (31 March 1985)

Gross:

$27,398,584 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(original release)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Susan/Madonna wore pants with silver pockets when walking in NYC and followed closely by Roberta, but the next take after having met Jimmy her black pants are different and without silver pockets. See more »

Quotes

Roberta: Here it is, a message from Jim.
[Reading from newspaper]
Roberta: "Desperately seeking Susan. Meet me, four o'clock, Battery Park. Keep the faith. Love, Jim."
Leslie: Jim? Susan? Do you know these people?
Roberta: They send messages through the personal ads, that's how they hook up. Last year she was in Mexico City, then Los Angeles, now New York. Desperate. I love that word.
Leslie: Everybody I know is desperate, except for you.
Roberta: I'm desperate.
Leslie: Ha!
Roberta: Well, sort of.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Greatest 80s Movies (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

MASHED POTATO TIME
Written by Kal Mann (uncredited) and Harry Land (uncredited)
Performed by Dee Dee Sharp (as Dee Dee Sharp)
Courtesy of K-Tel International
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Cool girls from the city.
10 April 2004 | by (Orlando, Florida) – See all my reviews

Desperately Seeking Susan is one of those titles in a catalogue of definitive 80s movies. It is a fantastic little caper directed by the fantastic Susan Seidleman, and unfortuantely, was one movie that got pitched around a long time before someone finally picked it up.

Susan (played terrifically by Madonna in her pre-burnout years) is a sassy, flaky, and often witty young woman who's always looking for a good time, even when danger is afoot. Enter Roberta Glass (Rosanna Arquette) who could practically be her alter ego as she is everything Susan is not. She is shy and judicious and stuck in a boring marriage, looking for an escape. She is everything Susan is not, and wants to be everything that Susan is. And she will get her chance.

Roberta reads the personal ads frequently because that is how wordly traveller Susan reaches her boyfriend, Jimmy (Robert Joy). They place ads saying hello and telling each where to meet. Roberta is going to tag along when Susan posts a new ad telling Jimmy to meet her in battery park. This is where Roberta takes an interest in Susan, but not that in single white female kind of way, despite the sudden mix up that arises out of all of this. She follows Susan around the city and so forth.

Someone else is following Susan, too. A murderer (Patton) looking for a very expensive earring that was stolen from a museum. He is after Susan because he knows she has the earring. But, after an accident at the park and Roberta winding up with amnesia, the murderer is after the wrong Susan. With the help of Jim's friend Dez (Quinn), Roberta slowly has to figure out who she is, otherwise the murderer is going to kill her, thinking she has the find. In the meantime, Susan teams up with Roberta's totally idiotic husband, Gary (Mark Blum) to find out Roberta's whereabouts. Roberta is going to get exactly what she wanted: a little fun, a little adventure, and a little escape, that will have her rethinking her own course.

Desperately Seeking Susan is really a fun movie that takes place in New York City. Everybody in it, even Mark Blum as the obnoxious Gary Glass and Laurie Metcalf as his compulsive and mistrusting sister, Leslie. Rosanna Arquette is great in nearly everything I've seen her in for her 80s career of movies, and works perfectly as Roberta in her romance with Dez (Quinn). And, it is one of the few things that I actually like Madonna in. They tried to recreate her Susan image (and story) for the movie, Who's That Girl (with Griffin Dunne), but it just couldn't work as perfectly as it did here. Seidleman and writer Leora Barish did some good work in producing a fun film.

By the way, if you're ever in Greenwhich Village, 'Love Saves the Day' (the second hand clothing store that Susan goes into to buy boots) still exists. However, they mostly sell retro novelty toys.


23 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?