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The Fantasist (1986) More at IMDbPro »

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Robin Hardy (writer)
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Release Date:
August 1986 (UK) See more »
When an Irish woman moves from the suburbs to Dublin, she begins receiving phone calls from a stranger... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Only a fantasist would consider this great cinema See more (10 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Moira Sinise ... Patricia Teeling (as Moira Harris)

Christopher Cazenove ... Inspector McMyler

Timothy Bottoms ... Danny Sullivan

John Kavanagh ... Robert Foxley
Mick Lally ... Uncle Lar
Bairbre Ni Chaoimh ... Monica Quigley
Jim Bartley ... Hugh Teeling (as James Bartley)
Deirdre Donnelly ... Fionnuala Sullivan
Liam O'Callaghan ... Farrelly
Ronan Wilmot ... Patricia's Father
May Giles ... Patricia's Mother
Se Ledwidge ... Patsy Teeling
Gabrielle Reidy ... Kathy O'Malley
Agnes Bernelle ... Mrs. O'Malley
Seamus Forde ... Mr. Mullally
Derek Halligan ... Translator
Virginia Cole ... Woman in 'Ladies'
Sean Rafferty ... Clergyman
Patrick Daly ... Priest (as Pat Daly)
Maeliosa Stafford ... Wine Waiter
Ronan Smith ... Manager
Frank Melia ... Reporter
Derry Power ... Racegoer
Charlie Roberts ... Racegoer
Des Nealon ... Lawyer

Dervla Kirwan ... Fiona
Brendan Cauldwell ... Hotel Bar Drinker
Michael Duffy ... Hotel Bar Drinker
Gerry Alexander ... The Voice
Tony O'Hehir ... Racing Commentator
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jim Cotter ... Drunk on ship (uncredited)

Directed by
Robin Hardy 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Robin Hardy  writer

Produced by
Mark Forstater .... producer
Vivien Pottersman .... associate producer
Original Music by
Stanislas Syrewicz 
Cinematography by
Frank Gell 
Film Editing by
Thomas Schwalm 
Production Design by
John Lucas 
Costume Design by
Maeve Paterson 
Makeup Department
Nick Dudman .... prosthetics makeup
Sound Department
Laurie McDowell .... assistant sound editor
Aad Wirtz .... sound re-recording mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
Alan Butler .... assistant camera
Vincent Corcoran .... additional photography
Tom Kenny .... theatrical lighting
Louis H. Lavelly .... additional photographer
John Murphy .... grip
Editorial Department
Angelica Landry .... first assistant editor
Music Department
Tom McGuinness .... music coordinator
Ray Williams .... music supervisor
Other crew
Paul Myler .... assistant accountant
Laerke Sigfred Pedersen .... script supervisor

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
UK:98 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Moira Sinise receives an "introducing" credit.See more »
Detective:[speculating on sex-killer's identity while inspecting murder scene] He's... unlikely to be a missionary.See more »


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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Only a fantasist would consider this great cinema, 15 November 2009
Author: Ali_Catterall from London, England

Director Robin Hardy's reputation rests almost exclusively on his 1973 cult classic, The Wicker Man. On the evidence of this, there it should stay. Wicker fans whose curiosity has been pricked should step quickly over The Fantasist as if it were a polystyrene pebble, for it holds no weight and will do them no good.

Overgrown Catholic schoolgirl Patricia Teeling (Harris) takes on a teaching post in Dublin, against the misgivings of her suburban relatives. "We don't want you picking up their city ways up there!" Her vocation coincides with a series of murders, perpetrated on young women by a nuisance caller with an especially mellifluous delivery, and who possibly supplements his income penning homilies for Hallmark greeting cards. "I'm the light in your jade green eyes where the sun bursts through and turns our stone grey city into gold. I am the melting feeling in your tummy when you hear music so sublimely beautiful you want to cry." If his poetry (which makes the average Vogon's efforts seem like TS Eliot) doesn't polish them off, the old knife-between-the-shoulder-blades trick certainly will.

"The man of my dreams is an imaginative rock," Patricia tells her flatmate, and soon attracts three unsuitable suitors, one of whom might be the killer. Could it be beardy weirdy English master Robert Foxley (Kavanagh)? He gargles wine loudly in restaurants. Plus, he's got a silly beard. In fact, he looks just like one of those upside-down faces in optical illusion books. And his romantic small talk consists of stuff like "I knew you'd make a good mother, Patricia." That's not good.

Love interest number two is her downstairs neighbour, the nervy American writer Danny Sullivan (Bottoms). He's married, so he's not a great catch. He also does a neat line in dirty phone calls in funny voices (to his wife, he claims). Then again, his wife is shortly bound for the chop. However, this doesn't stop our Pat hiding coins down her knickers so he can divine them with his rod (no euphemism intended). "I guess I just trust him," this latter-day Little Red Riding Hood tells suitor number three, Christopher Cazenove's Inspector McMyler, who keeps blown-up photos of the victims in his cottage, and wants to photograph Pat in the nude. Casual viewers will have figured out by now that Patty isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer.

This is a very silly film indeed; featuring grating overacting and a grating 1980s soundtrack, all tourist board Gaelic flutes and stabbing synths. Level 42 even make a cameo appearance performing the cheesiest white-funk since... well, Level 42 really are in a class of their own.

Lacking a playwright of Anthony Shaffer's stature, the dialogue's in dire need of an editor (sample line: "Death tries its best to rival procrastination as a thief of time"). The cinematography's functional at best, while scenes cutting between the slaughter of a victim and the carving of a roast merely underscore the clunkiness.

Most depressingly (in Hardy's hands) the film also panders to Vatican-friendly genre cliché, with Patricia's potential fate prompted through her burgeoning sexual liberation. Contrast this with the subversive Wicker Man, in which sex is portrayed as a guilt-free, joyous affair through which the protagonist could have saved himself, if only he'd actually had it.

Here, the one fleetingly erotic scene is deftly undermined by the killer merrily using Patricia's bare buttocks as a pair of bongos. What a symphony he could have produced with Willow MacGregor, the landlord's daughter in The Wicker Man!

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