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Mesmerized (1985)

PG | | Drama | 31 December 1986 (USA)
An orphaned New Zealand girl married to an older, wealthy businessman learns to deal with his strange sexual desires.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Oliver Thompson
Old Thompson
Phillip Holder ...
Dr. Finch (as Philip Holder)
Beryl Te Wiata ...
Mrs. Simmons
Reg Evans ...
Mr. Simmons
Don Selwyn ...
Derek Hardwick ...
George Spoors ...
Bob Gould ...
Jonathan Elsom ...
Public Prosecutor
Norman Fairley ...


An orphaned New Zealand girl married to an older, wealthy businessman learns to deal with his strange sexual desires.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A love triangle of passion and murder See more »




PG | See all certifications »



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Release Date:

31 December 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shocked  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,654,930 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The two star-teamed leads of this movie, Jodie Foster and John Lithgow, have both appeared in filmed adaptations of novels by John Irving, they being The Hotel New Hampshire (1984) and The World According to Garp (1982) respectively. For the latter, actor Lithgow was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award but lost out to Louis Gossett Jr. for An Officer and a Gentleman (1982). See more »


[first lines]
Judge: Order in court! Council for the defense of Mrs. Victoria Thompson: Thomas Longwood, MP.
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User Reviews

Fair Period Drama
4 October 2015 | by (Alexandria, VA) – See all my reviews

Victoria, a young orphan in late-19th-century New Zealand, enters into an arranged marriage with a wealthy older man; when she comes of age, she leaves the orphanage and goes to live with her husband, who is little more than a stranger to her, and finds married life difficult to face. Her new husband is loutish and chauvinistic, but he has a handsome sensitive younger brother, which complicates the young girl's life. A romantic triangle, tragedy, and mystery ensue; when Oliver, the husband, becomes ill, the cause could be the chemicals he uses to exterminate rats or something more sinister. "Mesmerized," which was originally titled "My Letter to George," is a tidy did-she or didn't-she supposedly based on true events. Co-written and directed by Michael Laughlin, the film may be too slow for some; events unfold at a leisurely pace, but those attuned to PBS dramas or Merchant-Ivory productions may find it to their liking.

Jodie Foster both co-produced and stars as Victoria, the orphaned child bride; her cool impassive demeanor suits the role of an unwilling wife in a loveless marriage. However, her iciness extends a bit too far, and little heat ignites between Foster and Don Shor, who plays the younger brother, George, which undercuts their supposed attraction. John Lithgow breathes life into Oliver, the grizzled insensitive husband; he has some good moments, and his character is more vibrant and alive than that of the cold Victoria. Harry Andrews also does well as Oliver's equally loutish father.

A delicate score by Georges Delerue enhances the period film, and the script, co-written by Jerzy Skolimowski, is well written and literate. A short, well intentioned movie, "Mesmerized" is no classic, but better than average, and boasts a good performance by Lithgow, a fine score by Delerue, and an enigmatic fade-out that will leave viewers pondering, "Did she? Or didn't she?"

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