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Dead Ringers (1988)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 24,895 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 107 user | 80 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

Twin gynecologists take full advantage of the fact that nobody can tell them apart, until their relationship begins to deteriorate over a woman.

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Title: Dead Ringers (1988)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Claire Niveau (as Genevieve Bujold)
...
Cary (as Heidi Von Palleske)
Barbara Gordon ...
Danuta
...
Laura
...
Wolleck / Anders Wolleck
Nick Nichols ...
Leo
Lynne Cormack ...
Arlene
Damir Andrei ...
Birchall
Miriam Newhouse ...
Mrs. Bookman
David Hughes ...
Superintendent
Richard W. Farrell ...
Dean of Medicine (as Richard Farrell)
Warren Davis ...
Anatomy Class Supervisor
Jonathan Haley ...
Beverly, Age 9
Nicholas Haley ...
Elliot, Age 9
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Storyline

The Mantle brothers are both doctors - both gynecologists - and identical twins. Mentally however, one of them is more confident than the other, and always manages to seduce the women he meets. When he's tired of his current partner, she is passed on to the other brother - without her knowing. Everything runs smoothly, until an actress visits their clinic, and the shy brother is the first to fall in love. Will they be able to 'share' her ? Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Two bodies. Two minds. One soul. Separation can be a terrifying thing.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

23 September 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pacto de amor  »

Box Office

Gross:

$9,134,733 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Hurt was Cronenberg's first choice to play the twins. He regretted turning it down but had a scheduling conflict. He later commented about turning down the roles by saying that he "had a hard enough time playing one character, let alone two". See more »

Goofs

In a scene dated 1954, the twins seen are playing with The Visible Woman, Revell toy company's biological model of a woman that was not marketed until at least five years later. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Elliot, Age 9: You've heard about sex...
Beverly, Age 9: Sure I have.
Elliot, Age 9: Well I've discovered why sex is.
Beverly, Age 9: You have? Fantastic.
Raffaella: It's because humans don't live under water.
Beverly, Age 9: I don't get it.
Elliot, Age 9: Well, fish don't need sex because they just lay the eggs and fertilize them in the water. Humans can't do that because they don't live in the water. They have to - internalize the water. Therefore we have sex.
Beverly, Age 9: So you mean humans would have sex if they lived in the water?
Elliot, Age 9: Well they'd have a kind of sex. The kind where you wouldn't ...
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

In the Still of the Night (I'll Remember)
Performed by The Five Satins
under license from Arista Records, Inc.
Copyrighted by Llee Corp.
Composed by Fred Parris
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"No, you're right, he's not alone- but he's lonely. Even with me."
4 March 2002 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

While I like "The Brood" quite a bit, Dead Ringers gets my vote as Cronenberg's best work.

Follow along as the twin brothers spiral out of control when they unsuccessfully try to break free from each other. One's more confident, the other more timid. But they depend on each other, and at middle age neither has the psychological strength to be their own person; they still don't have a sense of self. Among many favorite moments, I love the scene where Elliott, the more confident twin, tries to kiss Claire. It's his way of trying to synchronize himself with his brother Beverly, whom Claire has a true connection with. "I'm sorry but I can't", she intones. Elliott turns to the mirror, disturbed. "Am I really that different from my brother?". He absolutely does not know who he is.

Although it's not without some humor, Dead Ringers is very bleak. It has an emotional intensity that most movies can't touch. It is sad AND beautiful.

The movie itself *looks* great. Good script, and AWESOME performances from both Irons and Bujold. As another reviewer suggested, watch it twice if you don't like it the first time- it might grow on you.

This is my all-time favorite movie.


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