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Frantic (1988)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  26 February 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 36,431 users  
Reviews: 145 user | 45 critic

In a hotel room in Paris, a doctor comes out of the shower and finds that his wife has disappeared. He soon finds himself caught up in a world of intrigue, espionage, gangsters, drugs and murder.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Djiby Soumare ...
Taxi Driver
Dominique Virton ...
Gérard Klein ...
Stéphane D'Audeville ...
Laurent Spielvogel ...
Alain Doutey ...
Jacques Ciron ...
Roch Leibovici ...
Louise Vincent ...
Patrice Melennec ...
Ella Jaroszewicz ...
Joëlle Lagneau ...


A doctor and his wife go to Paris for a medical conference. While showering, his wife disappears. His lack of language, and the odd way she disappeared makes it nearly impossible for him to find any official help in his search as he enters the punk/drug culture to find out what has happened to her. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They've taken his wife. Now he's taking action. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

26 February 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Búsqueda frenética  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)


$17,637,950 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Because actress Betty Buckley was committed to working on this movie, she was unable to be in the Eight Is Enough: A Family Reunion (1987) movie. See more »


The match from the matchbook sounds like a wooden match when it falls after Dr. Walker checks his watch with it. See more »


[first lines]
Sondra Walker: Do you know where you are?
Richard Walker: No, it's changed too much.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits roll up. See more »


Referenced in Paris, France (1993) See more »


Jah Rastafari
Performed by Culture
Written by Joseph Hill
Courtesy of Virgin Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Underrated, brilliant masterpiece!
15 July 2001 | by See all my reviews

I really don't understand how this movie could have such a low score at this site. Perhaps the European atmosphere doesn't appeal as much to Americans as it does to Europeans.....just like most french top-films never made it to the US.

Nevertheless, Roman Polanski is terribly underrated as a master of suspence. In fact, looking back at Hitchcock's movies (which is unfair, since they've been made in a completely different era) I don't think he ever made movies written this well.

For some reason most of the time film making starts with putting the director together with some of the best or most popular actors of that period. But this one certainly doesn't.... It shows that Polanski wrote this himself, with his close friend and film-writing-partner, because he really knows what this story is about - he knows where to be funny, where to make it tense, where to make things kind of 'sensual'.

The weird thing is, that looking at all the things that happen in this movie, it's still so relatively shot, and doesn't feel at all too paced, or rushed. No, it rather feels like you are watching a 4 hour movie.

Anyway, those who have ever lost track of someone (for a short moment) in a strange, big city or those who have ever tried to find out something in France, will know and recognize exactly what Harrison Ford's character is going through - people not taking you seriously, people who don't care, people who refuse (or aren't able) to help you in your own language. All these things are put in this movie, so well, that -at least for me- it is really very realistic.

Most writers and directors nowadays seem to ruin most great movies/thrillers by not being able to make a good ending to the developing story. At one point our main character has got to find out what is happening....and how to do that, without taking away the suspence is incredibly difficult. Roman Polanski has done this very well, by not making this story too complicated and slowly unraveling a -looking back- simple mistery. There is no need to glue parts of the story together to make it all fit, or just skip parts to make it easier for him/you.

No, this is the first movie I've seen where when someone looses his shoes on a roof, he has to walk barefoot the next day. Most movies just ignore these little facts, but Roman makes it always difficult for himself in order to make it more easy (or, more easy to believe) for us.

There are no things that make me wonder 'how this is possible' - no, if you are a well known surgeon, many other surgeons from all over the world will know you. And if you will go to a convention in Paris, it's not at all unrealistic that you will run into a few of your friends...even when it's such a big city. Having problems with luggage when you're flying, isn't unrealistic too...nor is the story of this movie, the reason why what happened, happened.

Although I've never understood why our friend wanted his own wife back, instead of staying with the beautifull french girl ;) Again, that's what most people would do in real life....


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I LOVE this movie. Anyone else agree? stza36
Sondra's red dress? StarmanSkywalker
great movie, but one big plot hole ariesgemini100
Horribly underrated Supersouleater
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