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The Rachel Papers (1989)

R | | Drama, Romance | 12 May 1989 (USA)
Charles is in control of his life; he is about to finish 6th form college and start at Oxford. He is 19 and wants an 'older' woman before he turns 20. Enter the beautiful Rachel, and ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Highway
Rachel Noyce
Gordon Highway
Doctor Knowd
Sir Herbert
Nicola Kimber ...
Vanessa Reynolds
Mrs. Seth Smith
Pat Keen ...
Mrs. Tauber


Charles is in control of his life; he is about to finish 6th form college and start at Oxford. He is 19 and wants an 'older' woman before he turns 20. Enter the beautiful Rachel, and Charles puts his 'master-of-seduction' routines into top gear. Things however get complicated, Charles has a string of ex's and a weird brother-in-law. Rachel has a boyfriend named Deforest and Charles' father has a mistress. Written by Matthew Stanfield <mattst@cogs.susx.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She's curious, he's nervous.


Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 May 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Er? Will! Sie Nicht?  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$201,468 (USA)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


First cinema film of Jared Harris See more »


Charles Highway: You spend 15-20 minutes trying not to come and then when you do you have to give a pretty credible performance.
See more »


Features Persona (1966) See more »


Performed by Chris Difford (as Difford & Tilbrook) and Glenn Tilbrook (as Difford & Tilbrook)
Courtesy of A&M Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

How do you program love?
4 July 2009 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

This one was an odd, passionate and snappy one, and it's very much more than just a basic teenage love comedy, but it does feel a like a British take on 'Ferris Bueller'. Based on Martin Amis' best seller of the same title, 'The Rachel Papers' is a sensually breezy and topically substantial film adaptation that's poetically told (with plenty of rapid narrative talk to the audience, following the mature progression of our protagonist and cementing a realistic affection between Fletcher and Skye's characters), sharply directed by Damian Harris and terrifically performed by the charmingly gawky Dexter Fletcher, the ravishingly delightful Ione Skye (where she seductively entices the viewer with her beauty) and the scruffy, but useful Jonathan Pryce (who pretty much steals the limelight and well-timed laughs). Also appearing is James Spader, but the role doesn't instill much from him to make an impression. The soundtrack is potent with the time, but the score blends well the drama going on and it's smoothly photographed. A sexy contemporary, but heartfelt feature.

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