The Rachel Papers (1989)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  12 May 1989 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.1/10 from 1,513 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 9 critic

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 »



, (novel)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Jack's Back (1988)
Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A serial killer in Los Angeles celebrates Jack the Ripper's 100th birthday by committing similar murders.

Director: Rowdy Herrington
Stars: James Spader, Cynthia Gibb, Jim Haynie
The New Kids (1985)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A brother and sister arrive in a small town to help their relatives run an amusement park, and they find the town is terrorized by a local street gang.

Director: Sean S. Cunningham
Stars: Shannon Presby, Lori Loughlin, James Spader
Bad Influence (1990)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Michael, a wimpy young executive, is about to get pulverized by a jealous boyfriend in a bar when a handsome, mysterious stranger steps in--and then disappears. Later that night, while ... See full summary »

Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: Rob Lowe, James Spader, Lisa Zane
Tuff Turf (1985)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A street rebel and his gang have trouble understanding themselves and their world.

Director: Fritz Kiersch
Stars: James Spader, Kim Richards, Paul Mones
Driftwood (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

When Sarah walks alone along the desolate beach one day she find an unconscious man, who has been brought to land by the waves. When he awakens he doesn't remember anything. He has no name ... See full summary »

Director: Ronan O'Leary
Stars: James Spader, Anne Brochet, Barry McGovern
White Palace (1990)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Max Baron (James Spader) is a 27-year-old high flying advertising executive still recovering from the death of his wife. One night he is in a bar when he meets Nora Baker (Susan Sarandon) a... See full summary »

Director: Luis Mandoki
Stars: Susan Sarandon, James Spader, Jason Alexander
Starcrossed (TV Movie 1985)
Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

An alien woman is running from a deadly enemy and tries to hide on Earth where she meets a young mechanic, who helps her to get back home and to fight for the freedom of her people.

Director: Jeffrey Bloom
Stars: James Spader, Belinda Bauer, Peter Kowanko
Storyville (1992)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

While investigating his own blackmailing, a young politician uncovers his family's deep secrets.

Director: Mark Frost
Stars: James Spader, Joanne Whalley, Jason Robards
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two men face the consequences of gambling after playing with men beyond their league.

Director: Philip Haas
Stars: James Spader, Mandy Patinkin, M. Emmet Walsh
True Colors (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Best friends from law school to election night, their friendship is sorely tested when one learns of another's betrayal.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: John Cusack, James Spader, Imogen Stubbs
Dream Lover (1993)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A successful businessman tries to uncover what is wrong with his wife.

Director: Nicholas Kazan
Stars: James Spader, Mädchen Amick, Fredric Lehne
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A college freshman returns to L.A. for the holidays at his ex-girlfriend's request, but discovers that his former best friend has an out-of-control drug habit.

Director: Marek Kanievska
Stars: Andrew McCarthy, Jami Gertz, Robert Downey Jr.


Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Highway
Rachel Noyce
Gordon Highway
Doctor Knowd
Sir Herbert
Nicola Kimber ...
Vanessa Reynolds
Shirley Anne Field ...
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 <>

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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


First cinema film of Jared Harris See more »


Charles Highway: The best first impressions are the ones that are misleading. I mean, you can be whoever you want and whoever they want you to be.
See more »


Features Persona (1966) See more »


Performed by Shakespear's Sister (as Shakespears Sister)
Courtesy of London Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Like Donnie Darko but sexier
25 June 2004 | by See all my reviews

My first taste of 80s movies came with the Breakfast Club and most recently I saw Donnie Darko, okay not an 80s film but a film with a plot set in 1988. The love btw the characters in Donnie Darko is nothing compared to the Rachel Papers, in fact the Rachel Papers offers a deeper sense of love, literally. Now Darko fans please don't kill me I am not comparing the films, but the love between the characters.

I was led to this film after wandering the aisles at my local video store. After seeing the video cover, which featured the pair smiley on a vespa I decided to read the back of this video. The plot seemed fun and interesting, movies with nerds trying to win the girl always please me as its comical to watch them achieve their goal. I bought the video and enjoyed it, the film had it all. Laughter, shock in the initial watching, suspense if Charles would ever get the girl, and of course a sexy main lead by way of a young Dexter Fletcher. The film is excellent and it surprises me that the movie never caught on back then. A movie like that in 1989, released now in the world we live in 2004 would probably be a hit among teenagers now with the internet and everyone trying to get it on. Ah the Rachel Papers make me reminisce of love back in my early College years, it will probably make you reminisce of lost love. This film is not one to miss.

3 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Wow no chatter at all for this movie TabareVazquez
Movie Soundtrack MidnightWriter
Dexter Fletcher was a square in this movie Arcticexplora
Song at Disco? jcwla
Where can I watch this? mcg2008-1
Charles Highway's sisters house thomas_c18
Discuss The Rachel Papers (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: