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Pacific Heights (1990)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 12,544 users  
Reviews: 82 user | 16 critic

A couple works hard to renovate their dream house and become landlords to pay for it. Unfortunately one of their tenants has plans of his own.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Toshio Watanabe
...
Mira Watanabe
...
Stephanie MacDonald
...
Lou Baker
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Dennis Reed
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Greg
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Florence Peters
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Liz Hamilton
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Warning Cop
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Bennett Fidlow
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Loan Officer
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District Attorney
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Storyline

A yuppie couple buy a large house in an exclusive San Fransisco neighborhood. They renovate it and plan to rent two apartments on the first floor to cover the costs. A prosperous looking man moves in but is not the ideal tenant. He never pays any rent, drives the other tenants away and systematically ruins the lives of his landlords. Written by Jim Sadur <jsadur@keyflux.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It seemed like the perfect house. He seemed like the perfect tenant. Until they asked him to leave. See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fremde Schatten  »

Box Office

Gross:

$29,381,956 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Star Billing: Melanie Griffith (1st), Matthew Modine (2nd) and Michael Keaton (3rd). See more »

Goofs

The policeman quotes an entirely non-factual law to Drake about a tenant having rights just because a tenant physically enters a building, even at the time the movie was made. No tenant has any legal right to remain on the premises of a single-family or multiple-family dwelling in any state without payment, and furthermore, because of Carter Hayes destructive acts (e.g., releasing the cockroaches and physical damage to the unit), Drake had more than enough good cause to have Carter forcibly evicted, either by the City of San Francisco police or the San Francisco County sheriff. See more »

Quotes

Amy: Patty?
Patty Palmer: Yeah?
Amy: Do you mind if I ask you why you're selling? I mean, you've done so much to this place. You've obviously put your heart in it.
Patty Palmer: [Ironically] No, not really. It was just an investment.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Melanie Griffith's character Patty Palmer is credited as Patty Parker in the credits. See more »


Soundtracks

LETHAL TENDENCIES
Written by Stacy Anderson
Performed by Hallows Eve
Courtesy of Metal Blade Records
Published by Bloody Skull Music, BMI
Administered by Bug Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The last 10 minutes
14 September 2004 | by (Saint Paul, Minnesota) – See all my reviews

William Goldman says that the last 15 minutes are the most important of any movie and that's what saves what is otherwise a sometimes fascinating but often dull film in "Pacific Heights."

The plot line is fairly interesting but feels rather drawn out through most of the film, until the fantastic ending pulls out all the stops and turns the film into something good. The writing in general is a bit contrived and the dialogue fairly wooden, but it isn't quite enough to destroy the film even early.

The acting is very uneven, led by a terrible Melanie Griffith and a middling performance by Matthew Modine in terms of screen time, but certainly controlled by the fantastic performance of Michael Keaton, one of the world's greatest actors. Keaton is especially fantastic in the final sequence, from his charming act with the old woman to his harrowing, venemous final scene there is a complete change in who he is and it is all the more frightening and powerful for the juxtaposition.

Schlesinger's direction, besides Keaton's performance, is probably the saving grace of the film. He manages to inject a beautiful dark style to the film that the script rather lacks but seems to want while also keeping us in a blunt reality with the plain, simple outdoor shots. His use of lighting and well-chosen camera angles wonderfully play up the situation.

Overall, "Pacific Heights" is a middling film with a fantastic performance by Michael Keaton and good direction by John Schlesinger that turns into something better with its fantastic, surprising, venemously satisfying ending. If you watch it, though, don't give up on it 'til it's over.


19 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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