Pacific Heights (1990)

R  |   |  Mystery, Thriller  |  28 September 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 13,672 users  
Reviews: 87 user | 19 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 overview, first billed only:
Toshio Watanabe
Mira Watanabe
Stephanie MacDonald
Lou Baker
Dennis Reed
Florence Peters
Liz Hamilton
Warning Cop
Bennett Fidlow
Loan Officer
District Attorney


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Mystery | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fremde Schatten  »

Box Office


$29,381,956 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The year that the 19th Century polychrome house in Pacific Heights was built in was either 1883 or 1886 [the film states both dates] with slight modifications on the old home being re-modeled during the 1940s. See more »


Patty's last name is shown to be "Palmer" on her financial statement seen in Carter's briefcase, but the closing credits list her name as "Patty Parker" See more »


Carter Hayes: [to Drake] You're a brave and stupid man.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Featured in The 100 Scariest Movie Moments (2004) See more »


Written by Kim Thayil (as Ken Thayil) and Chris Cornell (as Christopher Cornell)
Performed by Soundgarden
Courtesy of A&M Records, Inc.
Copyright 1989 Loud Love Music (ASCAP)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

underrated film
26 July 2005 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie again recently, and I have to say that upon reconsideration I think this film is a bit underrated. There are a few deeper sociological issues being explored here that I perceive but are quite subtle in their appearance in the film.

It is a study about the law to some degree, and it has some critical things to say about the ability for one who knows the law and its loopholes and thus exploits others with tools that were originally intended to preserve civil society. Keaton plays a psycho, but one who is highly educated and quite adept at his craft of fraud and deceit.

Further, Modine's character is irrational, befuddled, and ultimately marginalized. I wonder if the director took some liberties with him (as this is a true story, I don't know everything about the real person he portrays) to bring out a few of his close-minded tendencies that may have contributed to the awful situation in which he finds himself. Obviously, there is the closet racism which keeps him from renting to a black man (this is thrown in the viewer's face later and is quite obvious), but there is also the way he perceives a man's role as the solver of problems and his wife as nothing more than a spectator.

That she ends up being the one to calmly and coolly affect a search for and investigate Keaton's character, assaults the traditional notions of a man's role as a protector. Her temperament is ultimately more appropriate for the solution to the problem, and I think it is no accident that the director portrays it in this way.

18 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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