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Pacific Heights (1990)

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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 <jsadur@keyflux.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fremde Schatten  »

Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)


$29,381,956 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Debut produced screenplay for a cinema movie of TV writer Daniel Pyne. 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: [Here at the interrogation room. James Danforth is in jail] They're lying. These people are completely pathological. They took a 1/2 year's rent from me, and they said I never paid them. They evicted me, they slandered me, they totally destroyed my credit. They physically assaulted me. They threatened my life. And now this. These people are parasites. Florence...
Carter Hayes: I am sorry... that you were even touched by any of this. Oh, God, I'm so embarrassed. When I first met you, I was enchanted......
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in NCIS: Dead and Unburied (2006) See more »


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

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.

19 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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