6.4/10
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Pacific Heights (1990)

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:
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Toshio Watanabe
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Mira Watanabe
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Stephanie MacDonald
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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:

The Perfect House. The Perfect Tenant. Perfectly Dangerous. See more »

Genres:

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

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,912,637 (USA) (30 September 1990)

Gross:

$29,381,956 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tippi Hedren cameos without dialogue as a wealthy older woman romanced by Michael Keaton. This makes a six degrees of separation circle: in Batman (1989), Keaton played the love interest of Kim Basinger; in Never Say Never Again (1983), Basinger played the love interest of Sean Connery; and in Marnie (1964), Connery played the love interest of Hedren. Much more recently, in Fifty Shades Darker (2017), Basinger played an ex-lover of Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson's love interest in the same film. Johnson is the daughter of Melanie Griffith and granddaughter of Hedren. 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

Drake Goodman: [Referring to the house] Whatta yuh think?
Dennis Reed: 750 grand, hunh? It's not a song - it's an opera.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in The 100 Scariest Movie Moments: Part I: 100-81 (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

HANDS ALL OVER
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)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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.


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