IMDb > Light Sleeper (1992)
Light Sleeper
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Light Sleeper (1992) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 11 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
Light Sleeper -- John Letour (Dafoe) is a good man in a bad business, working for Ann (Sarandon) on the wrong side of the law, and he wants out. Will he get out before it's too late?
Light Sleeper -- Clip: A meeting at the bar


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6.8/10   3,501 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer (WGA):
Paul Schrader (written by)
View company contact information for Light Sleeper on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 March 1992 (UK) See more »
A story about the discovery of the spirit, the Lure of Decadence, and the Chance for Escape. [Australia theatrical] See more »
A drug dealer with upscale clientele is having moral problems going about his daily deliveries. A reformed addict... See more » | Add synopsis »
2 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Engaging, frightening and somewhat saddening account of a NYC man in crisis amidst all the negative elements of death, gloom and isolation. See more (38 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Willem Dafoe ... John LeTour

Susan Sarandon ... Ann

Dana Delany ... Marianne Jost

David Clennon ... Robert

Mary Beth Hurt ... Teresa Aranow

Victor Garber ... Tis Brooke

Jane Adams ... Randi Jost
Paul Jabara ... Eddie

Robert Cicchini ... Bill Guidone

Sam Rockwell ... Jealous

Rene Rivera ... Manuel

David Spade ... Theological Cokehead
Steven Posen ... Hasid
Ken Ladd ... Carlos
Brian Judge ... Thomas

Vince Cupone ... Young Cuban (as Vinny Capone)

Chris Northup ... Retro Yuppie (as Christopher Todd Northup)
Paul Stocker ... Maitre D'
Bernadette Jurkowski ... French Girl #1

Tatiana von Furstenberg ... French Girl #2
Francesca Bonicoli ... Model #1
Elena Vannucci ... Model #2
Jeff Telvi ... Male Model

Jennifer Fowler ... Woman at Bar #1
Gabrielle Stubbert ... Woman at Bar #2
James Saxenmeyer ... Bar Patron
Raymond Normandeau ... Chef
Arcoiris Medina ... Woman at Laundromat
Esteban Fernández ... Concierge
Catherine L.A. Walker ... Police Woman
Timothy Stickney ... Young Dominican
Joey Gironda ... Funeral Home Employee
Heather Rose Dominic ... Crackhead
Paul Stockman Smith ... Radio Announcer
Peter Macklin ... Baseball Card Fan #1
Billy Joe Novinski ... Baseball Card Fan #2
David Sukoff ... Baseball Card Fan #3
Damian Corrente ... Baseball Card Fan #4
Ronald Sylvers ... Prison Guard
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Daniel Margotta ... Drug Dealer (uncredited)

Directed by
Paul Schrader 
Writing credits
Paul Schrader (written by)

Produced by
G. Mac Brown .... co-producer
Mario Kassar .... executive producer
Linda Reisman .... producer
Ronna B. Wallace .... co-executive producer
Original Music by
Michael Been 
Cinematography by
Edward Lachman  (as Ed Lachman)
Film Editing by
Kristina Boden 
Casting by
Ellen Chenoweth 
Production Design by
Richard Hornung 
Art Direction by
James C. Feng  (as Jim Feng)
Set Decoration by
Jessica Lanier 
Costume Design by
Richard Hornung 
Makeup Department
Ma Kalaadevi Ananda .... makeup artist (as Marilyn Carbone)
Leslie Ann Anderson .... hair designer: Ms. Sarandon (as Leslie Anderson)
Anthony Sorrentino .... hair stylist
Production Management
Diana Pokorny .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Dean Garvin .... second assistant director
Dodi Lee Rubenstein .... dga trainee (as Dodi Rubenstein)
Glen Trotiner .... first assistant director
Art Department
Elizabeth Anderson .... art department assistant
Anthony Baldasare .... first set dresser
Teri Bella .... assistant set decorator
Joan Brockschmidt .... lead person
Diana Burton .... set dresser
Fred Chesterman .... construction grip
Darcy Doyle .... art department assistant
Anthony Dunne .... construction coordinator (as Tony Dunne)
Harrison Dunne .... art department assistant
Julie Fabian .... art department coordinator
John Grimolizzi .... carpenter
Mark Horstmann .... key set builder
Rachel Janocko .... art department assistant
Gary Jennings .... scenic artist
Harmony Korine .... art department assistant
Michael Leather .... set dresser (as Mike Leather)
Kevin Morrissey .... production design assistant
Janima Nam .... art department assistant
Ellen Oshins .... scenic artist
Mark Peltzer .... property master
Michele Sommer .... second prop
Barbara J. Taylor .... scenic charge (as Barbara Taylor)
Byron K. Lovelace .... props (uncredited)
Keith Wall .... set dresser (uncredited)
Sound Department
Elisha Birnbaum .... foley artist
David Boulton .... adr engineer
Susan Sklar Friedman .... assistant sound editor
Starr Furlotte .... assistant adr editor
Eugene Gearty .... sound effects editor
Leslie Gimbel .... apprentice sound editor
Wendy Hedin .... adr editor
George A. Lara .... foley engineer (as George Lara)
Danny Michael .... sound mixer
Maurice Schell .... supervising sound editor
Anthony Starbuck .... boom operator
Brian Vancho .... foley artist
Mel Zelniker .... sound re-recording mixer
Maurice Schell .... foley artist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Mark Bero .... special effects coordinator
Steven Kirshoff .... special effects coordinator
Denis Zack .... special effects technician
Peter Bucossi .... stunt cabbie
Jery Hewitt .... stunt coordinator
Vince Cupone .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
James R. Belletier .... second assistant camera (as James Belletier)
Joe Collins .... camera trainee
Jerry DeBlau .... best boy electric (as Jerry Deblau)
John W. DeBlau .... gaffer (as John Deblau)
Craig DiBona .... camera operator
Richie Ford .... electrician
Jeff Hand .... Steadicam assistant
David Knox .... Steadicam operator (as Dave Knox)
Sal Lanza .... grip
Bruce MacCallum .... camera operator: second unit
Gus Magalios .... grip (as Constantine Magalios)
Dick Mingalone .... camera operator
John Panuccio .... best boy grip (as Jack Panuccio)
Peter John Petraglia .... electrician (as John Petraglia)
Robert T. Prate .... grip (as Bobby Prate)
Tom Prate .... key grip (as Tom Prate Jr.)
Scott Rathner .... first assistant camera
Steve Sands .... still photographer
Lance Shepherd .... electrician
Matty Sicurella .... grip (as Matthew Sicurella)
Demmie Todd .... still photographer
Casting Department
Sylvia Fay .... extras casting
Michele Heilbrun .... casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sam Fleming .... costume assistant
Barbara Hause .... wardrobe supervisor (as Barbara J. Hause)
Winsome G. McKoy .... wardrobe supervisor (as Winsome Mckoy)
Ellen Ryba .... associate costume designer
Editorial Department
Marya Cohn .... editorial intern
Vida Fitzgerald .... apprentice editor
David Leonard .... assistant editor
Tony Mottola .... dailies timer (as Tony Mattolo)
Nancy Novack .... apprentice editor (as Nancy I. Novak)
Tom Salvatore .... color timer
Rob Sciarratta .... video color timer (uncredited)
Music Department
Michael Been .... music producer
Michael Been .... musician
Sandee Borgman .... music video consultant
Joel Jaffe .... music recording engineer
Ralph Patlan .... assistant music producer
Alex Steyermark .... music supervisor
Transportation Department
Richard Holston .... teamster captain (as Richie Holston)
Delroy Hunter .... parking coordinator (as Delroy M. Hunter)
Edward Iacobelli .... transportation coordinator (as Ed Iacobelli)
Donavan Barrett Tomlinson .... parking assistant (as Donovan Barrett-Tomlinson)
Other crew
Moshe Bardach .... location scout (as Moe Bardach)
Mara Hade Connolly .... assistant production auditor
Andrew D. Cooke .... location manager
John 'JR' Craigmile .... accounting assistant (as John 'J.R.' Craigmile)
Valerie Desjardins .... script supervisor trainee
Joe Facey .... craft service
David Harris .... production assistant
Shell Hecht .... production coordinator
Edward A. Ioffreda .... assistant production coordinator
James A. Janowitz .... legal counsel: Pryor, Cashman, Sherman & Flynn
Jesse Janowitz .... locations department assistant
David Janssen .... production assistant
Anne Kaplan .... assistant: Mr. Scharder and Ms. Reisman
Phyllis Kaufman .... legal counsel: Pryor, Cashman, Sherman & Flynn
Sandy McLeod .... script supervisor
Maggie McMonagle .... assistant location manager
Hernan Otaño .... production assistant: Mr. Schrader (as H. Michael Otano)
Lyn Pinezich .... location assistant
John Paul Riva .... key production assistant
Karen Robson .... legal counsel: Pryor, Cashman, Sherman & Flynn
Vicki Dee Rock .... production auditor
Stacey Spencer .... craft service
Christopher Swartout .... production assistant (as Chris Swartout)
Mark Urman .... publicity: Dennis Davidson Associates
Greg White .... production assistant
Deborah Wolpert .... production office assistant
Randall Balsmeyer .... title designer (uncredited)
Eric Fisher .... production assistant (uncredited)
Dominic Marcus .... adr voice actor (uncredited)
Grant Harper Reid .... location assistant (uncredited)
Niels Coogan .... thanks
Michael Graves .... thanks
Dakota Jackson .... thanks
Bill Nisselson .... thanks
David Salle .... thanks
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for strong language and drug content, and for violence and a scene of sensuality
103 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The film briefly shown on TV in Ann's home at the beginning is Kenneth Anger's cult movie Scorpio Rising (1964).See more »
Ann:[Angry at John LeTour for being late] You want me to suck your dick? Fine. You want a raise? No.See more »
24-7-365See more »


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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Engaging, frightening and somewhat saddening account of a NYC man in crisis amidst all the negative elements of death, gloom and isolation., 4 November 2009
Author: johnnyboyz from Hampshire, England

Paul Schrader's love/hate relationship with close to down-and-out male individuals living in New York City continues in 1992's Light Sleeper. Schrader casts a dim eye on most of the proceedings in the place, but his revisiting of New York City in Light Sleeper, and whatever knowledge past you have of 1976's Taxi Driver, shows a clear fondness for the place; a fondness to keep going back and exploring new characters, operating under new situations and working with new problems floating around inside of their heads. In Light Sleeper's case, it is Willem Dafoe's John LeTour, a middle aged man whom deals drugs; meets some pretty desperate individuals in the process; cannot connect that well with the women he wants most; is stalked by police men and generally tries to balance his on-going loneliness with his inability to really find his place in life.

Light Sleeper is a wonderfully down to Earth and thoroughly intense film. With hindsight, one might think of it as a Trainspotting without all the hyper-kinetic energy. The film begins, quite literally, with a focusing on a road as we flow through New York; this is before developing into a ground level documentation of life flitting between streets, apartments that inhabit drug users and dealers, grotty nightclubs that house further users plus hotel suites which spell danger. The easy way to summarise the male lead we're given in Light Sleeper would be a comparison to Taxi Driver's Travis Bickle, as penned by Schrader. LeTour is a loner; he keeps a diary, although possesses better handwriting skills; attempts to talk and follow women he simply cannot have; and generally wanders. There is even room for the characters to pay reference to the rain at certain times, and its importance. Like Taxi Driver; the film is a gathering, only not of an individual's visions of what's around him, but of the interactions and of the people that exist around him.

This idea is best explored in a scene set in a hospital. LeTour is visiting the mother of a certain Marianne Jost (Delany), as another relative, whilst in the intensive care room, sits asleep in a chair. LeTour walks in and sits down. The camera freezes on him sitting there, almost certain death in the air by way of the dying mother and the fact there are those he hands drugs out to whom will perish at some point in the near future. It's only after a while that he glances over at the relative, and it's only then that the camera will slowly track left to encompass, indeed recognise, she's even sitting there. It's an interesting touch by Schrader, and reminiscent of Taxi Driver by being a sort of polar opposite: we see, indeed recognise, what LeTour sees but only until HE does so first. We do not get it in that raw, unflinching and 1st person style the 1976 masterpiece delivers, but we do get it in some manner of speaking.

Light Sleeper knows what it is and knows exactly how it wants to unfold. The film isn't a conventional thriller, of sorts, about a drug dealer and a world of crime and the interactions that go on, even if it does end in a conventional manner by way of a bloody shootout. Rather, the film is a stark character study of a man on the way out; of a man wasting his life away through drugs, not as a junkie – something LeTour stresses to certain people he meets, but as a dealer and that any relation you might have to the stuff will most probably end you up in very bad shape. As a raw character study, we pick the lead up in his late thirties and cover him for about a fortnight. The damage has been done; we learn of his past troubles and whatever back-story we require by way of speech to other people, and we learn it all at regular, very well spaced intervals.

The film's attention to LeTour's element of unrequited love in his life is additionally well handled, somewhat seamlessly incorporated into the text by way of a series of nervous and unfortunate encounters. We first meet the aforementioned Marianne when LeTour's chauffeur driven saloon stops to pick her up out of the wet. By way of Dafoe's wonderful acting, LeTour is juddery and the professionalism driven image that we have of him up to this point, by way of short sharp encounters and knowing exactly what to say to different sorts of lowlifes, is shattered somewhat when he lies to her about continuing dealing drugs and screws up the whole interaction. The lyrics in the music and the manner in which the character regresses over a photo-album in the following scene could have been explored and executed in a far worse-a manner. The film's remaining scenes of obsession and rejection surrounding these two are well incorporated into the text.

I think Light Sleeper's crowning glory is its real attention to the finer things. There's a scene in which LeTour's consistently outrageously dressed female drug contact Ann, (Susan Sarandon, fresh off a wonderful role in Thelma and Louise) who is the the person that supplies all of the drugs to LeTour along with Robert (Clennon), from their pseudo-upper class decorated apartment, asks LeTour for a lunch meeting the following day. I got an odd sensation after the interaction had ended that a lesser film would cut straight to the lunch: person 'A' proposes something to person 'B'; person 'B' accepts and then we cut to the rendez-vous. Light Sleeper rejects the causality, opting for notions, interactions and ideas to rest on the back-burner whilst the lead carries on for a while interacting further with other people before the day is out. Make no mistake, there'll be no light napping during this picture.

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