IMDb > Poison (1991)
Poison
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Poison (1991) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
6.6/10   2,025 votes »
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Down 28% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Jean Genet (novels)
Todd Haynes (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Poison on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 August 1991 (Sweden) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Three intercut stories about outsiders, sex and violence. In "Hero," Richie, at age 7, kills his father and flies away... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
4 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Choose your Poison carefully See more (22 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Edith Meeks ... Felicia Beacon
Millie White ... Millie Sklar
Buck Smith ... Gregory Lazar
Anne Giotta ... Evelyn McAlpert
Lydia Lafleur ... Sylvia Manning
Ian Nemser ... Sean White

Rob LaBelle ... Jay Wete

Evan Dunsky ... Dr. MacArthur
Marina Lutz ... Hazel Lamprecht
Barry Cassidy ... Officer Rilt
Richard Anthony ... Edward Comacho
Angela M. Schreiber ... Florence Giddens
Justin Silverstein ... Jake
Chris Singh ... Chris
Edward Allen ... Fred Beacon
Carlos Jimenez ... Jose
Larry Maxwell ... Dr. Graves

Susan Norman ... Nancy Olsen (as Susan Gayle Norman)
Al Quagliata ... Deputy Hansen

Michelle Sullivan ... Prostitute
Parlan McGaw ... Newscaster
Frank O'Donnell ... Old Doctor
Melissa Brown ... Woman in the Alley / Additional Voices (voice)
Joe Dietl ... Man in the Alley
Don Damico ... Doctor #1 / Cop #2 / Additional Voices (voice)
Charles Cavalier ... Cop 1
Kyle De Camp ... Neighbor (as Kyle deCamp)
Aimee Scheff ... Neighbor
Jessica ... Nurse
Lorraine Traverson ... Nurse
Phil W. Petrie ... Doctor
John C. Nadeau ... Doctor (as John Nadeau)
James Cagnard ... Bartender
Lauren Zalaznick ... Waitress
Chris Henricks ... Sleazy Man
Leah Mullen ... Little Girl
Elyse Steinberg ... Little Girl
Bruce Cook ... Dr. Strick
Andrew Bishop ... Child's Hands
Tom McCullough ... Townsperson
Chava Tiger ... Townsperson
Jack Tiger ... Townsperson
Frankie Waters ... Townsperson
Richard Hansen ... Narrator (voice)
Joe Glick ... Additional Voices (voice)
Scott Renderer ... John Broom
James Lyons ... Jack Bolton
John R. Lombardi ... Rass

Tony Pemberton ... Young Broom
Andrew Harpending ... Young Bolton
Tony Gigante ... Inspector

Douglas Gibson ... Van Roven

John Leguizamo ... Chanchi (as Damien Garcia)
Les Simpson ... Miss Tim
Joey Grant ... Jamoke
Gary Ray ... Canon / Additional Voices
David Danford ... Basco
Jason Bauer ... Doran
Ken Schatz ... Preacher
Maurice Clapisson ... Guard 1
Matthew Ebert ... Guard 2
Marie-Françoise Vachon ... Foster Mother
Michael Silverman ... Foster Father
Shaun Wilson ... Broom Age 6
Nino Bua ... Fontenal Inmate
Wayne Compton ... Fontenal Inmate
Raymond Dragen ... Fontenal Inmate

John Duffy ... Fontenal Inmate
John McGhee ... Fontenal Inmate
Michael A. Miranda ... Fontenal Inmate (as Michael Miranda)

Anthony J. Ribustello ... Fontenal Inmate
Jonathan Smit ... Fontenal Inmate
Oscar Tevez ... Fontenal Inmate
Gideon Joslyn Brown ... Baton Inmate

John G. Connolly ... Baton Inmate (as John Connolly)
Tom Cross ... Baton Inmate
Eric Cubano ... Baton Inmate
Dani Michaeli ... Baton Inmate
Jim Fletcher ... Additional Voices (voice)
Tom Wayland ... Additional Voices (voice)
Norman Yugutta ... Additional Voices (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Michael Reardon ... Bartender (uncredited)
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Directed by
Todd Haynes 
 
Writing credits
Jean Genet (novels)

Todd Haynes (written by)

Produced by
Brian Greenbaum .... executive producer
James Schamus .... executive producer
Christine Vachon .... producer
Lauren Zalaznick .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
James Bennett 
 
Cinematography by
Maryse Alberti (colour)
 
Film Editing by
Todd Haynes 
James Lyons 
 
Casting by
Karim Ainouz 
Laura Barnett 
Andrew Harpending 
John Michael Kelsey  (as John Kelsey)
 
Production Design by
Sarah Stollman 
 
Art Direction by
Chas Plummer 
 
Costume Design by
Jessica Haston 
 
Makeup Department
Angela Johnson .... hair stylist
Angela Johnson .... makeup artist
Scott Sliger .... effects makeup
 
Production Management
Andy Fair .... unit manager
Lauren Zalaznick .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mark Haffenreffer .... second assistant director
Andrew Harpending .... second assistant director
Christine Vachon .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Matthew Ebert .... set dresser
John Hansen .... set designer
Kelly Reichardt .... property master
 
Sound Department
Neil Danziger .... sound recordist
Julie Lindner .... assistant sound editor
Mary Ellen Porto .... sound editor
Reilly Steele .... sound mixer
Julie Wilde .... boom operator
 
Visual Effects by
Paul Seidman .... production assistant
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Karim Ainouz .... third electrician
Stephen Earley .... second assistant camera
Russell Lee Fine .... still photographer
Tom Gilmour .... first assistant camera
Sam Henriques .... first assistant camera
Jenny Hwozdek .... best boy
Bethany Jacobson .... still photographer
John C. Nadeau .... gaffer
Dave Samuel .... gaffer
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ivan Flores .... assistant costume designer
Julie Lindner .... wardrobe supervisor
Kelly Reichardt .... key dresser
 
Editorial Department
Karim Ainouz .... supervising assistant editor
Tim Brennan .... negative cutter
Alan Hofmanis .... apprentice editor
Irin Strauss .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Peter Golub .... conductor
 
Other crew
Andy Fair .... location manager
Philip Harrison .... production assistant
John O'Hagan .... intern
Jennifer Opresnick .... script supervisor
Jeffrey Schwarz .... production assistant
Derek Yip .... production assistant (uncredited)
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated NC-17 for explicit sexuality
Runtime:
85 min
Country:
Language:
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Macaulay Culkin was at one time a possibility for the part of young Broom.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Killing Floor (2007)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
9 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
Choose your Poison carefully, 12 February 2004
Author: ThurstonHunger from Palo Alto, CA, USA



This film is probably best viewed as part of a film class (and not necessarily one on Queer Cinema although Todd Haynes prefers gentlemen).

I prefer "Safe" and also "Far From Heaven" from this clearly talented director. His suave incorporation of 50's style sci-fi and 80's TV docudrama and a stagey prison play is more engaging here than the three intercut stories themselves.

The film starts with an actor going out a window, and ends with a similar scene. There is a moment in the sci-fi "Horror" substory where the lead mutters "And so it begins..." Temporally what would have followed is the scene that actually does start the film.

Despite a low budget, Haynes does employ a lot of clever camera tricks and cinematic tacks. He squeezes out some efficient acting from his mostly unknown cast. (Okay, that was John Leguizamo in for two scenes...)

If anything, I feel Haynes could have spent more money on lighting. The B&W sci-fi shots were often heavy on the B, and much of the prison footage was a darker shade of murky, at least on DVD at home.

But then one of the displayed Jean Genet quotes speaks of the necessary darkness for the seed of dream. The stories here may be genetically Genet, I am more familiar with who he was in person than in print. Again for a student of Genet, I think this would be a more satisfying expenditure of time, thought and money than it was for myself.

There's also a socio-political bent to the release and funding of this film. Rev. Donald Wildmon provided protest and thus inadvertent P.R. for "Poison." Meanwhile others cite an AIDS angle to the movie.

For me, I walked a way with a sense of sex linked with shame. A child catches his mother in infidelity, prison passion is stolen in the shadows, lasciviousness makes lepers of a community. Also while not the focus, each episode had some sex entwined with violence. Sex was portrayed as anything but erotic throughout.

Ultimately I could not make out whether Haynes was trying to decry society's reaction to sexual "deviancy" as more dangerous than said deviancy; or if he was just trying to revel in sordid shock? I doubt the latter, probably he wanted to take the challenge of presenting Genet to audiences today. Better than another modern take on Shakespeare surely.

But while Genet's writings were surely scandalous in his day, what about Haynes' audience now? I realize that there are still throngs of folks who fear thongs...much less anything as pointed as a penis.

Yes those folks are out there, I just don't know any of them...and I doubt I'll be wresting a copy of "Poison" from their hands at the local videodrome any time soon. We keep our distance, I recommend you keep your distance from this disk as well. I do think such distance and decorum can exist....along with same sex marriage.

So unless you are assigned to watch it, to study it... choose another "Poison."

5/10

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