House of Cards (1993)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  25 June 1993 (USA)
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When Ruth Matthews's husband is killed in a fall at an archaeological dig, her daughter Sally handles her father's death in a very odd manner. As Sally's condition worsens, Ruth takes her ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ruth Matthews
Jake Beerlander
Asha Menina ...
Sally Matthews
Michael Matthews
Lillian Huber
Anne Pitoniak ...
Jacqueline Cassell ...
Gloria Miller (as Jacqueline Cassel)
John Henderson ...
Bart Huber
Craig Fuller ...
Ray Huber
Rick Marshall ...
Frank Stearson
Reuben Valiquette Murray ...
Emily Russell ...


When Ruth Matthews's husband is killed in a fall at an archaeological dig, her daughter Sally handles her father's death in a very odd manner. As Sally's condition worsens, Ruth takes her to see Jake, an expert in childhood autism. Jake attempts to bring Sally out of her mental disarray through traditional therapy methods, but Ruth takes a different route. She risks her own sanity by attempting to enter her daughter's mind and make sense of the seemingly bizarre things that Sally does, including building a wondrous house of cards. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Journey That Will Open Your Mind... And Touch Your Heart.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for theme | See all certifications »





Release Date:

25 June 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Before I Wake  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$322,871 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film was completed in 1991 by A&M Films. The film then was shelved for two years until it was picked up by Miramax Films for release in 1993. See more »


In the viewing room scenes, the room from which the viewing is done is as brightly lit as the viewed room: for the 'one way mirror' to work the former must be dimmer than the latter (in fact usually it is virtually unlit except for desk lamps for making notes). See more »


[first lines from off]
Sally Matthews: Why do people dream?
Selord: To see things better.
Sally Matthews: Where do people come from?
Selord: The gods made them.
Sally Matthews: Where do the gods live?
Selord: They live in every living thing.
Sally Matthews: Why did they make people?
Selord: They were bored. They needed people around to entertain them.
Sally Matthews: Why do the gods let people die?
See more »


Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

Deep, if you're paying attention
7 May 2003 | by (Denton, Texas) – See all my reviews

Everyone I know thinks this movie is weird, until I make them rewatch the beginning and pay close attention. Then they love it.

Whoever trashed this movie regarding the autism obviously did not watch it. The child was NOT austistic. She was trying to handle her father's death with things she learned from her Mayan archaeologist friend.

I think if you have any brain in your head and have an attention span large enough to actually watch the whole movie, it is thoroughly enjoyable.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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