Spanking the Monkey (1994)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  15 July 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 4,968 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 68 user | 34 critic | 15 from

Raymond Aibelli is a promising medical student ready to begin a prestigious summer internship. But Susan, his mother, is immobilized by a broken leg, and his father Tom, a travelling ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ray Aibelli
Elizabeth Newett ...
Bus Woman
Benjamin Hendrickson ...
Tom Aibelli
Susan Aibelli
Toni Peck
Liberty Jean ...
Motel Woman #1
Archer Martin ...
Motel Woman #2
Josh Philip Weinstein ...
Nancy Fields ...
Dr. Wilson
Judette Jones ...
Aunt Helen
Carmine Paolini ...
Neil Connie Wallace ...
Walter Hooten


Raymond Aibelli is a promising medical student ready to begin a prestigious summer internship. But Susan, his mother, is immobilized by a broken leg, and his father Tom, a travelling salesman, makes Raymond stay home and take care of his mother, an attractive though unhappy woman. His mother's condition leads them to a degree of immediate physical contact which Raymond finds disturbing. He soon meets Toni, a high school girl, but his sexual impulses are increasingly confused, especially since he is still upset over losing the internship. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A gripping comedy about letting go. See more »


Comedy | Drama


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 July 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Mão do Desejo  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$200,000 (estimated)


$1,359,736 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


David O. Russell:  in white T-shirt in the background at the bus stop where Ray's father picks him up. See more »


Boom mic clearly visible when Mr Aibelli first phones Ray from the hotel room. See more »


Ray Aibelli: [Helen keeps interrupting Ray and his mother talk] Can you do me a favor, Helen?
Ray Aibelli: Shut your big fat mouth!
Ray Aibelli: [moments later after she walks off the house] I'm sorry! I didn't mean to.
Aunt Helen: [crying] You said fat mouth!
See more »


References Murmur of the Heart (1971) See more »


In Spite Of Me
Composed by Mark Sandman
Performed by Morphine
Copyright 1993 Head With Wings Music/Pubco (BMI)
See more »

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User Reviews

Missed Chances
19 March 2006 | by (arizona) – See all my reviews

Considering the plethora of reviews here, both good and bad, there isn't much I can say that hasn't already been said. I will add that the first half works "reasonably" well, allowing viewers to understand perhaps how such a thing as an incestuous encounter could possibly happen. But then the film derails, and derails big time. The boy blames his mother completely for what they did, and the film seems to side with him despite the fact that it had previously shown us that he was just as guilty as she in the liaison. The film gets unspeakably ugly from there. The subject of consensual incest has been addressed by film only a few times over the years, always with unsatisfactory results---perhaps this is reflective of society's uneasiness with the subject. Consensual incest is about the only "sexual more" that is never discussed (even by psychologists), even though it likely occurs in real life with more frequency than we would like to believe.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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