Spanking the Monkey (1994)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  15 July 1994 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 4,970 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 »


Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young man, his wife, and his incompetent case worker travel across country to find his birth parents.

Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Ben Stiller, Patricia Arquette, Téa Leoni
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A husband-and-wife team play detective, but not in the traditional sense. Instead, the happy duo helps others solve their existential issues, the kind that keep you up at night, wondering what it all means.

Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Jude Law, Naomi Watts
Three Kings (1999)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War, 4 soldiers set out to steal gold that was stolen from Kuwait, but they discover people who desperately need their help.

Director: David O. Russell
Stars: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube
Close My Eyes (1991)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After some years of tension, Richard begins a sexual relationship with his sister Natalie, who is now married. The relationship between Richard and Natalie proves dangerously obsessional. ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Poliakoff
Stars: Alan Rickman, Clive Owen, Saskia Reeves
Soldiers Pay (2004)
Documentary | Short | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Filmmakers Tricia Regan, David O. Russell and Juan Carlos Zaldivar interview dozens of people about the 2004 Iraq war, including soldiers, journalists, politicians, psycholgists, and even a... See full summary »

Directors: Tricia Regan, David O. Russell, and 1 more credit »
Stars: David Dreier, Matt Novak
Gemini (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A domineering mother with a seemingly perfect family in Argentina is unaware of a taboo relationship happening with her youngest children.

Director: Albertina Carri
Stars: Cristina Banegas, Daniel Fanego, Maria Abadi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After the death of her husband, the mother of Julie, Jack, Sue and Tom begins to suffer from a mysterious illness. Aware that she is going to have to go into hospital she opens a bank ... See full summary »

Director: Andrew Birkin
Stars: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Andrew Robertson, Alice Coulthard
Jan Dara (2001)
Certificate: AO Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Jan Dara grows up in a house lacking in love but abundant in lust. He quickly picks up the sinful way of life of the man who married his mother after she became pregnant from being raped. ... See full summary »

Director: Nonzee Nimibutr
Stars: Santisuk Promsiri, Christy Chung, Wipawee Charoenpura
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A writer, Ned Kendall, is asked to return to the family home by his sister Sally, to say goodbye to his father who is dying. The family home is in a very remote and isolated area. While ... See full summary »

Director: Rachel Ward
Stars: Ben Mendelsohn, Maeve Dermody, Rachel Griffiths
Rambling Rose (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Rose, is taken in by the Hillyer family to serve as a 1930s housemaid so that she can avoid falling into a life of prostitution. Rose's appearence and personality is such that all men fall ... See full summary »

Director: Martha Coolidge
Stars: Laura Dern, Robert Duvall, Diane Ladd
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Bette Davis, William Hickey, Salvatore Rodriguez
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A frustrated man's attempts to stop the local bingo game goes awry in this portrait of an American family where Mom is obsessed by bingo playing and Dad is a television zombie.

Director: David O. Russell


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?


Director David O. Russell cast 'Jeremy Davies' based on the actor's performance in a Suburu commercial. 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 »


Featured in Indie Sex: Taboos (2001) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Unflinching, yet compelling.
23 September 2001 | by (Rush,Ky) – See all my reviews

This film tends to reject the Hollywood made-for-TV oedipus complex (which is usually only expressed in undertones) scenario of a youth beset with confusion over his seemingly unhealthy relationship with his mentally ill mother, and his need to have a uncomplicated non-incestous relationship with Miss American Apple Pie. What we're presented with is a story of an independant young man who has dedicated himself to being unfettered by his emotionally distant, overzealous parents.

When his mother suffers a badly broken leg, he is called upon to take full responsibility for her care thru her entire recuperation. Very reluctantly, he is forced to acknowledge their authority yet again. He is immediately confronted with her immasculating condensations, but is unnerved by her very uninhibited demenor when under the influence of her prescribed pain-killers.

When me and my friend saw this, we were somewhat uncomfortable with the realistic candor of the actors portraying the mother and son. I can say this film, unlike any other I've seen elicits the nervous humor response far more effectively, and truly makes this worth seeing.

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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Nudity CorpseGrinder_90
Think Ray could have been adopted? violentfemme-1
She Seduce Him Intentionally ? johner23
finally it's coming to DVD! Rakad
Setting of the movie mfillescas1
Discuss Spanking the Monkey (1994) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: