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Crash
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Crash (1996) More at IMDbPro »

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Crash -- After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife.

Overview

User Rating:
6.3/10   37,688 votes »
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MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
J.G. Ballard (novel)
David Cronenberg (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Crash on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 March 1997 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The most controversial film you will ever see. See more »
Plot:
After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
8 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A superb movie. See more (291 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

James Spader ... James Ballard

Holly Hunter ... Helen Remington

Elias Koteas ... Vaughan

Deborah Kara Unger ... Catherine Ballard

Rosanna Arquette ... Gabrielle

Peter MacNeill ... Colin Seagrave
Yolande Julian ... Airport Hooker
Cheryl Swarts ... Vera Seagrave

Judah Katz ... Salesman
Nicky Guadagni ... Tattooist
Ronn Sarosiak ... A.D.

Boyd Banks ... Grip

Markus Parilo ... Man in Hanger
Alice Poon ... Camera Girl

John Stoneham Jr. ... Trask
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

David Cronenberg ... Auto Wreck Salesman (voice) (uncredited)
Jordan-Patrick Marcantonio ... Man in Tattoo Parlor (uncredited)

Directed by
David Cronenberg 
 
Writing credits
J.G. Ballard (novel "Crash")

David Cronenberg (written by)

Produced by
Chris Auty .... co-executive producer
David Cronenberg .... producer
Andras Hamori .... co-executive producer
Robert Lantos .... executive producer
Stéphane Reichel .... co-producer (as Stephane Reichel)
Marilyn Stonehouse .... co-producer
Jeremy Thomas .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Howard Shore 
 
Cinematography by
Peter Suschitzky (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Ronald Sanders 
 
Casting by
Deirdre Bowen 
 
Production Design by
Carol Spier 
 
Art Direction by
Tamara Deverell 
 
Set Decoration by
Elinor Rose Galbraith 
 
Costume Design by
Denise Cronenberg 
 
Makeup Department
Mary-Lou Green-Benvenuti .... key hair stylist
Shonagh Jabour .... key makeup artist
Katherine James .... makeup artist (as Kathrine James)
Carol Marinoff .... assistant hair stylist
Frances Mathias .... hair stylist
Leslie Ann Sebert .... assistant makeup artist (as Leslie Sebert)
 
Production Management
Marilyn Stonehouse .... production manager
Sandra Tucker .... post-production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Cassandra Cronenberg .... trainee assistant director
Tom Quinn .... second assistant director
Michele Rakich .... third assistant director
David J. Webb .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
John Bannister .... scenic artist (as S. John Bannister)
Gordon Becker .... carpenter
David Orin Charles .... set dresser
Joe Curtin .... construction coordinator
Nick Fischer .... on-set dresser
Danielle Fleury .... assistant set decorator
John Flynn .... stand-by painter
Ian Fraser .... head carpenter
Christopher Geggie .... property master
Arvinder Grewal .... third assistant art director
Jacqui Hemingway .... assistant head painter
John Keenan .... carpenter
Sabri Lariani .... assistant head carpenter
Melissa Morgan .... head painter
Peter P. Nicolakakos .... lead set dresser
Sheri O'Rourke .... assistant props
Denis Perrier .... assistant head carpenter
Andrew M. Stearn .... first assistant art director
Robert H. Steiner .... construction accountant (as Robert Steiner)
 
Sound Department
Denis Bellingham .... boom operator
Tom Bjelic .... sound effects editor
Steph Carrier .... control room operator
Christian T. Cooke .... adr recordist
Chris Czopnik .... assistant sound effects editor
David Evans .... sound effects supervisor
James A. Gore .... foley assistant
Wayne Griffin .... supervising dialogue editor
Bill Hermans .... second engineer
Bradford L. Hohle .... consultant: Dolby
Joe Lafontaine .... assistant dialogue editor
John Laing .... dialogue editor
David Lee .... sound mixer
Andy Malcolm .... foley artist
Dino Pigat .... sound re-recording mixer
Ian Rankin .... control room operator
James Robb .... assistant dialogue editor
David Rose .... control room operator (as Dave Rose)
Dale Sheldrake .... dialogue editor
John Douglas Smith .... sound effects editor
Lou Solakofski .... sound re-recording mixer
Orest Sushko .... sound re-recording mixer
Clive Turner .... assistant sound effects editor
Tony Van den Akker .... foley recordist
Randy Wilson .... control room operator
Ryan Fraser .... post-production engineer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Warren Appleby .... special effects assistant
Stephan Dupuis .... special effects makeup
Michael Kavanagh .... special effects coordinator
Dennis Pawlik .... special effects assistant
Dawn Rivard .... special effects
Trevor Cripps .... special effects technician (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Dave McGhie .... digital artist (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Lloyd Adams .... stunt driver
Marco Bianco .... stunt driver
Phil Chiu .... stunt driver
Shelley Cook .... stunt driver
Tony Cordeiro .... stunt driver
Peter Ellery .... stunt driver
Ted Hanlan .... stunt coordinator
Danny Lima .... stunts
Steve Lucescu .... stunt driver
D. McLean .... stunt driver
Rick Parker .... stunt driver
Branko Racki .... stunt driver
Bryan Renfro .... stunt driver
Paul Rutledge .... stunt driver
Peter Szkoda .... stunt driver
Tye Tyukodi .... stunt driver
Ron Vanhart .... stunt driver
Curt Bonn .... stunt rigger (uncredited)
John Stead .... stunt performer (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Scotty Allan .... gaffer
Michael Anderson .... electrician
Allan Angus .... generator operator
Russel Bowie .... first assistant camera: "b" camera
Russel Bowie .... second assistant camera
Alexander Cooper .... second assistant camera: "b" camera (as Sandy Cooper)
Candide Franklyn .... dolly grip
Michael Gibson .... still photographer
Neil Gover .... generator operator
Rich Green .... camera trainee
Joel Guthro .... camera operator: "b" camera
Michael Hall .... first assistant camera
Delroy P. Jarrett .... electrician
Mike Kirilenko .... key grip (as Michael Kirilenko)
Steve Klys .... grip
Jim MacCammon .... electrician
Steven Morrisson .... best boy electric
Andrew W. Peart .... video playback operator
Jacqueline Pelle .... camera trainee
Peter Suschitzky .... camera operator
Samuel Turturici .... grip
Jonathan Wenk .... still photographer
Ron Yolevsky .... best boy grip
 
Casting Department
Donna Dupere .... extras casting
Aric Dupere .... extras casting assistant (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sylvie Bonniere .... wardrobe assistant/seamstress
Brenda Gilles .... costume supervisor
Ann Henshaw .... costume coordinator
Ann Henshaw .... assistant costume designer (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Kathleen Cummins .... editing intern
Kevin Downer .... post-production assistant
Samantha Dubiel .... post-production coordinator
Ricardo Olivero .... color timer
Tad Seaborn .... first assistant editor: avid
Peter Watson .... first assistant editor: film
Aaron Woodley .... editing intern
Bill Holley .... colorist (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Holly Carroll .... music preparation
Robert Cotnoir .... music coordinator
Simon Franglen .... electronic music preparation
Gary Gray .... music scoring engineer
Tod Holcomb .... associate music editor
Suzana Peric .... music editor
Peter Schenkman .... music contractor
Howard Shore .... conductor
Howard Shore .... orchestrator
Ben Tucker .... second assistant music editor
Craig Braginsky .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
John Cocks .... driver
Walter Di Bacco .... driver
Robert Geeves .... driver
Jazz Helie .... transportation coordinator
Tim Hilts .... driver captain
Bill Leeking .... picture car captain
Doug Perry .... driver
Brian M. Travers .... driver: set dressing department
Grant Volkers .... driver
Dean Wittaum .... head driver
Ted Nobles .... driver: transportation department (uncredited)
Duane Shearer .... driver (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Mark Adams .... stand-in: Mr. Spader
Nicolette Beasley .... deliveries coordinator
Debra Beers .... location manager
Shelley A. Boylen .... pre-production coordinator
Francie Brown .... dialect coach
Tracey Dodokin .... assistant: Mr. Reichel
Leslie Druker .... script supervisor
Stephan Dupuis .... prosthetics designer
Prudence Emery .... publicist
Chris Gibson .... stand-in: Mr. Koteas
Joanne Jackson .... production accountant
Jamie Jones .... MotoCam operator
Beverley Kolbe .... location production assistant
Jeff Krebs .... technical consultant: avid (as Jeffrey Krebs)
Glace W. Lawrence .... line producer's intern
Mark Logan .... assistant location manager
Christine Manning .... stand-in: Ms. Unger
Ramona Ng .... assistant: Mr. Reichel
Susan Phillips .... production coordinator
Matthew Rawley .... assistant accountant (as Matthew J. Rawley)
Matthew Rawley .... post-production accountant (as Matthew J. Rawley)
Dawn Rivard .... shop coordinator
Linda Terrio .... stand-in: Ms. Hunter
Jeremy Thomas .... presenter
Phillip L. Tomalin Jr. .... assistant: Mr. Spader (as Phillip Tomalin)
Abigail Tucker .... assistant production coordinator
Sandra Tucker .... assistant: Mr. Cronenberg
Loretta Vanhart .... assistant accountant
Danny White .... technician
Andrea Wood .... business and legal affairs
G. Michael Currie .... production assistant (uncredited)
Stephan Mallmann .... business affairs: Recorded Picture Company (uncredited)
David Porter .... craft service (uncredited)
Judy Sharinger .... legal delivery supervisor (uncredited)
Ian Thompson .... production assistant (uncredited) (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated NC-17 for numerous explicit sex scenes
Runtime:
100 min | 90 min (R-rated version)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
In the UK the Daily Mail newspaper led the calls for the film to be banned with a front page headline reading "Ban This Car Crash Sex Film". To cover themselves against possible prosecution the BBFC consulted a QC to determine whether the film contravened the Obscene Publications Act, a psychologist to see if it could potentially incite copycat behavior, and a group of disabled people to see if the character played by Rosanna Arquette would be considered offensive to them. After all 3 consultations proved to be successful and the BBFC were able to pass the full unrated version completely uncut.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: After Vaughan repeatedly crashes the left front bumper of his Lincoln into a junker James Ballard is sitting in, causing major damage to the bumper and the lights, Vaughan is soon shown driving on the highway with no damage to the bumper and both left lights operational.See more »
Quotes:
James Ballard:I'm beginning to feel like a potted plant.See more »
Movie Connections:
References Videodrome (1983)See more »

FAQ

What are the differences between the R-Rated cut and the NC-17 version of the movie?
See more »
46 out of 69 people found the following review useful.
A superb movie., 26 January 1999
Author: Glyn Ingram (mringram@hotmail.com) from London, England

In the book "Cronenberg on Cronenberg," a study of director David Cronenberg's movies, the Canadian filmmaker criticises film theorist' Robin Wood's ideological beliefs that certain movies should be seen if they encourage or take a partciular moral stance, even if they're not outstandingly good pictures. For Cronenberg to criticise this belief is understandable. Movies don't have to be moral and go along with certain ideas or cultural stances to be worthy of critical debate or discussion. Because David Cronenberg's movies are often what's described as 'immoral,' they're consequently criticised for being sick, perverse, and sometimes downright depraved.

In 1996, The Daily Mail, a British newspaper, launched a campaign to see that "Crash" wasn't released in Britain. Led by their useless film critic Christopher Tookey (The man who thought 'Martha: Meet Frank, Daniel and Lawrence' was a brilliant picture), the newspaper was intent on seeing that the picture never made it onto British screens. They attacked the BBFC's decision when the film was eventually (And quite rightly) passed uncut. The newspaper's campaign was a short-lived, desperate joke. Two years later, "Crash" is available to rent on video uncut, and can be viewed on satellite TV in the UK. And, more importantly, during this period, the world-wide death rate that "Crash" has been linked to totals in at 0.

"Crash" is, in fact, a superb movie; a film like no other. I've now seen it many times, read a great deal of literature, essays and articles about it, including Cronenberg's genuinly fascinating own writings about the movie. In direct response to the opening paragraph I've written, I want to take this opportunity to 'Explain' "Crash" to those audiences who liked it but couldn't fully understand 'It's point' (As so many people say), and those, who, for various reasons absolutley hated it. In my writing, I want to deconstruct and 'Explain' the movie as simply as possible; believe it or not, I hate most film theories I read (Many are just plain ridiculous!), but, "Crash" is clearly a film that requires an alternative reading, and is certainly worthy of debate and discussion.

If one is willing to suspend their own morals and beliefs when viewing a film such as "Crash," the pleasure of seeing the film is incredible. For those reading this who haven't seen the film, hopefully this may encourage you to take a look, and ignore all the silly media negativity that surrounded it on its release. After all, if you're still concerned that this '18' Certificate movie could encourage people to crash their cars, then you must also be concerned about the thousands of 'U' and 'PG' rated movies where guns and violence often make up much of the plot. After all, "Crash" doesn't contain any of either.

Based on the 70's novel by British author JG Ballard, "Crash" is the story of film producer James Ballard and his wife Catherine, and their slow departure into a warped World where sexual pleasure is achieved in car crashes. Led by Elias Koteas, the underground group lead their lives in a bizarre way, fascinated by both car crashes and their bloody and often horrid consequences.

First of all, lets establish the most ridiculous element of "Crash." It's the car crashes themselves, of course. For someone to get sexual pleasure out of crashing a car is bizarre and laughable to say the least. In fact, as one critic wrote, it's something that would only happen in movies! I don't think there's much debate about that. So, we have to look at an alternative reading. What can this bizarre sexual ritual actually represent? It can and, indeed, does work as a perfect metaphore for the link between both sex and death, and pain and death. There's certainly no debate to say that a link exists between both, like it or not. Therefore, when we witness a car crash in the movie, the movie is exploring these concepts that, in reality, DO exist.

But there's another element to the car-crash concept of the movie, and that's the link the film makes between sex and technology. In his interviews about the picture, Cronenberg also explores some interesting cultural issues that combine the three aforementioned concepts; for instance, he questions just why so many people nowadays have their bodies pierced in such bizarre places; they often look painful, feel painful, but are so frequently done to look attractive!

When watching "Crash," it's often easy to get the impression that, somehow or other, you've lost the narrative; one never feels as though they're quite understanding the movie. This is deliberate, and, encourages the audience to watch as a spectator, rather than as someone who relates to the protagonists. For instance, the script, story and direction make little or no attempt for us to relate to James Ballard. This is where "Crash" is very much a David Cronenberg movie, as strong parallels can be drawn with many of his previous works. Take "The Fly," for example. Before and during the making of the 1986 movie, Cronenberg had been encouraged to make Jeff Goldblume's character (Seth Brundel), a normal, everyday fella, rather than the mad, eccentric scientist that he is. But, as Cronenberg expresses, that's not interesting! It's obvious how an everyday, conventional person would respond to the horrors explored in "The Fly," making the film conventional and much more mainstream. The same applies to "Crash...." ....At the start of the movie, James Ballard and his wife are already locked into a bizarre sexual World. The very first scene shows Catherine Ballard in an aircraft hanger about to have sex; the scene has two effects - It links sex and technology immediately in a very in-your-face-way, and, most importantly, it also stops us relating to the character. There's little dialogue; we never see the man she's with again, and the scene that follows this is a more frantic sex sequence with James Ballard, again with an annoymous character; an obvious parallel with the aircraft hanger part.

Later on, to encourage this impossible-to-relate to the characters effect, Cronenberg uses endless techniques; nearly all the cast mysteriously whisper their dialogue throughout, and we're told next to nothing about anyones background. Interestingly, however, the career of James Ballard is one of a film producer.

"Crash" isn't realism and Cronenberg doesn't want it to be, nor does he try to make it 'real.' An endless number of things happen in the movie that couldn't and wouldn't happen in real life, but, by being in place, create the atmosphere needed, and, of course, help the narrative. For instance, the scene in which the main character's begin to photograph a nasty night-time car crash is ridiculous; swarming with Police, such a thing would never happen! "Crash," is, in fact, a complete fantasy.

It's perhaps worth noting at this point just how brilliant Howard Shore's score is for this movie. Creating a suitable score for this bizarre tale must have been a hard job, but Shore's music isn't far from being perfect. There's an odd, clanging-metal type pace to it throughout, more than suitable and relevant to the film. And, although this isn't a movie where actors are rarely given the chance to shine, all performances are above-par, especially when one takes into account the difficult and complex themes that the film deals with. By bringing the incredibly sexy Rosanna Arquette in on the proceedings, Cronenberg has also put some much-needed humour into the film; the car-showroom scene is a painfully funny moment of dark humour.

The sex scenes in the movie are also more than vital; as already mentioned, the first set work as perfect parallels, but, more importantly, they can often be read in their own entirety. When James is making love to his wife mid-way through the movie, it's obvious that the film is both drawing a parallel between the love-making and car-crashing (Observe the positioning of the characters!), and, even more importantly, with the dialogue, it's clear that Catherine is actually making James fantisise about having sex with a certain other character in the movie.

There is an endless amount of interesting things about "Crash" one could say, and it really is a great movie. If you haven't seen it, take a look. It isn't always easy to sit through, and it sometimes verges on becoming too much to take with sex scene after sex scene. However, so many intelligent things can come from seeing it, and it really is a great movie, making David Cronenberg one of the greatest filmmakers working today.

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