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Being John Malkovich (1999)

A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of movie star John Malkovich.

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 48 wins & 75 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Derek Mantini
...
Father at Puppet Show
Madison Lanc ...
Daughter at Puppet Show
...
Woman in Elevator (as Octavia L. Spencer)
...
...
...
...
Wendy
Byrne Piven ...
Captain Mertin
Judith Wetzell ...
Tiny Woman
...
...
Cab Driver
...
Guy in Restaurant
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Storyline

Puppeteer Craig Schwartz and animal lover and pet store clerk Lotte Schwartz are just going through the motions of their marriage. Despite not being able to earn a living solely through puppeteering, Craig loves his profession as it allows him to inhabit the skin of others. He begins to take the ability to inhabit the skin of others to the next level when he is forced to take a job as a file clerk for the off-kilter LesterCorp, located on the five-foot tall 7½ floor of a Manhattan office building. Behind one of the filing cabinets in his work area, Craig finds a hidden door which he learns is a portal into the mind of John Malkovich, the visit through the portal which lasts fifteen minutes after which the person is spit into a ditch next to the New Jersey Turnpike. Craig is fascinated by the meaning of life associated with this finding. Lotte's trips through the portal make her evaluate her own self. And the confident Maxine Lund, one of Craig's co-workers who he tells about the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Ever wanted to be someone else? Now you can. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 December 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Biti John Malkovich  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$637,721 (USA) (29 October 1999)

Gross:

$22,858,926 (USA) (5 May 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charlie Kaufman wrote the script in 1994, after his time writing for Get a Life (1990). The script got him more work writing for television, but studios didn't know what to do with it. Used to working with a writing partner, Kaufman decided to collaborate with himself, and married two seemingly disparate ideas he had into the same script. One was a man falling for a woman who wasn't his wife, and the other was someone finding a portal into John Malkovich's head. In 1996, Spike Jonze read the script. See more »

Goofs

When Craig first lands by the N.J. Turnpike, there is an operating oil well in the background. There are no known natural oil reserves in New Jersey. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lotte Schwartz: Craig, honey, it's time for bed.
[fade out and in]
Orrin Hatch the bird: Craig, honey, time to get up, Craig, honey, time to get up, Craig, honey, time to get up, Craig, honey, time to get up,
Craig Schwartz: Lotte...
Lotte Schwartz: I'm sorry. I didn't know Orrin Hatch was out of his cage.
See more »

Crazy Credits

at the end of the cast listing is noted ...and John Malkovich See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Mother's Day 2010 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Amphibian
Written by Björk
Performed by Björk
Produced by Björk, Valgeir Sigurðsson & Mark Bell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
It's Out And There's Nothing Like It
1 December 1999 | by (Rutgers U, NJ) – See all my reviews

Being John Malkovich leaves you astounded. What happened in that dark theater? Twist and turn, one thing more fantastical than the next, this movie is 100 % UNIQUE. Even the introduction and the setting of the film are outlandish to say the least. The movie develops quickly, plummetting viewers into the warped world it creates; while the surroundings are strange, they are presented without leaving the audience convinced and I found that my questions about Malkovich's mysterious portal, such as "What happens if John Malkovich goes into his own portal?", were answered.

The directoral work in John Malkovich is quite interested at times as well. Seeing the world through John Malkovich's eyes is not an easy feat to accomplish, but is done tactfully.

However, it is the interactions between the characters that fortifies this film. Cuscack, completely smitten by Catherine Keener's character, finds that his love is unrequited. There are more twists in this story, but that's for you to find out, now isn't it? So be John Malkovich!


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