A lesbian private detective dives head first into murder, manipulation and the consuming power of sex.



, (novel)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

High Art (1998)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young female intern at a small magazine company becomes involved with a drug-addicted lesbian photographer, both of whom seek to exploit each other for their respective careers, while slowly falling in love with each other.

Director: Lisa Cholodenko
Stars: Radha Mitchell, Ally Sheedy, Patricia Clarkson
Enclave (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Kosovo 2004, five years after the war. Nenad, ten years Christian boy from a Serbian enclave, determined to create a proper community burial for his late grandfather, crosses enemy lines ... See full summary »

Director: Goran Radovanovic
Stars: Milena Jaksic, Filip Subaric, Nenad Stanojkovic
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A feisty young woman returns to Glasgow to run her deceased father's curry house.

Director: Pratibha Parmar
Stars: Laura Fraser, Shelley Conn, Art Malik
Savage Grace (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A dramatization of the shocking Barbara Daly Baekeland murder case, which happened in a posh London flat on Friday 17 November 1972. The bloody crime caused a stir on both sides of the Atlantic and remains one of the most memorable American Tragedies...

Director: Tom Kalin
Stars: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Stephen Dillane
Horseplay (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

A comedy about a horse trainer.

Director: Stavros Kazantzidis
Stars: Marcus Graham, Tushka Bergen, Jason Donovan
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A newcomer to a posh girls boarding school discovers that her two senior roommates are lovers.

Director: Léa Pool
Stars: Piper Perabo, Jessica Paré, Mischa Barton
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Three young Irish women struggle to maintain their spirits while they endure dehumanizing abuse as inmates of a Magdalene Sisters Asylum.

Director: Peter Mullan
Stars: Eileen Walsh, Dorothy Duffy, Nora-Jane Noone
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Tommy Matisse, a gifted musician, undertakes an odyssey of self-discovery and tragedy in Melbourne's dance music scene.

Director: Paul Currie
Stars: Dan Spielman, Leeanna Walsman, Nathan Phillips
Quills (2000)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In a Napoleonic era insane asylum, an inmate, the irrepressible Marquis De Sade, fights a battle of wills against a tyrannically prudish doctor.

Director: Philip Kaufman
Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix
Bound (1996)
Crime | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Corky, a tough female ex con and her lover Violet concoct a scheme to steal millions of stashed mob money and pin the blame on Violet's crooked boyfriend Caesar.

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
Stars: Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon, Joe Pantoliano
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young couple offer to buy the furniture of a middle-aged man whose wife just left him - but they end up with more than they bargained for. Hugo Weaving, Abbie Cornish and Sullivan Stapleton star in an adaptation of a Raymond Carver story.

Director: Andrew Kotatko
Stars: Hugo Weaving, Abbie Cornish, Sullivan Stapleton
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

The lives of a sedate suburban family turn rather gruesome with the arrival of a house-guest who is not what he seems to be.

Director: John Laing
Stars: Kelly McGillis, Kate Elliott, Tom Huntington


Cast overview, first billed only:
Brendan Cowell ...
Jim Holt ...
Jean-Pierre Mignon ...
Caroline Gillmer ...
Dad Fitzpatrick
Nick Maitland
Detective Sergeant Wesley
Charlotte Rose Regan ...
Cerebral Girl


Jill Fitzpatrick is a 28-year old, street-smart, out-of-work private investigator wishing she wasn't celibate. Eager for the taste of adrenaline, she accepts a job investigating the disappearance of Mickey, a young female student. Jill quickly strikes a spark with the seductive Diana, Mickey's poetry lecturer. But it is not long before Mickey's strangled body is found. Distrusting the cops, Mickey's grief-stricken parents ask Jill to find her murderer. Jill is soon hurled into a passionate liaison with Diana as she enters the surprisingly seamy underworld of Mickey's life, looking for clues to her murder. For whom did Mickey write her sexually charged poems? What is the connection between Mickey and her two favorite poets? Who is leaving threatening messages in verse on Jill's answering machine? Blinded by her passion, Jill is compromised in her search for the truth - until her own life is in danger. Written by Strand Releasing <strand@strandreleasing.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No evidence just a smell of sex and violence.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content including graphic dialogue, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| | | |


Release Date:

10 May 2001 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

A Máscara Do Macaco  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,942 (USA) (27 July 2001)


$45,826 (USA) (7 December 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Gigi Edgley was unable to complete her scenes for this film because she was needed back on Farscape (1999) to film the episode "Dream a Little Dream/Re:Union". See more »


Mickey Norris: [Opening scene; standing before an audience] Love is a torture - love tortures me. Does love torture you? If it does, why are you laughing? I feel you in the room like a knife. You cut out my cunt, so why not cut out my heart? Your prick is a knife that hurts me. You grunt like a beautiful pig
[audience laughs]
Mickey Norris: . I wish my cunt could hurt you.
See more »


Dark Walk
Written by M. Brown, C. Frank and N, Miranda
Performed by Smoke City
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews


Dorothy Porter's book "The Monkey's Mask" was a groundbreaker on numerous levels. The text was a novel constructed from poetic verse ("is it a novel or a bloody long poem"? one commentator asked). Furthermore, Porter took a harboiled detective/ noir narrative and relocated it from the streets of NY or LA to seamy inner-city Sydney. Where once we had misogynist male gumshoes(i.e. Sam Spade), Porter gave us Jill Fitzpatrick, a female detective who was also - and proudly - a lesbian.

So how does it translate to film? Very interestingly, indeed.

The story (for those unfamiliar) entails Jill investigating the disappearance and subsequent murder of Mickey Norris, a young Uni student whose amateurish poetry is laced with sex and death. Jill's investigation leads her into Sydney's incestuous poetry scene, and particularly into the bed of Diana Maitland, Jill's duplicituous lecturer. And that's where trouble starts ...

Susie Porter and Kelly McGillis are brilliant as Jill and Diana respectively. There is more emphasis given here to the sexual side of their relationship than there was in Porter's text, and some of the sex scenes do, alas, border on fetishistic.

However, I was fascinated by the way their relationship was mediated by a whole range of other factors. There is class: Diana is an uber-wealthy city dweller who dines at Darling Harbour, while Jill is a working-class woman living in a dingy caravan on Sydney's exclusive North Shore. Also, Diana is entwined in two seedy 'scenes': the poetry world, and the world of English/cultural studies academia. The seamy, incestuous, inhumane side of academia has been explored in films as diverse as Hitchcock's 'Rope' (which TMM bears a resemblance to stylistically- and that also had homosexuality as a theme) to the 1970s horror film 'Bloodsuckers' (an appropriate title for Diana). In The Monkey's Mask, Diana talks down about her students (the women in her class love 'victim poetry', apparently). When Jill tells her of Mickey's gruesome murder, Diana is more excited over her latest academic grant!

In support, Marton Csokas was brilliant as Diana's 'kept man' Nick. He reminded me of Vincent Price's 'kept man'/ playboy in the 1944 noir classic 'Laura'. Unfortunately, the rest of the supporting cast are under-used. As Jill's father, Chris Winwood is given little to do bar totter around with a whisky bottle. Then there is the talented Deborah Mailman, wasted in a thinly-sketched role as Jill's best friend (the most she is given to do is 'come onto' her friend during a time of grief, and that - as another commentator suggested - suggests a dubious link between lesbians and sexual voraciousness. This is a link that is made absolutely concrete in Diana's character, whose evil is - in the film - largely attributed to her sexual appetite).

Also, the movie's conclusion was too neat and polished, given all the ambiguity and uncertainty that preceded it. The ending of Porter's book wasn't nearly as cut-and-dried.

And what was the point of Jill's closing line: "Forget the bitch"? Porter didn't mention that. Was its inclusion to comfort the (conservative, hetero, etc) viewer that the dangerous dyke relationship is over, and we can all sleep nice and easy. Worrying stuff, indeed.

Having said that,though, Lang's 'The Monkey's Mask' is an interesting contributionto the noir genre. Stylish and sensual, with some great chemistry between the leads, it is intelligent entertainment that deserves a look.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
title? saraannepotter
Discuss The Monkey's Mask (2000) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: