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Dennis Clegg is in his thirties and lives in a halfway house for the mentally ill in London. Dennis, nicknamed "Spider" by his mother has been institutionalized with acute schizophrenia for some 20 years. He has never truly recovered, however, and as the story progresses we vicariously experience his increasingly fragile grip on reality. Written by
Erwin van Moll <firstname.lastname@example.org>
David Cronenberg received the screenplay from Patrick McGrath out of the blue, with a note attached saying that Ralph Fiennes was interested in playing the part of Spider. After about four pages, Cronenberg had decided that he wanted to do the film. See more »
Position of Spider's feet changes when he sets down his suitcase after getting of the train. See more »
Nasty stuff: Gas. I knew a man once... Put his head in a gas oven... Turned on the gas... Then, he changed his mind... But his head was STUCK!
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In David Cronenberg's brilliant psychological thriller, the excellent Ralph Fiennes gives a standout performance as Spider Cleg, a man who is released from a mental institution, and is forced to relive the horrors of his childhood, prowling the East End. Fiennes is superb in the lead role, and Miranda Richardson is magnificent in her three roles. Gabriel Byrne, Lynn Redgrave and John Neville all help carry the film along, which at times, can be a little slow. I liked this film, because it was similar to A Beautiful Mind, which also focused on mental illness. This is one of my all time great films, and I think the performances from the cast are faultless.
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