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Kinsey (2004)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  7 January 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 41,732 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 202 user | 187 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

A look at the life of Alfred Kinsey, a pioneer in the area of human sexuality research, whose 1948 publication "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" was one of the first recorded works that saw science address sexual behavior.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 43 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Gebhard
Herman Wells
Alan Gregg
Alice Martin
Kenneth Braun
Huntington Hartford
Sara Kinsey
Barbara Merkle
Martha Pomeroy


Called Prok as an adult (short for Professor Kinsey), Alfred Kinsey has been interested in biology since he was a child growing up in the early twentieth century, despite the criticisms of such being evil nonsense from his overbearing and devoutly Christian father, professor Alfred Seguine Kinsey. Prok goes on to become a biology professor at Indiana University, initially focusing on the study of gall wasps. But those studies in combination with questions from his students, coming to terms with the needs of sex with his own wife, a former student of his named Clara McMillen (who he calls Mac), and what he sees as the gross misinformation on the subject currently within popular belief makes him change his focus to human sexuality. Many of those gross untruths - as he sees them - are that oral sex and masturbation cause a slew of maladies, which are perpetuated by what is presented in the university's hygiene class taught by Professor Thurman Rice. With the approval of faculty head ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Let's talk about sex.


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive sexual content, including some graphic images and descriptions | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

7 January 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dr. Kinsey  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$169,038 (USA) (12 November 2004)


$108,595 (Brazil) (29 April 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


On the DVD commentary, director Bill Condon reveals that he wanted to include in a montage a clip from I Love Lucy (1951) in which a character makes a joking reference to Dr. Alfred Kinsey's research. Condon says that he was unable to use the clip because Lucie Arnaz (the daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz) denied him the rights, offering very little explanation aside from claiming that her parents would never allow themselves to be associated with Kinsey. See more »


The scene where Kinsey's mother, Sara, is buried and family and friends are visiting Alfred Sr. (Seguine) at his home is incorrect: Kinsey's mother didn't die before Alfred Sr.; his parents were divorced in 1931 when Alfred Jr. (the titular Kinsey) was about 37 and before Alfred Jr. even started his research for his first "Sexual Behavior" book. See more »


Thurman Rice: There's a cure for syphilis... and it's called abstinence.
Alfred Kinsey: Penicillin works just as well!
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the film (following the main cast credits), a montage featuring Kinsey Institute footage of the mating habits of various animals is accompanied by "Fever" by Little Willie John. See more »


Referenced in Family Guy: Fighting Irish (2015) See more »


Etudes, Opus 25
Written by Frédéric Chopin
Performed by Idil Biret
Courtesy of Naxos of North America, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Condon's Mastery Depicting Kinsey's Sexology & Sexualities
19 October 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One of the mid-20th century sexologists, Alfred C. Kinsey, is brought to life through a stellar performance by Liam Neeson. Screenplay writer & director, Bill Condon, who should have won an Oscar for "Gods and Monsters," uses an enticing technique of switching between B&W scenes & color ones. In the former, Kinsey is depicted as a subject, in a clinical setting, responding to his own sex survey questions. In the latter, Condon takes us through flashbacks of choice intimate events during Kinsey's younger life. This combination of screenplay & direction movement between the past in color & the present in B&W seems contradictory. However, it is quite effective to draw out the importance of how significant, if not 'colorful', Kinsey's upbringing was while living in his father-preacher's (John Lithgow) anti-sexual & puritanical home.

Kinsey's sexology includes so many open-ended questions that they leave room for respondents to elaborate upon their true sexual experiences. Their thousands of responses included in Kinsey's research {published as "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) & "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953)} are anything but black & white! It is to Kinsey's credit, his passion, the effectiveness of his research techniques, that sexology discovered US respondents were eager to speak about sex. Since Kinsey's findings are not what the US public expected to learn, his research became controversial. For instance, the first book found males had many more same-gender sexual experiences than anyone imagined. The second book really rocked the world when Kinsey's research showed that females shared the same sexual desires as males! From the start of the film to the end it is loaded with sexological words: in other words, the clinical names for genital body parts & sexual activities. Sexual activities are spoken of scientifically & sometimes depicted. This is not by any means a pornographic motion picture. It is about the science of sexology. But, most especially, it is a fine film that aptly portrays both the research & intimate passions of the world famous US sexologist, Kinsey.

It's not necessarily an adults-only film; depending upon how well prepared & educated teens are in studies of human sexual behavior. I feel Condon masters the topics of sexology & sexualities.

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