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Obsession (1976)

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1:36 | Trailer
A wealthy New Orleans businessman becomes obsessed with a young woman who resembles his wife.

Director:

Brian De Palma

Writers:

Brian De Palma (story by), Paul Schrader (story by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cliff Robertson ... Michael Courtland
Geneviève Bujold ... Elizabeth Courtland / Sandra Portinari
John Lithgow ... Robert Lasalle
Sylvia Kuumba Williams Sylvia Kuumba Williams ... Maid (as Sylvia 'Kuumba' Williams)
Wanda Blackman Wanda Blackman ... Amy Courtland
J. Patrick McNamara ... Third Kidnapper (as Patrick McNamara)
Stanley J. Reyes Stanley J. Reyes ... Insp. Brie
Nick Krieger Nick Krieger ... Farber
Stocker Fontelieu Stocker Fontelieu ... Dr. Ellman
Don Hood ... Ferguson
Andrea Esterhazy Andrea Esterhazy ... D'Annunzio
Thomas Carr Thomas Carr ... Paper Boy
Tom Felleghy Tom Felleghy ... Italian Businessman
Nella Simoncini Barbieri Nella Simoncini Barbieri ... Mrs. Portinari
John Creamer John Creamer ... Justice of the Peace
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Storyline

New Orleans businessman Michael Courtland's life is shattered when his wife and daughter are tragically killed in a botched kidnap rescue attempt. Many years later whilst visiting Italy he meets and falls in love with Sandra Portinari, who bears a striking resemblance to his wife. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He's been given a second chance with the only women he ever loved. The first time she died. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

September 1976 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Deja Vu See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,400,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Composer Bernard Herrmann became infatuated with Geneviève Bujold after seeing her performance in an early cut of "Obsession". His feelings were heightened by Bujold's surprise visit to the soundtrack recording sessions in London in July 1975, the only time the two met in person. Herrmann's friend Charles Gerhardt recalled, "As she spoke to Benny in a heavy French accent I could tell he was about to get the hanky out. She told him of all the trouble she'd had with Cliff Robertson because he spent all his time in makeup and didn't make their love scenes meaningful. She said, 'Mr. Herrmann, he wouldn't make love to me - but you made love to me with your music'. And Benny started to cry. He would tell that story over and over at dinner, and start crying again every time". After Herrmann's death five months later, his widow found a photo of Bujold in his wallet. See more »

Goofs

With exception of old cars, nothing in flashbacks to 1959 (hair, clothes, etc.) to remotely indicate that scenes weren't set in mid Seventies. See more »

Quotes

Michael Courtland: It wasn't there. The money wasn't there. It wasn't there.
Robert Lasalle: You got me out of bed, forced me to give you 500000 dollars. You were acting crazy! Of course the money wasn't there. I had to protect it from you. I have the real money. I was only looking after your own good. It's all yours now, and this will surely keep you from throwing it away.
Michael Courtland: I killed her. She came back a second time to let me prove I loved her. Now she's gone...
Robert Lasalle: You just can't seem to keep a woman, can you? You self righteous son...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film has no end credits, other than the words "The End" in the final frame. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Making of 'Rolling Thunder' (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
De Palma's best Hitchcock-movie!
6 September 2003 | by Renaldo MatlinSee all my reviews

"Obsession" is truly the best movie Hitchcock never made.

It came out the same year as the great master of suspense made his last movie, the disappointing "Family Plot", it has a classy, brilliant soundtrack by the legendary Bernard Herrmann that fits nicely in with the work he did for Hitchcock, it has a wonderful script by Paul Schrader that will keep you guessing till the last frame, and last but not least: it's directed by Brian De Palma, who despite being slammed by some (stupid) critics for ripping off Hitchcock should in stead be praised for being able to copy the master better than any other living filmmaker.

Hitchcock is my favorite director of all times, and "Obsession" is so much like one of his films that it's difficult to accept that it was put together by another man. But De Palma doesn't deserve criticism for honoring his idol, he deserves praise for delivering a movie that, had it been made by Hitchcock, would rank among his finest films.

That's quite a feat! If you are a fan of De Palma or Hithcock you are almost guaranteed to love "Obsession", a highly underrated thriller that left me an even greater fan of Robertson, Bujold, Lithgow, De Palma, Schrader, Herrmann and every one else involved. Sit back, enjoy it and watch out for those wonderful last 20 minutes!


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