6.7/10
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67 user 86 critic

Obsession (1976)

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

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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:

The love story that will scare the life out of you 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)

Gross USA:

$1,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The church seen at the beginning of the film, Church of San Miniato, is different from the one that Michael actually goes into when he sees Sandra. The reason for this is because the priests of the Church of San Miniato would not allow De Palma and his crew to film inside of the church, because of a previous film crew that turned out to be making a porno film, and had told them otherwise. This can be seen clearly when Michael goes into the church, which only has one door to enter into, and then in the next shot, where Michael's back is towards the door, and there are now two, and a windows on the doors that don't match the one that we saw on the outside shot. The collegiate church in the town of San Gimignano was used for the interior shots. 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

Featured in De Palma (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mysterious story, competent performances and sense of style
18 December 2009 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

A rich businessman (Clift Robertson) meets an enigmatic young girl ( Genevieve Bujold) in Florencia . She is the dead ringer image of his late spouse who was murdered by kidnappers during a car accident at a backfired rescue . It leads to a mesmerizing cycle of traps and lies.

A classic in suspense from De Palma , pitching us right into the action from the beginning and baffling most of us to the ending. There is much for De Palma buffs to savour in this thrilling and atmospheric handling of a complex story with deliberately old-fashioned treatment . Robertson is assured as ever as the obsessed millionaire battling against his obsessions and Bujold in a difficult double role as the girls who looks exactly like the wife, she strangely adds depth to her acting. There are tense key images that that are brilliantly staged. This romantic flick is plenty of mystery, intrigue, and suspenseful. Adding special characteristics techniques as ominous camera movements .

Brian De Palma's homage to Hitchcock and the amusement turn out to be inquire what scenes taken from suspense Master. For that reason takes parts especially from ¨Vertigo¨. All this said, the mechanics of suspense are worked quite well and may frighten the easily scared quite badly, but De Palma has made a habit of dwelling on their more sordid side-shoots. The film displays a great and haunting musical score by Bernard Herrmann, Hitchock's favorite composer and imitating his former hits. Furthermore appropriate cinematography by cameraman Vilmos Zsigmond, though is urgent a necessary remastering because of the colors are faded. The picture is brilliantly directed by Brian De Palma. This one along with ¨ Sisters,Dresssed to Kill, Blow out¨ are outwardly another ode to Hitchcock, but the Master might well shift uneasily in his grave at the long-drawn-out tension, the flash scenes and the shock effects with the accent on gas-provoking , but on most occasion is thrilling. Rating : Above average but gets some riveting basic ideas and fascinating images.


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