5.8/10
1,655
37 user 19 critic

The Fan (1981)

Douglas, a record salesman, is an obsessive fan of actress Sally Ross. When his letters are rejected, he strikes out at her and her loved ones.

Director:

Ed Bianchi (as Edward Bianchi)

Writers:

Bob Randall (novel), Priscilla Chapman | 1 more credit »
Reviews

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ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lauren Bacall ... Sally Ross
James Garner ... Jake Berman
Maureen Stapleton ... Belle Goldman
Hector Elizondo ... Police Inspector Raphael Andrews
Michael Biehn ... Douglas Breen
Anna Maria Horsford ... Emily Stolz
Kurt Johnson ... David Branum
Feiga Martinez Feiga Martinez ... Elsa
Reed Jones Reed Jones ... Choreographer
Kaiulani Lee Kaiulani Lee ... Douglas' Sister
Charles Blackwell Charles Blackwell ... John Vetta
Dwight Schultz ... Director
Dana Delany ... Saleswoman in Record Store
Terence Marinan Terence Marinan ... Young Man in Bar
Lesley Rogers Lesley Rogers ... Heidi
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Storyline

Douglas is a lonesome record salesman and a true fan of the actress Sally Ross. Every day he writes her gleaming letters of love. But the only response he gets are formal letters. So his love turns into hatred. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The final act is murder. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 May 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Trance See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Production on the picture was delayed when during principal photography, the movie's star, actress Lauren Bacall, contracted chicken pox. See more »

Quotes

Jake: Oh come on, babe, what's the matter?
Sally Ross: What's the matter? I've got a show to do in five days, the lighting man appears to be learning on the set, my secretary has been attacked, David is dead, and oh yes, there is some fruit cake out there who wants to kill me. Now to satisfy you more, will you please get the hell out of here!
See more »

Alternate Versions

At the 57:17 mark, the spoken line in all theatrical prints and previous video versions is "Dearest Bitch, See how accessible you are? How would you liked to be fucked with a meat cleaver?" The 2002 DVD release from Paramount Home Entertainment replaces that line with "Dearest Bitch, I've exhausted myself on thinking of ways to kill you." No reasons were given for this alteration. The rest of the film, including the gore, is intact. The VHS version features the original line. See more »

Connections

Featured in Sneak Previews: The Dogs of 1981 (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

IT'S TOO FUNKY IN HERE
Written by George Jackson, Walter Shaw, Brad Shapiro and Robert Miller
Performed by James Brown
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User Reviews

 
Slashing With Style
28 October 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Lauren Bacall, playing a star very much like Lauren Bacall, has one hugely obsessed fan out there in Michael Biehn. He'll do just about anything to gratify his obsession to be near here and that includes killing just about everyone else he views as a threat.

Even with the presence of a couple of really huge movie legends like Lauren Bacall and James Garner playing her ex-husband and better friend, the film is about The Fan. Michael Biehn is a truly terrifying human being and all the more so because at first glance he looks so incredibly normal and even hunky. Not someone you think would be obsessing over a middle-aged movie queen.

Bacall is really playing herself her. Her Sally Ross just like Lauren in that decade had transplanted herself from Hollywood to Broadway and was scoring great success. The scenes showing the rehearsal for her Broadway show is something I can easily imagine her doing when she was preparing for her role in Company. Bacall is a most famous tenant of that famous building the Dakota on Central Park West and with the angles of the shot we can't tell if it was in fact the Dakota, but it was on the park as there are shots of Biehn watching it from across the street.

The whole film was done on location in New York and one brief scene in the gay bar where Biehn picks up a victim to kill in order to make the police and Bacall believe he committed suicide was the legendary and notorious Haymarket. Back in the days before the AIDS plague hit, it was a legendary spot world wide for rent boys. It closed in the early Eighties as did many such establishments. I'd be curious to know how they got permission to shoot there. Still folks from the New York gay scene will recognize it.

Maureen Stapleton does a nice job as Bacall's secretary who answers her fan letters and who becomes Biehn's first victim as in his twisted mind she's keeping him from his obsession.

When all's said and done The Fan is a slasher flick, but it's a slasher flick with style.


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