6.1/10
4,548
50 user 52 critic

Looker (1981)

Trailer
1:29 | Trailer
Three of four models, who had plastic surgery done by Larry after a computed list, are dead. Neither the cops nor Larry believe they're suicides. Larry investigates and stays with the fourth model. Who's behind the lists and murders?

Director:

Michael Crichton
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Albert Finney ... Dr. Larry Roberts
James Coburn ... John Reston
Susan Dey ... Cindy Fairmont
Leigh Taylor-Young ... Jennifer Long
Dorian Harewood ... Lieutenant Masters
Tim Rossovich ... Moustache Man
Darryl Hickman ... Dr. Jim Belfield
Kathryn Witt Kathryn Witt ... Tina Cassidy
Terri Welles Terri Welles ... Lisa Convey
Michael Hawkins Michael Hawkins ... Senator Robert Harrison (as Michael Gainsborough)
Ashley Cox ... Candy
Donna Kei Benz Donna Kei Benz ... Ellen (as Donna Benz)
Catherine Parks ... Jan
Terry Kiser ... Commercial Director
Georgann Johnson ... Cindy's Mother
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Storyline

Plastic surgeon Larry Roberts performs a series of minor alterations on a group of models who are seeking perfection. The operations are a resounding success. But when someone starts killing his beautiful patients, Dr. Roberts becomes suspicious and starts investigating. What he uncovers are the mysterious - and perhaps murderous - activities of a high-tech computer company called Digital Matrix. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If looks could kill...

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer-director Michael Crichton once said of this film: "Television commercials are already manipulative. That's exactly what they're supposed to do. I don't consider that kind of manipulation evil, but what would happen if someone with a bit more scientific knowledge began tampering with commercials?" See more »

Goofs

At the conference near the end, when Dr. Larry Roberts is disguised as a security guard, during several sequences getting in and out of elevators the wound on the side of his mouth disappears and reappears. See more »

Quotes

John Reston: Television can control public opinion more effectively than armies of secret police, because television is entirely voluntary. The American government forces our children to attend school, but nobody forces them to watch T.V. Americans of all ages *submit* to television. Television is the American ideal. Persuasion without coercion. Nobody makes us watch. Who could have predicted that a *free* people would voluntarily spend one fifth of their lives sitting in front of a *box* with pictures? ...
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Alternate Versions

The broadcast television version contains additional footage, including a scene where Reston (James Coburn) explains to Dr. Roberts (Albert Finney and Cindy ('Susan Dey') why Digital Matrix had the "perfect" models killed. See more »


Soundtracks

Looker
Music and Lyrics by Barry De Vorzon and Mike Towers (as Michael Towers)
Performed by Sue Saad
See more »

User Reviews

UNSUNG THRILLER FROM MICHAEL CRICHTON
22 May 2001 | by KatmissSee all my reviews

Michael Crichton's "Looker" is a challenging and intelligent thriller that's better than you would expect. Since most reviews of the film are negative, that's created an unfair bias against it. That's a shame because this film is a pleasure to watch.

The plot is like a Rubik's Cube. Just when you thought you had it figured out, WHAM!! a twist comes out of nowhere and confounds the viewer. That's one of the films' pleasures.

The stylish photography is another plus. A key part of all of Crichton's films is the flashy, stylish photography and that's no exception here. Shot by Paul Lohmann in Panavision, "Looker" often looks and feels like "Westworld" mixed with "Coma" polished with lemon pledge. It's atmospheric and great to look at.

The performances are another key. Albert Finney, entering the horror cycle of his career (with this and another 1981 release "Wolfen", which contains many of the same elements that make this so good), projects fear and calm every scene he's in and it's another strong performance from one of our most underrated actors (he's never won an Oscar; a thought that boggled the mind). It seems fitting that he's paired up with another underrated actor, James Coburn. In a time where he was making one horrible film after another (until his renaissance in 1997), it's good to see him in a good film for a change.

I have some problems with the plot, mostly things that are left unexplained (the American TV/European theatrical version restores 15 minutes of story that fills in these holes) Now that I think about it, that's a good thing. Crichton wants us to be confused just like his hero and part of the fun is figuring everything out as he does.

"Looker" is a film that deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as "Westworld", "Coma" and "The Great Train Robbery". It shows impeccable skill and masterful direction that lesser talents have shown in bigger hits than this. It's worth a look.

**** out of 4 stars


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 October 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Looker See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$3,282,232
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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