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Exposed (1983)

Wisconsin farm girl Elizabeth Carlson leaves family and her English teacher lover behind, and escapes to New York City. There she soon makes a career for herself as a fashion model. During ... See full summary »


James Toback


James Toback


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nastassja Kinski ... Elizabeth Carlson
Rudolf Nureyev ... Daniel Jelline
Harvey Keitel ... Rivas
Ian McShane ... Greg Miller
Bibi Andersson ... Margaret
Ron Randell ... Curt
Pierre Clémenti ... Vic
Dov Gottesfeld Dov Gottesfeld ... Marcel
James Russo ... Nick
Marion Varella Marion Varella ... Bridget Gormann
Murray Moston Murray Moston ... Hotel Manager
Stephanie Farrow Stephanie Farrow ... Waitress
Carmen Carmen ... Lois Straub
Daisy Carrington Daisy Carrington ... Daisy Carlson
Carl Lee Carl Lee ... Duke


Wisconsin farm girl Elizabeth Carlson leaves family and her English teacher lover behind, and escapes to New York City. There she soon makes a career for herself as a fashion model. During a private viewing of paintings, she's approached by a mysterious man whose motives are unclear. Written by Michel Hafner <mhafner@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Music


R | See all certifications »





French | English

Release Date:

22 April 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Al descobert See more »

Filming Locations:

France See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$194,685, 24 April 1983, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

United Artists See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Final film of Carl Lee. See more »


Near the end of the film, Kinski quickly gets out of a taxi and tries to run around in front of it. She slips and goes sprawling in the road in front of the taxi. Then the girl following her in another car gets out of that car which starts to roll forwards. She has to get back in and put on the handbrake. See more »


Nick: That's Elizabeth Carlson. I discovered her. That's right. I've found her, she was on the streets. Without me, she didn't even exist.
See more »


Referenced in The Big Box: The Thirsty Dead (2010) See more »


The Closer You Are
Performed by The Channels
Courtesy of Suellen Productions, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Doesn't convince much but entertains a lot
26 March 2013 | by Rodrigo_AmaroSee all my reviews

"Exposed" is one of those stories that take quite a long time to finally get where it needs, makes more turns than twists but when it gets to its point it rushes things when it shouldn't. It develops too much from one character but hides too much all presenting the others which can be viewed as strange and difficulting in accepting everything that is about to be presented.

Here we follow in detail the stardom of Elizabeth (Nastassja Kinski) a young woman who abandons her studies and goes to New York to try make a living, fails again and again until she gets discovered by a photographer (Ian McShane) who'll make of her a super-model just like that. Barely this girl could predict she was going to meet a strange man (Rudolf Nureyev) who would make her life turn upside down with his offer to help him catch a terrorist (Harvey Keitel) and his group who spreads the terror in Europe. The connection between both isn't worth mentioning but one can say that it doesn't satisfy much, and there's something missing here, it's not very clear if Elizabeth by joining this man would benefit in any way, probably she's only doing this because they share something special.

If put aside the logic and that great notion of what makes great movies great, "Exposed" can only be one thing: fun to watch. Why? It's a glamorous, exciting and a little thrilling multi-genre piece that knows how to sell beauty, pleasure, the joys of high-life, the excitement of the fashion world (which it's rare to be seen both in movies and in life) and throws in the middle a strange view of current wave of terrorism of the 1980's with idealists fighting against imperialism yet being part of it or wanting the same things (as Keitel's character makes perfectly clear about the things he fights for). And gotta acknowledge the way director James Toback films and presents the whole thing, a great sense of style - the scenes in Paris are the most fascinating, the ones in New York not so much - sensual, provocative, and there's even bits of good dialogues. High points: the opening scene ending with a terrorist attack (heart goes to mouth in that part); the violin scene, one of the most erotic moments in film history with the clothes on; and Elizabeth joining the group. The ending was too rushed, could be more inventive, riskier and more dangerous (what happened to the bombs?).

Most reviews here states "Exposed" as being a mess. I wonder if people were really watching the movie, or maybe they were all just dazzled with Kinski's beauty that they got lost somewhere and couldn't keep going right. The story is not messy at all, it's quite simple to follow. What upsets the most in this is the giant plot hole featured in it, which was the main reason for the story to ties its connections. The agent played by Nureyev pretends to use Elizabeth as a bait to attract the terrorists, since one of the members was attracted to her during a photo session in Paris. I don't remember seeing him or any of his partners in the photo shoot or any kind of mention that he was there so how could one make such idea and use in his favor? They are not there.

Everything might be halfway or under-developed but the main attribute of "Exposed" isn't and that is Kinski's presence. It's the perfect vehicle to know her best, to explore her grace and beauty in all glory. But don't except the same level of acting she had in the great "Paris Texas". She's fine in this, made to be desired and admired. The other cast members are there for the name sake and that's that: Nureyev is completely wooden but there's something about him that makes of his a good choice for the role (just hated his accent, difficult to hear at times); Keitel plays a good sinister role but we create so much anticipation over his character that disappoints when he's there for less than half an hour; the director himself choose to play the despicable teacher, Elizabeth's ex-boyfriend, giving himself a great entrance with a class about Goethe and Werther (I agree with his statement on it) but leaves the story being a jerk; and there's small and unsatisfying roles to names like Bibi Andersson, James Russo and Pierre Clementi as the sassy terrorist member who is about to betray the group.

We're not talking about an award winning picture or a noble effort in presenting marvelous ideas, we're talking about a film with the high purpose of entertaining and one must recognize that this never leaves you bored. Under-appreciated and for the wrong reasons, if at least some were paying any form of attention. 8/10

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