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Body Double (1984)

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A young actor's obsession with spying on a beautiful woman who lives nearby leads to a baffling series of events with drastic consequences.

Director:

Brian De Palma

Writers:

Robert J. Avrech (screenplay), Brian De Palma (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,291 ( 379)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Craig Wasson ... Jake Scully
Gregg Henry ... Sam Bouchard
Melanie Griffith ... Holly Body
Deborah Shelton ... Gloria Revelle
Guy Boyd ... Det. Jim McLean
Dennis Franz ... Rubin the Director
David Haskell David Haskell ... Will the Drama Teacher
Rebecca Stanley Rebecca Stanley ... Kimberly Hess
Al Israel ... Corso the Director
Douglas Warhit Douglas Warhit ... Video Salesman
B.J. Jones B.J. Jones ... Douglas
Russ Marin Russ Marin ... Frank
Lane Davies ... Billy
Barbara Crampton ... Carol
Larry Flash Jenkins ... Assistant Director (as Larry 'Flash' Jenkins)
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Storyline

Jake Scully comes home to find his girlfriend with another man and has to find a new place. In between his acting workshops and his job in a vampire B-movie, he scans the paper looking for anything. He happens to meet Sam Bouchard, a fellow actor who needs a house sitter. Both are pleased with the arrangement that will have Jake staying in the house and for a sweetener, Sam shows him his favorite neighbor, a well-built woman who strips with her window open each night. Jake becomes obsessed with meeting her and is able to help recover her purse from a thief, but shows his own phobia, he is incapacitated by claustrophobia when the thief runs through a tunnel. When Jake witnesses a murder, he finds out that the police love to pin crimes on peeping Toms. Jake discovers that here are just too many coincidences but must hunt them down himself without the police. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You can't believe everything you see. See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 October 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Doble de cuerpo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,837,978, 28 October 1984, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$8,801,940
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The video-tape recording of Melanie Griffith's bedroom jewelery masturbation test audition was destroyed at the specific request by the actress to the film's director Brian De Palma. In the movie, because of the film's plot, the face of the woman masturbating is not seen. See more »

Goofs

When Scully is chasing the Indian on the beach, the ship in the background jumps during the supposed same shot. See more »

Quotes

Male Porno Star: I'd buy THAT for a dollar!
See more »

Alternate Versions

This film was passed uncut in 2000 in the UK when re-submitted to the BBFC. See more »

Connections

References Rear Window (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Main Theme
Written by Pino Donaggio
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Much better than expected
3 April 2002 | by shaun98See all my reviews

I admit when I rented this movie, I did so just to get some cheap thrills. I was aware of the negative reviews from uptight critics who dismissed it as sleaze, and to be honest, that's what I was in the mood for. Besides, my curiosity was aroused. (No cheap jokes, please!)

To my surprise, this is actually a compelling, well-crafted thriller. Let me take it a step further. It's an improvement over DePalma's effective but overpraised "Dressed to Kill." "Body Double" is actually better-constructed and better-paced. Perhaps the extremes of the film's content turned off some members of the critical community. And keep in mind that many of these people loved Dressed.

However, if you can stomach some of the content (it would certainly warrant an NC-17 in today's climate), there's much to like here. DePalma's approach might be manipulative, but when he does so this effectively, it's hard to complain. Technically, it's a marvel of film technique. Wasson's claustrophobic attacks are effectively conveyed to the viewer. When they hit him, they hit us just as hard. The very ending, which I wouldn't dream of giving away, is a work of pure genius. The infamous drill murder is a terrific setpiece.

One aspect that interested me was its attitude towards porno. So-called "dirty movies" are not condemned, but treated as simply being another side of the film industry. It's not considered right or wrong; it's just there. Such a nonjudgmental outlook is refreshing after hearing the tiresome rants of self-appointed "moral watchdogs." Likewise, there is a loving tribute to B-movies during the opening and closing credits.

"Body Double" isn't good art by any means, but it's good trash. Watch it, and you will behold DePalma at his sleazy best. He makes no apologies for what he does, nor would we want him to do so.

***1/2 (out of ****)

Released by Columbia Pictures


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