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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
3,107 ( 1,054)
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

Dennis Franz based his portrayal of Rubin the Director on Brian De Palma. See more »

Goofs

When Sam and Jake are in the "acting Class" Sam stands up to stop the "teacher" from picking on Jake. Sam picks up his gear bag and they go towards the door, but a few seconds before, the row of chairs that are in front of Sam didn't have anything on them. See more »

Quotes

Sam Bouchard: Kicked the bitch out, I hope.
Jake Scully: Nah, I didn't.
Sam Bouchard: Why not?
Jake Scully: It was her place.
See more »

Alternate Versions

UK video versions were cut by 5 secs to remove Holly's refusal to 'shave my pussy', 'fist fucking' and 'coming in my face', and to fade out the final shot of a woman's bloodstained breasts. The cuts were fully waived in 2000. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Holly Does Hollywood (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Main Theme
Written by Pino Donaggio
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Brian DePalma: "People hate me or love me."
11 July 2007 | by G_a_l_i_n_aSee all my reviews

I am a Brian DePalma's fan. I love his style, his visual uniqueness, his ability to grab me from the very opening of his films and not let me take my eyes off the screen until the very last moment and even after that keep me a captive of his dangerous yet seductive worlds. I liked a lot every De Palma's film I've seen: The Black Dahlia (2006), Femme Fatale (2002), Snake Eyes (1998), Mission: Impossible (1996), Carlito's Way (1993), The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), Casualties of War (1989), The Untouchables (1987), Scarface (1983), Dressed to Kill (1980), and Carrie (1976).

As with all his films, you either love "Body Double" and let its typical De Palma's over-the-top charm, his mesmerizing beautiful camera movements, his 20 minutes long, dialog-free pursuit sequence, his intense interest in exploration of sexual "dysfunction," his constantly present obsession with voyeurism, his satire on making cheap horror and adult movies, and his loving yet humorous homage to several Alfred Hitchcock's films overwhelm you or you just dismiss it scornfully for its most impossible and unbelievable story, for the plentiful coincidences and the holes in the plot, for the excessive violence, and for its sensationalism and exploitation. I found "Body Double" shocking, poignant, satirical, often hilarious, and always highly entertaining. Once again, De Palma did not disappoint me. I figured from the beginning where the story of a struggling B-movie actor (Craig Wasson) with many problems (claustrophobia that cost him a part in a horror movie, break-up with a cheating girlfriend, witnessing a gruesome murder and becoming a possible suspect) would lead. It did not stop me from enjoying the film and admiring De Palma's ability to trick me not just once but many times by making me see what he only wanted me to see, yet never hiding the whole picture and using to perfection his magic camera that "lies all the time; lies 24 times/second". I believe that De Palma himself has provided the keys to better understanding and enjoying his films when he said, "My films deal with a stylized, expressionistic world that has a kind of grotesque beauty about it." All we have to do - to recognize the beauty behind the grotesque.

P.S. Melanie Griffith gave her best performance and stole all her scenes as a hot blond smart porn star with "a head for business and a bod for sin" who might help Jack to solve the mystery of the brutal murder he had witnessed.

P.P.S. After I finished watching "Body Double", I added to my rental list "Blow Out" (1981) and "Sisters" (1973). Exploration of De Palma's worlds continues.


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