6.8/10
28,180
202 user 115 critic

Body Double (1984)

Trailer
1:32 | Trailer
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 »
Reviews
Popularity
2,163 ( 133)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

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

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:

Brian De Palma the modern master of suspense invites you witness - A seduction. A mystery. A murder. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Rumours developed and lasted for years that director Brian De Palma had many actresses up to his house to perform the erotic masturbation sequence from this picture. 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

Referenced in Orgazmo (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Main Theme
Written by Pino Donaggio
See more »

User Reviews

 
Brian DePalma: "People hate me or love me."
11 July 2007 | by Galina_movie_fanSee 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.


19 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 202 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 October 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Body Double See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,837,978, 28 October 1984

Gross USA:

$8,801,940

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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 »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed