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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
3,656 ( 265)
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
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)
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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 distinctive futuristic octagon-shaped top-of-the-hills ultramodern house seen in the movie is known as the "Chemosphere" and is located just off Mulholland Drive in the San Fernando Valley region of the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, California. The building was once described by the Encyclopaedia Britannica as "the most modern home built in the world". The architecturally Modernist dwelling was designed by American architect John Lautner in 1960. See more »

Goofs

After Jake is attacked by the white dog that belonged to Gloria, he is shown with a big blood stain on his shirt and a bandage on the left side of his neck. The following day/days later, there is no sign of an injury or bandage on his neck. See more »

Quotes

Sam Bouchard: Don't be so melodramatic.
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 The Benchwarmers (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Relax
Performed by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Written by Peter Gill, Holly Johnson and Mark O'Toole
Produced by Trevor Horn
Courtesy of ZTT / Island Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
De Palma's slick peepshow.
16 May 2006 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

Jake is a washed up actor who walks in on his girlfriend with another man and so it means his got to find another place to live. Plus he is fired from the vampire movie he was involved in because that of his phobia of confined places. So, when Jake is checking about for some acting gigs he meets another struggling actor who offers him place to house sit and it does have its perks. Through a telescope he can spy on his neighbours, which through one window a lady goes through the same strip routine every night. Jake becomes extremely obsessed with the woman and he gets caught up in a seedy web of intrigue when he witness the woman being killed.

De Palma goes all out on this occasion with his obsession with Hitchcock and the master's films that are under the spotlight in this voyeuristic thriller are "Rear Window" and "Vertigo". While, there might be elements borrowed from those films, De Palma still brings to the party his own distinguishable style and perspective. I've enjoyed most of his works and this one joins the ranks. Well, maybe one of the lesser ones since I was a bit iffy on it at times. I'll admit - it's pure trash, but technically it's done so well with many fashionable touches worked into this artistic piece of steamy erotica that I just found it hard to take my eyes off it. Some of those facets that make a mark is the camera-work that's handle rather silkily with it's many gliding shots and innovative angels. The taunting score rallies up the tension remarkably well and actually generates an alarming awe. There are some odd, kinky and down and out heart stopping images like that of the infamously lurid drill scene and a couple of downright claustrophobic build ups. The female cast involving Melanie Griffith and most definitely Deborah Shelton are desirably seductive. Craig Wasson as the down on his luck actor Jake was solid, but it's the freaky villain of the piece "The Indian" that will catch your eye and make you real nervous. Also there's a neat cameo role by Dennis Franz as a director, which is a neat treat. The over-the-top story tightly constructs itself around a complicated web of twists and turns involving sleaze and murder, but when it came to its climax it felt convoluted and rushed. The confusing revelation doesn't seem as effective and clever as it may think. Hollywood even comes under fire with it being mock with De Palma using the porn industry to do so. Anyhow, remember to shut your blinds, as who knows maybe someone is peering into your window right now. ;)

"Body Double" is a flawed, but an interesting concept that I could not help but go with the flow.


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