6.8/10
28,178
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 »

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Photos

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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:

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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Porn star Annette Haven was originally cast for the role of "Holly", but Columbia Pictures decided to turn her down when their executives saw what kind of movies she had been making. Haven later stated that she was happy because of that, because she hadn't liked the script and hadn't liked to be in a film with gory violence. See more »

Goofs

In the dressing room, the saleswoman pulls a curtain partly closed. In the next shot, the curtains are in their original position until Gloria Revell herself closes them further. See more »

Quotes

Jake Scully: Do you understand?
Holly Body: Yes, I understand. I understand you're sick and you're a liar and you need professional help, and I do not like being yelled at.
Jake Scully: I'm sorry.
Holly Body: I should have known the minute you told me I had a terrific smile, no real porn producer would tell me that in a million years.
Jake Scully: Holly, just come with me to the police.
Holly Body: The police? Are you crazy? You listen to me you weirdo. I'm gonna leave now and don't try to follow me home because I have friends who will break your legs!
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Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Referenced in The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs: Re-Animator (2018) 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 »

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.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 October 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Body Double See more »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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