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Crimes of Passion (1984)

A mysterious woman, fashion designer by day and prostitute by night, is hounded by two men: a married father of two, and a sexually repressed preacher.


Ken Russell


Barry Sandler

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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Davison ... Donny Hopper
Gordon Hunt Gordon Hunt ... Group Leader
Dan Gerrity Dan Gerrity ... Group Member No.1
Terri Hoyos ... Group Member No.2
Vince McKewin ... Group Member No.3
Deanna Oliver Deanna Oliver ... Group Member No.4
Patricia Stevens ... Group Member No.5
John Laughlin ... Bobby Grady
Kathleen Turner ... Joanna Crane / China Blue
John G. Scanlon John G. Scanlon ... Carl
Anthony Perkins ... Peter Shayne
Janice Renney Janice Renney ... Stripper
Stephen Lee ... Jerry
Pat McNamara Pat McNamara ... Frank
Annie Potts ... Amy Grady


The thirty year-old hard-worker Bobby Grady is married with two children to the frigid Amy Grady and their marriage is in crisis. Bobby is invited to work the night shift at a fashion design studio whose owner believes his talented and introspective designer Joanna Crane is selling his designs to competitors. Bobby accepts the job to make money and please Amy with a bathtub and follows Joanna after hours. He discovers she has a double life, working as a fifty-dollar hooker called China Blue in the red light district and practicing kinky sex with her clients to satisfy their fantasies. Bobby becomes obsessed by China Blue and when the true thief is found, he has sex with her and they have a crush on each other. Meanwhile the insane preacher Rev. Peter Shayne (Anthony Perkins) decides to save Joanna's soul and stalks her everywhere. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A lady of the night...A man of the cloth...and...A passion worth killing for! See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

19 October 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crimes of Passion See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,103,210, 21 October 1984, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (director's cut) | (censored)

Sound Mix:



Black and White | Color (CFI)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Composer Rick Wakeman's soundtrack is based entirely on Antonín Dvorák's "From the New World" Symphony. This was partly an in-joke on the releasing company who were similarly named New World Pictures, and also partially as the film's director Ken Russell's "take" on America. See more »


Rev. Shayne: Well, the game's not over. The messenger of God will return. And this time he'll bring the final word.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Passed uncut in 2004 in the UK for a Film Four showing. The previous BBFC cuts were:
  • BBFC Cuts when submitted in 1985
  • Opening dialogue (over credits) missing the line Fuck You, Hopper!
  • Deleted sight of Miss Liberty reaching through trouser opening to stroke client's erect penis (concealed by his trousers) immediately after unzipping his flies
  • Considerably reduced duration of mock rape of China Blue by removing much of the thrusting and the two most explicit Japanese erotic prints.
  • During China Blue's S&M scene with policeman client, deleted emphasis on his truncheon being inserted and twisted in his anus, sadomasochism to be generalised rather than reaching a climax through anal penetration
See more »


References The House Without a Key (1926) See more »


Get Happy
Written by Ted Koehler and Harold Arlen
Performed by Anthony Perkins
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Provocative every step of the way.
21 November 2012 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

"Crimes of Passion", an incredibly bizarre, sexually charged drama, provides interesting material with which inimitable filmmaker Ken Russell can work. It's as stylish as anything he's done, and maintains a gritty, fairly sleazy atmosphere and a deliberate pace. Kathleen Turner is striking in the role of "China Blue", a lady with a double life: by day she's a fashion designer (real name Joanna Crane), by night she's a hooker. She fascinates two men, one of them an ordinary guy named Bobby Grady (John Laughlin), the other a fanatical, so-called "preacher" named Peter Shayne (Anthony Perkins) who claims to be out to "save" her. Bobby was hired by Joannas' boss to tail her, and she presents the young man with a fresh view of the world; his relationship with his uptight wife Amy (Annie Potts) has soured after years of marriage, and he's happy to meet somebody who doesn't have any hangups about being intimate. The movie is never quite as outrageous as some viewers may expect, but that doesn't mean that there isn't some explicit imagery here and there. Its few sex scenes are done in a surprisingly tasteful manner, but its dialogue is quite kinky, witty, and delicious; it's amazing to hear ever reliable Perkins, extremely well cast in one of his typical nutty roles, utter lots of obscenities. He's just fantastic as always, and the lovely Turner delivers a multi dimensional performance worthy of some respect. Laughlin and Potts are both fine, and the cast also features people such as Bruce Davison, Stephen Lee, Norman Burton, Peggy Feury, and Gerald S. O'Loughlin, but it's the two leads that truly command your attention. Working from a screenplay by producer Barry Sandler, Russell injects the film with plenty of humour; just the idea of Perkins carrying erotic paraphernalia around with him is a hoot. (There's a vibrator, in particular, that will prove to be a very important prop later on.) It may require a bit of patience on the part of some viewers due to its unhurried nature, and of course some may find the subject matter a turn off. Those who don't will be amused by the sordid story and all of the trappings of the milieu. In the end, this isn't something that can be easily forgotten. Seven out of 10.

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