5.9/10
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Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)

A bored suburban housewife, seeking escape from her life, suffers amnesia after an accident, wakes up, and is mistaken for a free-spirited New York City drifter named Susan.

Director:

Susan Seidelman

Writer:

Leora Barish
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rosanna Arquette ... Roberta Glass
Madonna ... Susan
Aidan Quinn ... Dez
Mark Blum ... Gary Glass
Robert Joy ... Jim
Laurie Metcalf ... Leslie Glass
Anna Levine ... Crystal
Will Patton ... Wayne Nolan
Peter Maloney ... Ian
Steven Wright ... Larry Stillman D.D.S
John Turturro ... Ray
Anne Carlisle ... Victoria
José Angel Santana José Angel Santana ... Boutique Owner (as Jose Santana)
Giancarlo Esposito ... Street Vendor
Richard Hell Richard Hell ... Bruce Meeker
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Storyline

Bored Roberta spots a regular personal ad in the paper titled 'Desperately Seeking Susan'. She heads off to New York, following one of the ads, and finds Susan. When Susan sells her jacket, Roberta - trying to emulate her mystery ad writer - buys the jacket and wears it. Little does she know someone is looking for the jacket - and its owner... Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's a life so outrageous it takes two women to live it. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 April 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Recherche Susan désespérément See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,526,098, 31 March 1985, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$27,398,584
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orion Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (original release)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Camel withdrew a $5,000 sponsorship because of the scene in which Dez tells Roberta that she "should stop smoking". See more »

Goofs

When Susan walks dripping wet from the swimming pool to the poolside chair, her path is already wet from previous takes. See more »

Quotes

Roberta: Dez...
Dez: Hmm?
Roberta: I'm not Susan. I'm a housewife and I live in Fort Lee, New Jersey. I've been married for four years. My husband Gary... He sells bathroom spas and... saunas.
[smirks]
Dez: [scoffs] You never stop, do you?
Roberta: No, really. Really!
Dez: That's what I like about you. I never know what you'll say next. Come here.
[they kiss]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Desperately Seeking Susan was intended as an R-rated movie. To address Madonna's very young fan base, the film was trimmed to meet PG-13 criteria. It never received an uncut release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Demon Queen (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here
(1917) (uncredited)
Music by Theodore Morse and Arthur Sullivan
Played at the Magic Club
See more »

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User Reviews

Appealing and unconventional
11 March 2011 | by rick_7See all my reviews

Desperately Seeking Susan (Susan Seidelman, 1985) is an appealing, unconventional film about a shy, put-upon young married woman (Rosanna Arquette) who swaps places with a free-spirited man-eater (Madonna) after a bump on the head. A dated dramatic device, perhaps, but it's such a sweet, sassy and otherwise well-plotted affair we'll let it slide. The film inhabits a similar universe - and employs the same neon aesthetic - as Scorsese's ever-underrated comedy After Hours, but this is an altogether gentler affair. Sure it plunges its heroine into a seedy world dominated by shady, peroxide hit men and amorous conjurors, but it's in many ways preferable to the yuppie nightmare she's been living with all-time idiot-hole Mark Blum. At least here she's got love on her side, courtesy of kind-hearted Aidan Quinn (the psychotic drug-addled baddie in the Richard Dreyfuss-Emilio Estevez buddy movie Stakeout). Arquette, who played the lead in the classic John Sayles romcom Baby, It's You, is perfect as the doormat desperately seeking excitement, and while Madonna isn't a great actress, she's both hugely charismatic and ideally cast as the manipulative, posing, sex-obsessed Susan. Also look out for John Turturro in an early role as a nightclub compere. A little gem from out of left-field, this one, with an engaging storyline, memorable characters and a disarmingly peculiar sense of humour.

Trivia note: The new Madonna song on the soundtrack is Into the Groove. Not one of her best singles of the period, but still pretty damn decent.


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