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In a hotel room in Paris, a doctor comes out of the shower and finds that his wife has disappeared. He soon finds himself caught up in a world of intrigue, espionage, gangsters, drugs and murder.

Director:

Roman Polanski
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harrison Ford ... Dr. Richard Walker
Betty Buckley ... Sondra Walker
Emmanuelle Seigner ... Michelle
Djiby Soumare Djiby Soumare ... Taxi Driver
Dominique Virton Dominique Virton ... Desk Clerk
Gérard Klein Gérard Klein ... Gaillard
Stéphane D'Audeville Stéphane D'Audeville ... Bellboy
Laurent Spielvogel Laurent Spielvogel ... Hall Porter
Alain Doutey ... Hall Porter
Jacques Ciron Jacques Ciron ... Le Grand Hotel Manager
Roch Leibovici Roch Leibovici ... Bellboy 2
Louise Vincent Louise Vincent ... Tourist
Patrice Melennec Patrice Melennec ... Hotel Detective Le Grand Hotel
Ella Jaroszewicz Ella Jaroszewicz ... Restroom Attendant
Joëlle Lagneau Joëlle Lagneau ... Florist
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Storyline

A doctor and his wife go to Paris for a medical conference. While showering, his wife disappears. His lack of language, and the odd way she disappeared makes it nearly impossible for him to find any official help in his search as he enters the punk/drug culture to find out what has happened to her. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Danger. Desire. Desperation. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

26 February 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Búsqueda frenética See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,359,424, 26 February 1988

Gross USA:

$17,637,950
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The first collaboration of director Roman Polanski and actress Emmanuelle Seigner. See more »

Goofs

At about 39 mins, Dr Walker calls Dede and leaves a message on his answer machine, part of what Dr Walker says is "I'm s.., it's important," a short time later, when he asks the concierge to translate the tape, Dr Walker's message is heard saying "I'm sorry, it's important." See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sondra Walker: Do you know where you are?
Richard Walker: No, it's changed too much.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits roll up. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Vice Academy (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Jah Rastafari
Performed by Culture
Written by Joseph Hill
Courtesy of Virgin Records
See more »

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User Reviews

An enjoyably stylish film that is quite thrilling without resorting to gimmicks or tricks
16 May 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Richard and Sondra Walker return to Paris for the first time since their honeymoon for him to attend a medical conference. While Richard is in the shower, Sondra leaves the hotel and vanishes. Unsure of where she has gone or if she left under duress or not, Richard begins a search that quickly reveals that she has gone missing. A mix-up with luggage and a smuggled substance lead him into the life of the mysterious Michelle who is more mixed up with his wife's disappearance than she lets on.

I have seen this film several times and I think the fact that it isn't a spectacularly gimmicky film is a big part of the reason why it doesn't really stick in my mind over the years. For this reason I watched it again yesterday as I'd forgotten most of the plot and felt it would be like seeing it all over again for the first time. The film takes the simple plot and uses the 'object' as a McGuffin of sorts of quite a big chunk of the film – we don't need to know why his wife has been kidnapped, only that Richard is desperate to get her back and is sucked into a situation he knows nothing of. In this regard the film really works well and manages to keep the pace up even if some of the characters are difficult to fit into the narrative. As a story it lacks fireworks and has a rather understated feel but it still works really well and I enjoyed the simplicity of the story combined with the ease with which it involved me.

The cast are good but it is Ford's film and he leads it really well. He convinces as the man becoming increasingly 'frantic' and he manages to involve humour as his character becomes savvier about what is happening and also appears to be seedier and less professional as a result! Seigner is good even if her character is easier to play; she is a fun character and her performance is good. Outside of these two, few are memorable and it is to their credit (mostly Ford's) that the film is still strong regardless. Other familiar faces include Pinon, Weeks and Huddleston.

Overall this is a solid little thriller that is rather old fashioned in it's telling. It relies on good set pieces within a good mystery plot rather than explosions or car chases and is much more satisfying as a result. Small bits of it don't totally come together but the overall effect is one of a simple film that is delivered with style and is enjoyable to watch.


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