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Istanbul (1989)

PG-13 | | Thriller | 7 August 1989 (Sweden)
An American journalist travels to Istanbul with his daughter to find information about the family of his son-in-law. Something terrifying seems to have happened to them. They soon find ... See full summary »


Mats Arehn


Bo Sigvard Nilsson (screenplay), Mats Arehn (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Director: Muzaffer Özdemir
Stars: Kanbolat Gorkem Arslan, Muzaffer Özdemir, Muhammet Uzuner


Cast overview, first billed only:
Timothy Bottoms ... Frank
Twiggy ... Maud
Robert Morley ... Atkins
Emma Dixgård Emma Dixgård ... Mia (as Emma Kihlberg)
Lena Endre ... Ingrid
Sverre Anker Ousdal ... Consul
David Gartenkraut David Gartenkraut ... Bill
Merdan Taner Merdan Taner ... Bill's Father
Engin Inal Engin Inal ... Uncle
Celal Khosrowshahi Celal Khosrowshahi ... Ali
Zeki Göker Zeki Göker ... Porter
Nüvit Özdogru Nüvit Özdogru ... Archivist
Saril Sahbaz Saril Sahbaz ... Body Guard (as Sarl Sahbaz)
Pierre Stahre ... Man in Window
Fuat Acaroglu Fuat Acaroglu ... Hippie


An American journalist travels to Istanbul with his daughter to find information about the family of his son-in-law. Something terrifying seems to have happened to them. They soon find themselves in a dangerous plot including weapons smuggling. Written by Ulf Kjell Gür

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




PG-13 | See all certifications »



Sweden | Turkey


English | Swedish | Turkish

Release Date:

7 August 1989 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Istanbul: Keep Your Eyes Open See more »


Box Office


SEK 11,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Despite being a rather high budget movie this Swedish/Turkish co-production was only shown twice in Sweden, at the small movie theater "Fågel Blå" in Stockholm. The total audience was 84, of which 25 paid for their tickets. The reason for this was that no distributor was interested in the movie, which meant the production company itself had to show it in order to get their SEK 3.6 million funding from the Swedish Film Institute. See more »

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User Reviews

A Sluggish Start And Lack Of Coherence Makes For A Somewhat Less Than Taut Melodrama.
25 December 2008 | by rsoonsaSee all my reviews

This film is a Swedish production actually shot in Istanbul, with its supporting cast either Swedish or Turkish, having an audio track in generally dubbed English, while top-billed Timothy Bottoms is American and the female lead is from England, former fashion model "Twiggy" Lawson; additionally, infirm veteran English character player Robert Morley performs in his final role, he dying not long after. These three can do little to salvage a work fettered by virtually complete imaginative vacuity. As action opens, journalist Frank Collins (Bottoms), an American journalist residing in Sweden, is being rushed by ambulance, ostensibly a victim of a heart attack, to a Swedish hospital. Although this is certainly a drastic event, it has little or no relationship to the remainder of a plot line that holds too much of this type of dire occurrence having very little subject at hand. When he returns home from the hospital, his Swedish wife (Lena Endre) informs Frank that her son "Bill", by her previous (Turkish) husband, has sent the boy a videotape. As Frank views the tape, its subject seemingly some form of family assembly, he is startled when an audio message is directed at him, containing a mysterious warning for Collins. His curiosity naturally roused by this, he decides to leave for Istanbul, in hopes of being able to ascertain the secret behind the electronic admonition to him. His wife will not allow young Bill to travel with him, so Frank takes along his daughter Mya, from his own prior marriage. While lodging at the Hotel Harem in the Turkish metropolis, a series of thoroughly unanticipated adventures occur to the pair, none of the nature that vacationers might relish. Included among these is the kidnapping of Mya, an incident that impels Collins to begin lumbering through Istanbul's streets, calling her name and bemusing local residents. He had met another resident of the hotel, an enigmatic Englishwoman, Maud (Lawson), who appears to have some intimate knowledge of Bill's family, but she is of scant assistance in his search for Mya that eventually leads to his discovery of what might never have been expected, including an illicit arms dealing ring, murder, and a Turkish government developed assassination scheme. A highly artificial exercise in suspense melodrama, this film is crippled by claustrophobic settings that are unduly emphasised by unimaginative camera-work and direction. These failings are only aggravated by a weakly created performance from a usually more able Bottoms, his ad libbing here simply serving to make an utterly addled screenplay even more perplexing.

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