132 user 49 critic

Sea of Love (1989)

A detective investigating a series of murders becomes involved with a woman who may be the culprit.


Harold Becker


Richard Price
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Det. Frank Keller
Ellen Barkin ... Helen Cruger
John Goodman ... Det. Sherman
Michael Rooker ... Terry
William Hickey ... Frank Keller Sr.
Richard Jenkins ... Gruber
Paul Calderon ... Serafino
Gene Canfield ... Struk
Larry Joshua ... Dargan
John Spencer ... Lieutenant
Christine Estabrook ... Gina Gallagher / Lonelyheart
Barbara Baxley ... Miss Allen
Patricia Barry ... Older Woman
Mark Phelan ... Murdered Man
Michael O'Neill ... Raymond Brown


Frank Keller is a New York detective investigating a case of a serial killer who finds the victims through the lonely hearts column in newspapers. Keller falls in love with Helen, the main suspect in the case. Written by Sami Al-Taher <staher2000@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In search of a killer, he found someone who's either the love of his life... or the end of it. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Al Pacino's first movie in four years. Pacino's last film at the time had been Revolution (1985). See more »


(at around 1h 06 mins) When Helen says "Look, why don't you come over to my house tonight for dinner...'' you can clearly see Frank's right hand reaching for his right shoe to lace it. Then you see Frank's right knee when he is putting his leg down. See more »


Det. Frank Keller: Fuckin' WOMEN!
See more »

Alternate Versions

DVD features three deleted scenes; however, the scenes featuring Lorraine Bracco are not included. The deleted scenes are as follows:
  • Keller talking to a man about his dogs on the street.
  • Keller and comrades visiting a black family's apartment.
  • Keller and Helen at a restaurant.
See more »


Sea of Love
(End Title Version)
Performed by Tom Waits
See more »

User Reviews

A solid cop thriller with a romantic twist
12 March 2019 | by TweekumsSee all my reviews

Frank Keller is a New York detective investigating the murder of a man who was found naked, shot in the back of his head, with the song 'Sea of Love' playing on the record player. It is suspected that the killer may be a woman. This theory is reinforced when it there is a similar killing in Queens. Both victims had placed poetic ads in a lonely hearts column. Keller teams up with Detective Sherman Touhey, from Queens, and place their own advert. They meet various women and Keller ends up going out with one Helen Cruger; unfortunately it is possible that she is the killer; if so he could be in real danger.

This might not be one of the '80s most memorable films but it is well worth watching if you enjoy cop movies. Al Pacino does a fine job as Keller and has a good chemistry with John Goodman, who plays Touhey. He also has a believable chemistry with Ellen Barkin's Helen... simultaneously falling in love and occasionally fearing she could kill him. Barkin is really good as Helen; sexy but slightly ambiguous. Inevitably there are some twists along the way before we finally learn who the killer is. The story has a good neo-noir feel with plenty of tension and ambiguous characters while managing to avoid some clichés I'd expected. Overall a solid film that I'd recommend to fans of the genre; a must see for Pacino's fans.

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USA | Canada



Release Date:

15 September 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sea of Love See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »


Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,017,840, 17 September 1989

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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