6.8/10
34,597
121 user 43 critic

Sea of Love (1989)

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

Director:

Harold Becker

Writer:

Richard Price

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

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Deception is dangerous. Desire is deadly. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 September 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Prohibida obsesión See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,017,840, 17 September 1989, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$58,571,513

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$110,879,513
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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 film was released a year after Irish rock band The Adventurers had released in 1988 an unrelated album called "The Sea of Love". See more »

Goofs

(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 »

Quotes

Frank Keller Sr.: [a poem by Frank's mother written in 1934 while she was in high school] I live alone within myself, like a hut within the woods; I keep my heart high upon the shelf, barren of other goods; I need another's arms to reach for it, and place it where it belongs. I need another's touch and smile, to fill my hut with songs.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Several scenes featuring Lorraine Bracco as Al Pacino's wife were cut before release and reinserted for the film television premiere. These additions were all included on the Universal Thrillers VHS edition of the film. They are as follows: 1) Frank sees a suspicious man on the street and calls for back-up from a nearby pay phone. It is revealed that this man is a personal bodyguard for a child at a nearby school. Parts of this scene were included in the original theatrical trailer. 2) The complete scene with Lorraine Bracco in which she pleads with Frank to stop bothering her and her husband. She also reveals that she is pregnant. 3) Frank comes home to his apartment and is surprised by his father, played by William Hickey, who is already in the apartment. His father tells him about an old partner who just passed away. See more »


Soundtracks

Siempre Hay Esperanza
Written by Stuart Matthewman, Sade (as Sade Adu) and Leroy Osbourne
Performed by Sade
Courtesy of CBS Records, Music Licesing Department
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I swear on the eyes of my children.
26 August 2011 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Sea of Love is directed by Harold Becker and written by Richard Price. It stars Al Pacino, Ellen Barkin, John Goodman, Michael Rooker and William Hickey. Music is by Trevor Jones and Ronnie Taylor is the cinematographer. Plot has Pacino as New York Police Detective Frank Keller, a borderline alcoholic and lonely after his wife left him for one of his colleagues. Tracking a serial killer of men, an investigation set-up leads him to date a number of women with the idea of obtaining forensic evidence off of the wine glasses. One of these women is sultry blonde, Helen Cruger (Barkin), who Frank starts to have a passionate relationship with…..

The erotic thriller is a tough premise to get right on film, so many elements have to fall in to place for the film to win over critics and film goers alike. Chemistry of lead cast members, a gripping plot, plausible outcome, and so on. Too many over the years have failed miserably at it, resorting to either gratuitous tactics or simple star casting to entice the paying public in to the theatre. Sea of Love is not a complete success, but it's certainly one of the best of its type. Were it not for a weak murder motive that's not fully explored, resulting in something of an unsatisfying finale, we would probably be talking about Sea of Love being the template movie for the erotic thriller.

All else that leads up to the last 15 minutes is sizzling, Barkin and Pacino spark in every scene they share, where even with the sex scenes, the fact that Barkin towers over Pacino doesn't detract from the sexual chemistry, it adds to it. It's smart, too, that we don't see Barkin for the first third of the movie, the anticipation builds up and thankfully upon arriving into the picture she doesn't disappoint. Goodman is ebullient and makes a good foil for Pacino's haggard life sucks act, his Sherman an easy to get on side with character.

The guessing game at the heart of the plot is well handled by the makers, there's no stupid giveaways or overkill of red herrings, while the edgy lonely hearts basis for both the killings and the investigative trap is nicely written by Richard Price. Fusing both loneliness and sexual needs together as one, Becker is able to get much emotional mileage out of the story. If only the ending could have made good on the promise shown. Come the last 15 minutes the "is she or isn't she the killer?" factor has run out of steam, with what follows inducing cries of "oh, is that it?"- instead of- "oh my god!". Damn shame that. 7.5/10


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