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Strapless (1989)

R | | Drama, Romance | 18 May 1990 (USA)
1:19 | Trailer

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An expatriate American doctor in London allows herself to lighten up when her freewheeling younger sister and a mysterious man enter her life. Her inhibitions released, the beautiful doctor learns that freedom has its own price.


David Hare


David Hare



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Blair Brown ... Dr. Lillian Hempel
Bruno Ganz ... Raymond Forbes
Bridget Fonda ... Amy Hempel
Alan Howard ... Mr. Cooper
Michael Gough ... Douglas Brodie
Hugh Laurie ... Colin
Suzanne Burden Suzanne Burden ... Romaine Salmon
Rohan McCullough Rohan McCullough ... Annie Rice
Billie Roche Billie Roche ... Gerry
Camille Coduri ... Mrs. Clark
Gary O'Brien Gary O'Brien ... Mr. Clark (as Gary O'Brien)
Spencer Leigh Spencer Leigh ... Hus
Julie Foy Julie Foy ... Nurse
Jacqui Gordon-Lawrence Jacqui Gordon-Lawrence ... Staff Nurse
Cyril Nri Cyril Nri ... Harold Sabola


An expatriate American doctor in London allows herself to lighten up when her freewheeling younger sister and a mysterious man enter her life. Her inhibitions released, the beautiful doctor learns that freedom has its own price.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Two sisters are about to meet the man of every woman's dreams. He's wealthy, sexy and incredibly romantic. Something's got to be wrong. See more »


Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

18 May 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bez zahamowan See more »

Filming Locations:

UK See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Amy: [through tears] You know what I think? I think I'm gonna see it through. And you don't like it. Why? Because I think you're jealous.
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Divertimento in D major
[K.136] (uncredited)
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by The Chamber Orchestra of London
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User Reviews

Bizarre, ludicrous, yet mesmerizing
3 August 1999 | by PatrickH-2See all my reviews

Bizarre is probably the best word to use when describing this film. The plot lazily, and arbitrarily, bounces back and forth between totally under-written characters and indeterminate settings (at one point I thought some scenes were taking place in Monte Carlo), with barely a nod to coherence. Blair Brown, always fascinating, doesn't have too much to work with here; her character is woefully undeveloped. The mysterious stranger is nothing more than a stalker, and no reason is given for her falling in love with him other than the luxury he can offer her. Bridget Fonda has nothing to do; the scenes in the hospital seem straight out of another movie (or an episode of St. Elsewhere). Despite the flim's almost dizzying lack of sense, I could not, at times, take my eyes away from it. This film is redolent of the sort of warm-shadowed, color-flecked rococo headiness (just look at the title sequence) that is often associated with the culture of the late eighties (watch Bonfire of the Vanities- dont turn up the volume, or pay attention to the characters, just look at the sets). Perhaps the incoherence of the film added to this mysterious gauziness. In any case, I still cant believe this came out of David Hare (despite the presence of Blair Brown). A playwright I usually admire, Hare can go off track, and this is a definite instance of that. There is even a gratuitous, non-sequitur joke about actors, done in a set that includes a poster for a Hare play. This sort of in-jokeyness is completely out of place in a film that sets itself up as a psychological mystery/romance. Also, Nick Bicat's score is distracting, often building into pointless crescendoes in the middle of talky scenes. This movie is . . . . well, lets just call it a curiosity.

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