6.4/10
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Pacific Heights (1990)

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A couple work hard to renovate their dream house and become landlords to pay for it. Unfortunately, one of their tenants has plans of his own.

Director:

John Schlesinger

Writer:

Daniel Pyne
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Melanie Griffith ... Patty Palmer
Matthew Modine ... Drake Goodman
Michael Keaton ... Carter Hayes
Mako ... Toshio Watanabe
Nobu McCarthy ... Mira Watanabe
Laurie Metcalf ... Stephanie MacDonald
Carl Lumbly ... Lou Baker
Dorian Harewood ... Dennis Reed
Luca Bercovici ... Greg
Tippi Hedren ... Florence Peters
Sheila McCarthy ... Liz Hamilton
Guy Boyd ... Warning Cop
Jerry Hardin ... Bennett Fidlow
Dan Hedaya ... Loan Officer
James Staley ... District Attorney
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Storyline

A yuppie couple buy a large house in an exclusive San Fransisco neighborhood. They renovate it and plan to rent two apartments on the first floor to cover the costs. A prosperous looking man moves in but is not the ideal tenant. He never pays any rent, drives the other tenants away and systematically ruins the lives of his landlords. Written by Jim Sadur <jsadur@keyflux.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It seemed like the perfect house. He seemed like the perfect tenant. Until they asked him to leave. See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 September 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fremde Schatten See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,912,637, 30 September 1990, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$29,381,956

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$44,926,706
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Screenwriter Daniel Pyne once rented an apartment to a tenant that he could not evict. The film was inspired from this scenario. See more »

Goofs

When the Watanabe's are explaining to Patty why they are breaking the lease, movers are taking furniture out of the front door of the house. However, a previous shot of the front of the house showed no moving truck, or any car, out in front. See more »

Quotes

Amy: Patty?
Patty Palmer: Yeah?
Amy: Do you mind if I ask you why you're selling? I mean, you've done so much to this place. You've obviously put your heart in it.
Patty Palmer: [Ironically] No, not really. It was just an investment.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Melanie Griffith's character Patty Palmer is credited as Patty Parker in the credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 100 Scariest Movie Moments: Part I: 100-81 (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

HANDS ALL OVER
Written by Kim Thayil (as Ken Thayil) and Chris Cornell (as Christopher Cornell)
Performed by Soundgarden
Courtesy of A&M Records, Inc.
Copyright 1989 Loud Love Music (ASCAP)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The last 10 minutes
14 September 2004 | by shattenjager777See all my reviews

William Goldman says that the last 15 minutes are the most important of any movie and that's what saves what is otherwise a sometimes fascinating but often dull film in "Pacific Heights."

The plot line is fairly interesting but feels rather drawn out through most of the film, until the fantastic ending pulls out all the stops and turns the film into something good. The writing in general is a bit contrived and the dialogue fairly wooden, but it isn't quite enough to destroy the film even early.

The acting is very uneven, led by a terrible Melanie Griffith and a middling performance by Matthew Modine in terms of screen time, but certainly controlled by the fantastic performance of Michael Keaton, one of the world's greatest actors. Keaton is especially fantastic in the final sequence, from his charming act with the old woman to his harrowing, venemous final scene there is a complete change in who he is and it is all the more frightening and powerful for the juxtaposition.

Schlesinger's direction, besides Keaton's performance, is probably the saving grace of the film. He manages to inject a beautiful dark style to the film that the script rather lacks but seems to want while also keeping us in a blunt reality with the plain, simple outdoor shots. His use of lighting and well-chosen camera angles wonderfully play up the situation.

Overall, "Pacific Heights" is a middling film with a fantastic performance by Michael Keaton and good direction by John Schlesinger that turns into something better with its fantastic, surprising, venemously satisfying ending. If you watch it, though, don't give up on it 'til it's over.


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