A drug dealer reconsiders his profession when his boss plans to go straight and an old flame reappears.


Paul Schrader


Paul Schrader
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Willem Dafoe ... John LeTour
Susan Sarandon ... Ann
Dana Delany ... Marianne Jost
David Clennon ... Robert
Mary Beth Hurt ... Teresa Aranow
Victor Garber ... Tis Brüg
Jane Adams ... Randi Jost
Paul Jabara Paul Jabara ... Eddie
Robert Cicchini ... Bill Guidone
Sam Rockwell ... Jealous
Rene Rivera ... Manuel
David Spade ... Theological Cokehead
Steven Posen Steven Posen ... Hasid
Ken Ladd Ken Ladd ... Carlos
Brian Judge Brian Judge ... Thomas


A drug dealer with upscale clientele is having moral problems going about his daily deliveries. A reformed addict, he has never gotten over the wife that left him, and the couple that use him for deliveries worry about his mental well-being and his effectiveness at his job. Meanwhile someone is killing women in apparently drug-related incidents. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He was a good man in a deadly business. She was his only way out. See more »


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and drug content, and for violence and a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Willem Dafoe and Sam Rockwell were both nominated for the 2018 Best Supporting Actor Oscar for their performances as Bobby in The Florida Project (2017) and Dixon in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), respectively. Rockwell won. See more »


Marianne: I envy you. Convenient memory is a gift from God.
See more »


References The Grifters (1990) See more »


To Feel This Way
(Michael Been)
Performed by The Call
See more »

User Reviews

Rare work of genius from erratic maverick Schraeder
6 March 2000 | by Gary-161See all my reviews

I've never cared for his work before but Schraeder made an outstanding and penetrating low-budget feature with 'light Sleeper.' It's script is detailed and exceptional in it's depiction of people you can believe are real. It's perhaps too sympathetic towards drug pushers, people I usually have contempt for, but the lead character LeTour finds nothing but grief through his involvement. It dares to depict them not as cold assassins, but people who need each other and fall in love. LeTour's repetitive playing back of his estranged girlfriend's answer machine voice is particularly poignant. Not many film's tackle the issue of encroaching middle age and it's financial uncertainties, although many may find the depiction of drug dealing as 'just another job' offensive. Since being arrested may be a matter of unrelated chance, the characters rely on astral charts, crystal ball gurus and 'aura' specialists. This, being refugees from the mystical sixties counter culture, gives them a spurious sense of security. It's this very superstitious belief that his luck may be running out, that drives LeTour into paranoia and his own eventual downfall.

The weakness of this film is it's familiarity with Schraeder's other films, especially the diary, almost to the point of being a greatest hits tour. The ending is a straight lift from his own 'American Gigolo' and rather lazy redemption. The musical accompaniment to the action throughout is also not to my tastes artistically, but does not damage the picture. Performances, even to the smallest parts, are excellent. Willem DaFoe, an under-used resource in Hollywood, gives an emotional and gifted performance and Sarandon is superlative as ever.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 50 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.





English | Spanish | Hebrew | Italian | German

Release Date:

13 March 1992 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Light Sleeper See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$46,302, 23 August 1992

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed