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Raising Cain (1992)

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The oncologist wife of a prominent child psychologist suspects her husband has an unhealthy scientific obsession with their child, unaware of what - or who - is really going on inside his head.

Director:

Brian De Palma

Writer:

Brian De Palma
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4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Lithgow ... Carter / Cain / Dr. Nix / Josh / Margo
Lolita Davidovich ... Jenny
Steven Bauer ... Jack
Frances Sternhagen ... Dr. Waldheim
Gregg Henry ... Lt. Terri
Tom Bower ... Sgt. Cally
Mel Harris ... Sarah
Teri Austin ... Karen
Gabrielle Carteris ... Nan
Barton Heyman ... Mack
Amanda Pombo ... Amy
Kathleen Callan Kathleen Callan ... Emma
Ed Hooks Ed Hooks ... Coroner
Jim Johnson Jim Johnson ... Night Clerk
Karen Kahn ... Saleslady
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Storyline

Jenny Nix, wife of eminent child psychologist Carter Nix, becomes increasingly concerned about her husband's seemingly obsessive concern over the upbringing of their daughter. Her own adulterous affair with an old flame, however, causes her to neglect her motherly duties until a spate of local kidnapings forces her to accept the possibility that he may be trying to recreate the twisted mind-control experiments of his discreditied psychologist father. Written by Ross Horsley <ics6rh@leeds.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

De Mented, De Ranged, De Ceptive, De Palma See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, language and terror violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

7 August 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Raising Cain See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$21,370,057

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$37,170,057
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Pacific Western See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Actor John Lithgow appears at times in drag in this movie as he had previously but completely in a role around a decade earlier in The World According to Garp (1982) for which he had been Oscar nominated for Best Supporting Actor but lost out to Louis Gossett Jr. for An Officer and a Gentleman (1982). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Karen: [Karen tries to put the jacket on her boy Sam at the park] Let me put your jacket on.
Sam, Karen's son: No, no, no, no.
Karen: Come on.
Sam, Karen's son: I don't want to.
Carter: [Carter comes strolling up beside Karen] You taking off, Karen?
Karen: Trying to.
Carter: Need a hand?
Karen: Would you mind?
See more »

Alternate Versions

A 'Director's Cut' was released in 2016 by Shout Factory. Originally called 'Raising Cain Re-Cut', it is actually a fan-edit by filmmaker Peet Gelderblom. Gelderblom re-edited the film to match a leaked copy of the original script as closely as possible, using footage from the theatrical cut. Director Brian de Palma saw this version of the film and gave it his blessing, saying in an email 'It's what I originally wanted the movie to be.' See more »

Connections

References Peeping Tom (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Morning (from 'Peer Gynt')
by Edvard Grieg
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Sisters meets Scream meets Lost Highway meets god knows what
1 March 2001 | by David SticherSee all my reviews

Raising Cain is an awesomely baffling set of pomo hijinks care of the man De Palma. I can't blame the hordes of people who hate this movie for its nastiness and incoherency, but those are the reasons I love it so much. It's a total parody/homage/celebration of the kind of razor-inspired fun De Palma spent much of his career perfecting, with the fun (and intentionally self-destructive) gimmick of presenting the movie more or less from Carter's point of view.

With this, the movie trades conventional thrills, chills, and spills for a sneakier sort of fun. Instead of putting together the sort of hallucinatory bloodbath De Palma specialized in, he takes it apart. It's like he took all of his box-office successes, threw them in a blender, and kneaded the mixture into an extended nightmare sequence of half-remembered horrors, unreliable visual intake, and malformed cliches.

If you try to take it as a straight thriller, it'll never work. It's a thriller plot turned into a horror flick, where instead of being the brave wife protecting people from her deranged husband, we're the deranged husband, not sure where we are or who we are, doing terrible things we don't quite understand, in a dreamworld constructed entirely of cliches and stock terrors.

Scream would take the parody aspect into firmer territory and Lost Highway would take the insane protagonist aspect into firmer territory as well, and both of those films worked very well, but Raising Cain gets the ultimate thumbs-up from me for being constructed much like my own nightmares and for genuinely surprising me from time to time, not to mention for creating a feeling of urgency and sympathy for Carter.

If you're into really oddball flicks, give Raising Cain a chance.


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