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Boxing Helena (1993)

Trailer
1:41 | Trailer

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A surgeon becomes obsessed with the seductive woman he once was in an affair with. Refusing to accept that she has moved on, he amputates her limbs and holds her captive in his mansion.

Director:

Jennifer Lynch (as Jennifer Chambers Lynch)

Writers:

Philippe Caland (story), Jennifer Lynch (screenplay) (as Jennifer Chambers Lynch)
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Popularity
2,941 ( 378)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Stars: Sherilyn Fenn, Malcolm Jamieson, Charlie Spradling
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julian Sands ... Dr. Nick Cavanaugh
Sherilyn Fenn ... Helena
Bill Paxton ... Ray O'Malley
Kurtwood Smith ... Dr. Alan Harrison
Art Garfunkel ... Dr. Lawrence Augustine
Betsy Clark Betsy Clark ... Anne Garrett
Nicolette Scorsese ... Fantasy Lover / Nurse
Meg Register Meg Register ... Marion Cavanaugh
Bryan Smith Bryan Smith ... Russell
Marla Levine Marla Levine ... Patricia
Kim Lentz Kim Lentz ... Nurse Diane
Lloyd T. Williams Lloyd T. Williams ... Sam the Clerk
Carl Mazzocone Sr. ... Pastor
Erik Shoaff Erik Shoaff ... Uncle Charlie
Lisa Oz Lisa Oz ... Flower Shop Girl
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Storyline

A top surgeon is besotted with a beautiful woman who once ditched him. Unable to come to terms with life without her, he tries to convince her that they need each other. She has other ideas, but an horrific accident leaves her at his mercy. The plot is bizarre and perhaps sick at times, ending abruptly and with a twist. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A deep, dark obsession that bares a woman's body and a man's soul. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R on appeal for two scenes of strong sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 September 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Boxing Hanna See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$787,724, 6 September 1993, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,796,389
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mainline Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Film critic Barry Norman commented that Helena seemed to accept her fate far too peacefully. See more »

Goofs

When Nick Cavanaugh is on the phone in a telephone box, the camera spins around the box. The reflection on all four sides of the phone box is identical indicating that the phone box is surrounded on all four sides by the same building with the same neon light. See more »

Quotes

Doctor Nick Cavanaugh: If you were a real woman, you'd lie to me about our sex.
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Alternate Versions

"Boxing Helena" was originally rated "NC-17" by the MPAA. The DVD contains 1 minute of sexually explicit footage that had to be cut for the "R" rating. The cut footage in the UNRATED DVD version is as follows:
  • When Nick fantasizes about Helena and Ray having sex we see a shot of most of Helena's butt in her thong underwear; Helena removing Ray's pants where we see part of his bare butt; Ray kissing up Helena's body where we see one of her breasts; and finally one last shot that shows Helena's breasts very briefly.
  • During Nick's sex scene with the fantasy woman while Helena watches, extra footage includes a scene with Nick behind the woman, then a shot of him thrusting into her, followed by several views of the woman's bare breasts.
See more »


Soundtracks

IT AIN'T OVER TIL IT'S OVER
Performed, Written and Produced by Lenny Kravitz
Courtesy of Virgin Records America, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Far better than it's given credit for.
3 September 2003 | by smokehill retrieversSee all my reviews

My recommendation is to ignore the negative comments and see it for yourself. Ignore the artsy-fartsy crowd whose dislike, one feels, has more to do with the bad press and criticism by the liberal crowd than it has to do with the film's actual merits.

I make no pretence to artsy film credentials, and I'm not a big fan of David Lynch, though v enjoy most of his work, bizarre as it is. However, I think his daughter did a respectable job, especially for the first time out. Some of the symbolism was a bit obvious, but I suspect that made the symbolism more accessible to the average viewer and not just the snooty film buffs. As far as the inconsistencies the critics love to point out -- big deal. The whole "Rosebud" schtick in Citizen Kane was ludicrous and silly, but let's at least allow the same literary license to others.

I thought Sands and Fenn did superb jobs, and I thought the direction and music was far better than average. I enjoyed the movie enough to see it three times so far, and my opinion hasn't changed. I also believe the "trick ending" was essential to the movie and not just some shabby trick. Without it, it's just a gross slasher film and not a think-piece. There's a lot of unpleasant truth about male-female relationships in this film, and Lynch brought it out very well.


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