127 user 40 critic

Boxing Helena (1993)

1:41 | Trailer
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.


Jennifer Lynch (as Jennifer Chambers Lynch)


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





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


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 a 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


Beyond love, beyond obsession, there hides something beyond reason. 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 »

Did You Know?


Jennifer Lynch wrote the screenplay in less than two months when she was just 19, but even with the marketing capital that "daughter of David Lynch" represented, "no one wanted a young, blonde girl to direct a movie," she said in a 1993 interview with the LA Times. But all interested directors wanted to do it as a horror film, and Lynch remembered that she began to feel very protective of the script. "I was in love with this story and it wasn't about a guy hacking up some beautiful woman that he wanted to screw. And though I never really wanted to go into film--that was Dad's thing and I had so much respect for what he did that I just considered it all his--I started to have these fantasies that I should direct it so it wouldn't turn into some horrible misinterpreted gore-fest." Then she added "Horror fans will be terribly disappointed because there isn't much blood or violence." Producer Carl Mazzocone claimed another reason he ultimately agreed to let Jennifer Lynch direct the film, besides the fact that she wrote it, was primarily because she is a woman. "It would have been politically incorrect to have a man direct this film," he said. "It is perceived as a horror film even though it isn't, and if people saw a man's name as the director, a lot of women probably wouldn't even give it a chance." He added "It's a provocative film and people are going to walk out either loving it or loathing it." See more »


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 »


Doctor Nick Cavanaugh: Make a wish.
Helena: They never come true.
Doctor Nick Cavanaugh: Mine has.
See more »

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 »


Referenced in House: Parents (2011) See more »


Performed by Enigma
Written by Michael Cretu (as Curly M.C.), Frank Peterson (as F. Gregorian),
David Fairstein
Produced by Enigma
Courtesy of Virgin Records Ltd./Charisma Records America, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

A soap opera you can skip!
7 March 2001 | by temporisSee all my reviews

Boxing Helena was a piece of Hollywood tripe that wanted to be an artistic movie about a man's macabre attraction with a woman. You were bored to tears watching Julian Sands whine about how hard it is to not have Helena. Through out the movie you just wanted to reach into the screen and slap Julian Sands. I found myself screaming at my television " Get over it you loser!!!!"

The worst thing about the movie was how you were hoping that you would see something scary and twisted. Instead you got artsy-fartsy pseudo-psycho babble.

Bill Paxton was another notable flaw in this stale movie. His acting was horrible. He looked unwashed and unappealing. His performance came off as naive, uninspired, and total phoney.

In the end the movie was too one-note, bland, and "soap opera" like. Gosh, no wonder Kim Basinger dropped out of this picture!

I give this movie a 5 out of a possible 100!

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Official Sites:






Release Date:

3 September 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Boxing Hanna See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$787,724, 6 September 1993

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mainline Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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