6.3/10
5,642
68 user 34 critic

Spanking the Monkey (1994)

Unrated | | Comedy, Drama | 15 July 1994 (USA)
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1:57 | Trailer

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Raymond Aibelli is a promising medical student ready to begin a prestigious summer internship. But Susan, his mother, is immobilized by a broken leg, and his father Tom, a travelling ... See full summary »

Director:

David O. Russell
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Davies ... Ray Aibelli
Elizabeth Newett Elizabeth Newett ... Bus Woman
Benjamin Hendrickson ... Tom Aibelli
Alberta Watson ... Susan Aibelli
Carla Gallo ... Toni Peck
Liberty Jean Liberty Jean ... Motel Woman #1
Archer Martin Archer Martin ... Motel Woman #2
Matthew Puckett ... Nicky
Zak Orth ... Curtis
Josh Philip Weinstein ... Joel
Judah Domke ... Don
Nancy Fields Nancy Fields ... Dr. Wilson
Judette Jones Judette Jones ... Aunt Helen
Carmine Paolini Carmine Paolini ... Mailman
Neil Connie Wallace Neil Connie Wallace ... Walter Hooten
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Storyline

Raymond Aibelli is a promising medical student ready to begin a prestigious summer internship. But Susan, his mother, is immobilized by a broken leg, and his father Tom, a travelling salesman, makes Raymond stay home and take care of his mother, an attractive though unhappy woman. His mother's condition leads them to a degree of immediate physical contact which Raymond finds disturbing. He soon meets Toni, a high school girl, but his sexual impulses are increasingly confused, especially since he is still upset over losing the internship. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A gripping comedy about letting go. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 July 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Mão do Desejo See more »

Filming Locations:

Pawling, New York, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,359,736
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

David O. Russell: in white T-shirt in the background at the bus stop where Ray's father picks him up. See more »

Goofs

Boom mic clearly visible when Mr Aibelli first phones Ray from the hotel room. See more »

Quotes

Ray Aibelli: [Helen keeps interrupting Ray and his mother talk] Helen, can you do me a favor?
[shouting]
Ray Aibelli: Shut your big fat mouth for once!
Ray Aibelli: [she walks off the house] Helen. Helen, wait. I'm sorry! Ok? Please, don't go. Give me one sec... Helen? I'm sorry. I swear to God, I didn't mean to.
Aunt Helen: [crying] You said I had a fat mouth!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Adam and Joe Show: Episode #1.3 (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

In Spite Of Me
Composed by Mark Sandman
Performed by Morphine
Copyright 1993 Head With Wings Music/Pubco (BMI)
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User Reviews

Good tragedy – not a film you'll see too often
27 July 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Ray comes home for 2 days to look after his mother before going back to his new town to take up an internship in his summer break from MIT. However his father informs him that he will need to stay much longer than that to care for her as she has broken her leg. While in the house Ray becomes increasingly frustrated and fins himself drawn into lust for his mother with devastating results.

This independent film is refreshingly straightforward but has enough quirk in it to have an edge of humour. The drama is sort of Shakespearean as Ray finds his life controlled by his mother who he becomes filled with desire for after rubbing her legs, showering her etc. This quickly finds him in a situation where, unable to masturbate due to the family dog following him everywhere and unable to have sex with a young girl because he is too rough he is increasingly drawn to mum!

This is not a comedy but a tragedy that deals with a very taboo subject. It deals with it gradually and in such a way that you can understand why it happens. Even when it happens there is no judgement – Ray is more sensitive after that and his mother seems nonplussed altogether. The fact that people hated it because they were expecting a teen comedy shows not a weakness in the film but a fault from the audience.

That's not to say this is a classic – it has flaws, some characters and scenes appear to have no meaning and the ending wasn't as concrete as I'd hoped for. But it still handles the central theme well and is a good tale of a young man who slowly loses a lot due to lust. The performances are all good – expect Gallo who is a little directionless in her character.

Overall THIS IS NOT A TEEN COMEDY! But it is a good drama on a taboo subject. It may be a little light on basic plot but the underlying themes will give you plenty to consider after you watch it.


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