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Being John Malkovich (1999)

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A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of movie star John Malkovich.

Director:

Spike Jonze

Writer:

Charlie Kaufman
Reviews
Popularity
2,249 ( 190)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 48 wins & 75 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Cusack ... Craig Schwartz
Cameron Diaz ... Lotte Schwartz
Ned Bellamy ... Derek Mantini
Eric Weinstein ... Father at Puppet Show
Madison Lanc Madison Lanc ... Daughter at Puppet Show
Octavia Spencer ... Woman in Elevator (as Octavia L. Spencer)
Mary Kay Place ... Floris
Orson Bean ... Dr. Lester
Catherine Keener ... Maxine Lund
K.K. Dodds ... Wendy
Byrne Piven ... Captain Mertin
Judith Wetzell Judith Wetzell ... Tiny Woman
John Malkovich ... John Horatio Malkovich
Kevin Carroll ... Cab Driver
Willie Garson ... Guy in Restaurant
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Storyline

Puppeteer Craig Schwartz and animal lover and pet store clerk Lotte Schwartz are just going through the motions of their marriage. Despite not being able to earn a living solely through puppeteering, Craig loves his profession as it allows him to inhabit the skin of others. He begins to take the ability to inhabit the skin of others to the next level when he is forced to take a job as a file clerk for the off-kilter LesterCorp, located on the five-foot tall 7½ floor of a Manhattan office building. Behind one of the filing cabinets in his work area, Craig finds a hidden door which he learns is a portal into the mind of John Malkovich, the visit through the portal which lasts fifteen minutes after which the person is spit into a ditch next to the New Jersey Turnpike. Craig is fascinated by the meaning of life associated with this finding. Lotte's trips through the portal make her evaluate her own self. And the confident Maxine Lund, one of Craig's co-workers who he tells about the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Ever wanted to be someone else? Now you can. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 December 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Being John Malkovich See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$637,721, 31 October 1999

Gross USA:

$22,863,596

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,106,667
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

According to the script, the song intended to be played over the closing credits was "Put Your Hand Inside the Puppethead" by They Might Be Giants. See more »

Goofs

When Malkovich and Maxine are on his couch, the shoulder strap of her dress moves back and forth between resting on her shoulder or falling off her shoulder, depending on the camera angle. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lotte Schwartz: Craig, honey, it's time for bed.
[fade out and in]
Orrin Hatch the bird: Craig, honey, time to get up, Craig, honey, time to get up, Craig, honey, time to get up, Craig, honey, time to get up,
Craig Schwartz: Lotte...
Lotte Schwartz: I'm sorry. I didn't know Orrin Hatch was out of his cage.
See more »

Crazy Credits

at the end of the cast listing is noted ...and John Malkovich See more »

Connections

Referenced in An Interview with Director Spike Jonze (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Minuetto
(from Concerto in C major for Oboe, String Orchestra and Basso Continuo)
Music by Antonio Vivaldi
Courtesy of Promusic, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Wildly Imaginative Surreal Masterwork That Pushes The Limits Of Storytelling
11 February 2018 | by gogoschka-1See all my reviews

Charlie Kaufman (script) and Spike Jonze (director) burst on the scene together with their collaboration on this crazy masterpiece. 'Being John Malkovich' pushes the limits of storytelling; this wildly imaginative film shows that even the most surreal storyline can still be made entertaining if a filmmaker doesn't care about conventions and knows just what the medium is capable of. Perhaps the most original release in a year that had several very original releases ('Fight Club' and 'The Matrix' were both also released in '99), the film's playful creative energy had an effect on screenwriters, directors, actors and producers that can hardly be overstated. There had simply never been anything like it - and one only has to look at a contemporary TV show like 'Legion' to see what a mark this film left. Groundbreaking and simply inspired. 9 stars out of 10.

Favorite films: IMDb.com/list/mkjOKvqlSBs/

Lesser-Known Masterpieces: imdb.com/list/ls070242495/


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