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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
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Popularity
1,766 ( 218)
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 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:

Be All That Someone Else Can Be 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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$22,858,926, 7 May 2000
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

The scene when a can is thrown at John Malkovich's head is real. Malkovich has described how Spike Jonze wanted to cut it due to running late that night, expecting that no one would be able to hit him on the head with a half-full can of beer from a passing car, when about 70 or 80 sets of hands shot up on the crew saying that they would like to try. Eventually the task fell to John Cusack's writing partner and he nailed it on the first try. See more »

Goofs

The chimp actor changes a few times - sometimes it has a white beard, while at other times it has no beard. 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 Hollywood Profile: John Malkovich (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Malkovich Malkovich Lounge Music
Written by Nick Peck
Performed by Nick Peck
Courtesy of Perceptive Productions
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
It's Out And There's Nothing Like It
1 December 1999 | by unscathedicarusSee all my reviews

Being John Malkovich leaves you astounded. What happened in that dark theater? Twist and turn, one thing more fantastical than the next, this movie is 100 % UNIQUE. Even the introduction and the setting of the film are outlandish to say the least. The movie develops quickly, plummetting viewers into the warped world it creates; while the surroundings are strange, they are presented without leaving the audience convinced and I found that my questions about Malkovich's mysterious portal, such as "What happens if John Malkovich goes into his own portal?", were answered.

The directoral work in John Malkovich is quite interested at times as well. Seeing the world through John Malkovich's eyes is not an easy feat to accomplish, but is done tactfully.

However, it is the interactions between the characters that fortifies this film. Cuscack, completely smitten by Catherine Keener's character, finds that his love is unrequited. There are more twists in this story, but that's for you to find out, now isn't it? So be John Malkovich!


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