7.7/10
308,154
896 user 265 critic

Being John Malkovich (1999)

Trailer
0:32 | Trailer
A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of movie star John Malkovich.

Director:

Spike Jonze

Writer:

Charlie Kaufman
Reviews
Popularity
953 ( 115)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 48 wins & 76 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Spike Jonze claimed in an interview that when he was shopping the screenplay around Hollywood, at least one unspecified producer asked if he could possibly rewrite the film as "Being Tom Cruise". John Malkovich himself suggested that Jonze cast Cruise. See more »

Goofs

One logistical issue the film does not resolve is how Craig and Maxine are able to avoid severe sleep deprivation while simultaneously working 9 to 5 jobs and running J.M. Inc. from 9 pm to 4 am every night. This is especially true of Maxine, who seems to run the business every night (while Craig seems to spend some nights at home), and who also manages to maintain a series of dates and sexual encounters with Malkovich without ever seeming sleepy or exhausted. 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 The Cinema Snob: The Cinema Snob Movie: Part 1 (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
I want to be John Malkovich.
23 November 1999 | by pikachuSee all my reviews

This film was absolutely incredible. Attempting to explain the plot in any way that would do it justice would be an excercise in futility, but let it be said that I see many, many movies, and in my lifetime, I have never seen a movie such as Being John Malkovitch.

The acting is completely brilliant .. Cameron Diaz is nearly unrecognizable, both in behavior and appearance, as is John Cusack. John Malkovich was presented with an interesting opportunity in playing himself, and he seems to have seized the opportunity with relish. He is most definitely not being himself in front of the camera, but instead creates this wonderful character of John Malkovich the vessel.

I've admired Spike Jonez's work for a good long time, and I'm pleased to say that in his first full length feature as a director, he succeeds with flying colors in creating an original, beautiful, humorous, and good natured picture.

See Being John Malkovich, because come Oscar time, you're going to want to know why its winning!


170 of 238 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 896 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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 »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed