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
1,654 ( 257)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 48 wins & 76 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:

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charlie Kaufman wrote the script in 1994, after his time writing for Get a Life (1990). The script got him more work writing for television, but studios didn't know what to do with it. Used to working with a writing partner, Kaufman decided to collaborate with himself, and married two seemingly disparate ideas he had into the same script. One was a man falling for a woman who wasn't his wife, and the other was someone finding a portal into John Malkovich's head. In 1996, Spike Jonze read the script. See more »

Goofs

Just after the first time Lotte falls out of the portal onto the side of the New Jersey Turnpike, a palm tree is visible in the distance over Craig's shoulder. 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.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Superstar (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Allegro, from Music for Strings
Written by Béla Bartók
Performed by The Cleveland Orchestra
Conducted by Christoph von Dohnányi
Courtesy of The Decca Record Company Ltd.
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets
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User Reviews

 
A gem resulting of an unexpected mix of Twilight zone and The Monty Python

This film is excellently made and based on an imaginative, intelligent and wacky script: a depressive puppeteer discovers by chance a mysterious portal in his five-foot tall office located on the 7,5th floor of a Manhattan office building, leading within the head of the movie star John Malkovich. The cast is excellent and the actors co-exist in perfect symbiosis, literally as well as figuratively. The quintet John Cusack + Cameron Diaz + Orson Bean + Catherine Keener + John Malkovich is awesome.

A not exhaustive list of my favorite quotes: Meet you in Malkovich in one hour. The truth is for suckers, Johnny boy. Let's have sex on his table and then make him eat an omelette off of it. I comes before U. You don't know how lucky you are being a monkey, because consciousness is a terrible curse. There is truth, and there are lies, and art always tells the truth, even when it's lying. She's got her doctorate in speech impedimentology from Case Western. It's the idea of being inside someone else's skin and seeing what they see and feeling what they feel.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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