7.8/10
283,636
851 user 250 critic

Being John Malkovich (1999)

Trailer
0:32 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

Director:

Spike Jonze

Writer:

Charlie Kaufman
Reviews
Popularity
1,438 ( 8)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 48 wins & 75 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Adaptation. (2002)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A lovelorn screenwriter becomes desperate as he tries and fails to adapt 'The Orchid Thief' by Susan Orlean for the screen.

Director: Spike Jonze
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A theatre director struggles with his work, and the women in his life, as he creates a life-size replica of New York City inside a warehouse as part of his new play.

Director: Charlie Kaufman
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Samantha Morton, Michelle Williams
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A disk containing mysterious information from a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two unscrupulous and daft gym employees who attempt to sell it.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, George Clooney
Magnolia (1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jason Robards, Julianne Moore
Anomalisa (2015)
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A man crippled by the mundanity of his life experiences something out of the ordinary.

Directors: Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman
Stars: David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An oddball journalist and his psychopathic lawyer travel to Las Vegas for a series of psychedelic escapades.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Tobey Maguire
Boogie Nights (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of a young man's adventures in the California pornography industry of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A psychologically troubled novelty supplier is nudged towards a romance with an English woman, all the while being extorted by a phone-sex line run by a crooked mattress salesman, and purchasing stunning amounts of pudding.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out to find them.

Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis
Brazil (1985)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A bureaucrat, in a retro-future world, tries to correct an administrative error and becomes an enemy of the state.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Jonathan Pryce, Kim Greist, Robert De Niro
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.

Director: Sofia Coppola
Stars: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi
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 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

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, 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 »
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

The same cars are driving past on the New Jersey Turnpike the both first and second times someone is seen appearing from the portal. 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 7 1/2 Floor Orientation (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (as Tchaikovsky)
Performed by Boston Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Seiji Ozawa
Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophone Gesellschaft GmbH, Hamburg
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
"You don't know how lucky you are being a monkey. Because consciousness is a terrible curse."
13 April 2017 | by eMpTy84See all my reviews

This film has a densely layered plot with plenty of insight into the human mind. John Malkovich is a vessel literally and metaphorically. The discovery of the portal amplifies the true nature of each character. Craig, the puppeteer, craves the acceptance of the public for his talent. Lotte, his wife, lives to care for her animals but ultimately wants a child. Maxine, the woman both Lotte and Craig claim to love, believes her beauty is worth the status she lacks. Malkovich is the means by which they believe happiness is possible.

Being John Malkovich is very applicable to this digital age of live celebrity updates and involvement with the public. Many wish they were someone who had more freedom to do whatever they wanted in their relationships, profession, and overall life. Craig, Lotte, and Maxine are all out for themselves: seeing Malkovich as an opportunity and not a human being. Walking in someone else's shoes is traditionally viewed as a chance to understand another person, but in this case it is exploited for narcissistic agendas. Only one character in the movie has true compassion for other human beings, and it is Elijah, their pet monkey.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 851 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed