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Disturbing Behavior (1998)

2:17 | Trailer
The new kid in Cradle Bay, Washington stumbles across something sinister about the town's method of transforming its unruly teens into upstanding citizens.


David Nutter


Scott Rosenberg
4,491 ( 545)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
James Marsden ... Steve Clark
Katie Holmes ... Rachel Wagner
Tobias Mehler ... Andy Effkin
Nick Stahl ... Gavin Strick
Steve Railsback ... Officer Cox
Bruce Greenwood ... Dr. Edgar Caldicott
Katharine Isabelle ... Lindsay Clark
William Sadler ... Dorian Newberry
Ethan Embry ... Allen Clark
Terry David Mulligan ... Nathan Clark
Susan Hogan ... Cynthia Clark
A.J. Buckley ... Charles 'Chug' Roman
Robert Moloney ... Ferry Guy
Derek Hamilton ... Trent Whalen
Dan Zukovic ... Mr. Rooney


After the suicide of the teenager Allen Clark, his family decides to move from Chicago to the quiet Cradle Bay Island seeking a peaceful life for the siblings Steve and Lindsay Clark. When Steve joins the local high-school, the outcast Gavin Strick befriends Steve and introduces his also rejected friend Rachel Wagner to the newcomer. Gavin exposes to Steve in the refectory the punks, the nerds and the different tribes of the school and he defends the weird theory that a sinister force changes the behavior of the annoyingly perfect "Blue Ribbons", a group of good students that wear identical jackets and gather in the Yogurt Shoppe. Further he tells that he had witnessed the blue ribbon Andy Efkin killing their schoolmate Mary Jo that is missing and the local Officer Cox covering the murder. Steve does not believe on Gavin words, but when his friend is submitted to the treatment of Dr. Edgar Caldicott and immediately changes his behavior, joining the Blue Ribbons, Steve and Rachel ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Perfection is every teenage student's co-pilot. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, sexuality, language, and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


In the movie, the janitor has a copy of Slaughterhouse Five. Ironically, Vonnegut has famously noted, in real life, that this novel was burned by a janitor through an order from an over bearing school board over its unwholesomeness. See more »


In the Yogurt Shoppe, Trent's hand goes from one of Steve's shoulders to the other and back again. See more »


Gavin Strick: Rachel, this is Stevie Boy - good man. Stevie Boy, this is Rachel - Cook's Ridge trash.
Rachel Wagner: [disgusted] Bite me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Voices at the end of the credits say Main Commands of Dr. Caldicott's Program: "Let the light get into you... yes, slowly". BETTY CALDICOTT: "Meet the musical little creatures that hide among the flowers". LORNA LONGLEY: "Treat yourself". See more »

Alternate Versions

DVD version features 11 deleted scenes, including an alternate ending where Gavin meets a different fate than the theatrical ending. See more »


References The X-Files (1993) See more »


Gods Of Basketball
Music by The Flys
Lyrics by Adam Paskowitz
Performed by The Flys
Courtesy of Trauma Records
See more »

User Reviews

Very sadly underrated
17 October 2003 | by one4now4See all my reviews

This is a very sadly underrated film. This is a film that I believe was intended to wake kids up. It's no artistic venture, I know. It's all laid out in a very simple fashion, and was made for the MTV kids to be able to understand it. Still, the point is a great one, and was carried out well. After reading someone's review of this, I have to say I was enraged. The good guys sometimes smoke pot in this. Would it be worse if they were on crack? Yes, it would. The good guys look a little freaky most of the time. Would it make them better people if they wore "nice clothes"? No, it wouldn't. They cuss a lot and talk their weird, poetic jive. Would they be more interesting if they didn't? No, they would be LESS interesting. The good guys like rock music. Does that make them bad, scary kids? Absolutely not, because you can't judge a person solely on their tastes. And as for the brainwashed psycho kids that even a lot of kids nowadays would root for, they break people's necks because they're ashamed to be sexually aroused. Is that less scary than a kid who just wants to get laid and can't because he's viewed as a monster by society? If your answer is "yes", you are obviously very disturbed yourself. This movie is about the underdogs, those people who are good people but have no choice other than to fight when so many would rather oppress them for being who they really are. This hardens and depresses them considerably, and why shouldn't it? The world is not a "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood", and, though that is a nice fantasy, this movie, despite any fantastic contexts it might have, is full of harsh realities. If there's a world full of Blue Ribbons, things wouldn't be exciting to you unless you're totally brainwashed. If you're not, that makes it scary. That's why this movie sends chills up my spine, no matter how simple and MTV-styled it might be. This is one of the best horror films of the 1990s. At least it's not junk like "I Know What You Did Last Summer". This film has something to say, something only severely distorted people would see as completely negative and wrong. NOT FOR BLUE RIBBONS!

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:



Australia | USA | Canada



Release Date:

24 July 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Disturbing Behavior See more »


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,007,714, 26 July 1998

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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