A young writer who follows strangers for material meets a thief who takes him under his wing.

Director:

Christopher Nolan
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3,765 ( 391)
5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Theobald ... The Young Man
Alex Haw Alex Haw ... Cobb
Lucy Russell ... The Blonde
John Nolan ... The Policeman
Dick Bradsell Dick Bradsell ... The Bald Guy
Gillian El-Kadi Gillian El-Kadi ... Home Owner
Jennifer Angel Jennifer Angel ... Waitress
Nicolas Carlotti Nicolas Carlotti ... Barman
Darren Ormandy Darren Ormandy ... Accountant
Guy Greenway Guy Greenway ... Heavy #1
Tassos Stevens Tassos Stevens ... Heavy #2
Tristan Martin Tristan Martin ... Man at Bar
Rebecca James Rebecca James ... Woman at Bar
Paul Mason Paul Mason ... Home Owner's Friend
David Bovill David Bovill ... Home Owner's Husband
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Storyline

An older man listens to Bill's story about being a callow writer who likes to follow strangers around London, observing them. One day, a glib and self-confident man whom Bill has been following confronts him. He's Cobb, a burglar who takes Bill under his wing and shows him how to break and enter. They burgle a woman's flat; Bill gets intrigued with her (photographs are everywhere in her flat). He follows her and chats her up at a bar owned by her ex-boyfriend, a nasty piece of work who killed someone in her living room with a hammer. Soon Bill is volunteering to do her a favor, which involves a break-in. What does the older man know that Bill doesn't? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You're Never Alone.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The second apartment Bill and Cobb break into has a Batman sticker on the door. Christopher Nolan would later go on to direct "The Dark Knight Trilogy", which consists of Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012). See more »

Goofs

In one shot, when Cobb puts the gloves in the young man's mouth it is half sticking out but in the next scene it is almost completely in the young man's mouth. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bill: The following is my explanation. Well, more of an account of what happened. I'd been on my own for a while and getting kind of lonely... and bored... nothing to do all day. And that's when I started shadowing.
The Policeman: Shadowing?
Bill: Shadowing - Following. I started to follow people
The Policeman: Who?
Bill: Anyone at first. Um,
[sniffs]
Bill: you know, that was the whole point - somebody at random, someone who didn't know who I was.
The Policeman: And then?
Bill: And then nothing.
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Crazy Credits

The movie was filmed from 1996 to 1997 and first released in 1998. However, the copyright date in the credits is listed as being 1999. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Criterion Collection DVD features an additional "Chronological Edit" of the film, which places the scenes in linear order. See more »

Connections

Featured in Honest Trailers: Every Christopher Nolan Movie (2018) See more »

User Reviews

 
Fascinating suspense film.
26 October 2003 | by senortuffySee all my reviews

Christopher Nolan's first directorial effort, a year before he did "Memento," and this is almost as brilliant as that classic. He uses time differentials in a similar manner to tell his story, and it's a very clever one.

Bill is this young writer who begins following complete strangers around just to see where they live and what they're all about. One day, he follows this man, Cobb, who turns the tables and confronts Bill, who breaks down and confesses what he's up to.

Cobb is a burglar and he takes Bill along on a few jobs to teach him the ropes. Both men are voyeurs of a sort and a bond begins to grow between the two of them.

But there's an ulterior motive for Cobb nurturing this relationship, and it all ties in very smartly at the end. No, I won't spoil it but this is a very cool movie and I'm beginning to think Christopher Nolan is a genius.

If you like suspense films with surprise endings, this one is a must see.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 1999 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Following See more »

Filming Locations:

UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$48,482

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$48,482
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Next Wave Films, Syncopy See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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