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Following (1998)

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

Director:

Christopher Nolan
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Popularity
4,126 ( 145)
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 ... Accountant
Guy Greenway Guy Greenway ... Heavy #1
Tassos Stevens Tassos Stevens ... Heavy #2
Tristan Martin Tristan Martin ... Man at Bar
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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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 1999 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Csapda See more »

Filming Locations:

UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,636, 4 April 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$48,482, 14 October 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Next Wave Films,Syncopy See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Christopher Nolan never studied film-making at university. He studied English Literature at University College London, and used the film society there to shoot the opening dialogue scene between Bill and the policeman. See more »

Goofs

During the safe robbery, Bill is clearly shown wearing gloves, most noticeably when he pulls the paper with the combination from his pocket. However, as he starts to open the safe, the gloves are gone and they never reappear. 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.
See more »

Connections

References Sunset Blvd. (1950) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
High brains, low budget, nothing superfluous
23 July 2002 | by ChrisBagleySee all my reviews

Great film. No gratuitous gimmicks like in most Hollywood films. Everything supported the suspense of the plot. B&w gave it a basic, no-frills feel also. In short, it was visceral in its simplicity of cinematography and cast.

Following serves as an interesting contrast to Memento. Characters in both used manipulation and subterfuge extensively. In that sense, both reminded me somewhat of "In the Company of Men," also highly recommendable. One difference between Nolan's two films is that Memento was a little easier for me to follow, given that the b&w scenes progress in a constant chronological direction, and so do those in color. I don't think that was true of Following, where scenes seemed to be shown at random. If you have the choice between VCR and DVD, I'd highly recommend DVD, since that gives you the option of watching the movie a second time in chronological order, not just in the scrambled (albeit ingenuous) order presented by Nolan. It also makes it easier, upon a second viewing, to piece the order together for yourself, if you want to.

As another viewer noted, one of the best things about both this movie and Memento is that none of the cast were famous. They were characters, not big-name actors who brought in personas developed in other movies.

Given certain similarities in the plots, I wonder if Memento is sort of a remake of Following, but intended to reach a bigger audience, like Edward Burns made She's the One in the mold of -- and with largely the same cast as -- The Brothers McMullan.


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