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Three Identical Strangers (2018)

PG-13 | | Documentary | 19 January 2018 (USA)
2:09 | Trailer

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In 1 theater near Ashburn VA US [change]

In 1980 New York, three young men who were all adopted meet each other and find out they're triplets who were separated at birth. Then they discover why.


Tim Wardle
1,005 ( 159)
4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Silvi Alzetta-Reali Silvi Alzetta-Reali ... Board Member
Eddy Galland Eddy Galland ... Himself (archive footage)
Ron Guttman Ron Guttman ... Board Member
David Kellman David Kellman ... Himself
Adrian Lichter Adrian Lichter ... Board Member
Andrew Lovesey Andrew Lovesey ... Michael Domnitz
Scotty Murray ... College Kid #1
Robert Shafran Robert Shafran ... Himself
David Straus David Straus ... Mort
Rachel VanDuzer ... College Girl


New York, 1980: three complete strangers accidentally discover that they are identical triplets, separated at birth. The 19-year-olds' joyous reunion catapults them to international fame, but it also unlocks an extraordinary and disturbing secret that goes beyond their own lives - and could transform our understanding of human nature forever.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Most Amazing, Incredible, Remarkable True Story Ever Told



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some mature thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Site





Release Date:

19 January 2018 (USA) See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$171,503, 1 July 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$12,135,928, 20 September 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RAW See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Three Identical Strangers part of The Hot Docs festival 's 25th anniversary line up in Toronto. Both screenings of Three Identical Strangers at the festival were sold out. See more »


The Volvo used in the initial sequences was a later model year (from the 80's) than the actual year (in the 70's). See more »


Features Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) See more »


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User Reviews

This documentary is a reminder why we love movies!
7 July 2018 | by Kenneth WilsonSee all my reviews

The Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar in Austin had a special screening on Tuesday of Three Identical Strangers and brought in brothers David Kellman and Robert Shafran. They had all been on a special tour with the documentary with Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League and their last stop was in Austin. Not only was there a screening of the film along with a Q&A. The Highball was turned into Triplets for a night, a restaurant that the triplets owned from 1987-2000 with actual drinks that they had on the menu.

If you don't know anything about Three Identical Strangers yet, you are in for a treat. Directed by Tim Wardle, who did this documentary for CNN Films, this story is one of the most fascinating ones that you will ever come across and the people are still disturbed that it happened to them nearly 40 years later. In the early 1960s, a Jewish board called Louise Wise Services was an adoption agency, but what they didn't tell the adoptive families that they were separating twins and triplets to do a nature vs. nurture study. The families didn't know that their child had a brother or sister, much less a twin.

In 1980 in New York, David Kellman went off to Sullivan Community College only to find that everyone acted like they knew him and was calling him by the name Eddy. He was confused, but one guy named Michael Domnitz came to his dorm room and asked him his birthdate and told him that he had a twin brother out there. They went to a pay phone where Domnitz knew Eddy's number and the voice on the receiving end freaked David out because it sounded just like his own. When the media covered the story, Robert Shafran was watching the news and thought to himself, "I look just like these guys!" Then they all came together and it was a love fest while all their parents were angry and felt like they were picking up the pieces. The triplets had many similarities such as the same speech patterns, smoking the same cigarettes, the same haircut, and had even wrestled in high school. Well, that's just what they did. They were complete strangers, but they got in the floor and wrestled each other like they had known each for their whole lives.

People were looking for the similarities. They weren't looking for the differences, which were there. While they were growing up, The Jewish Board would stop by and see how the children were doing and with the parents' permission, a person would study them and take notes without them even knowing what was going on. They were treating these children like lab rats and this didn't really sink in for the brothers until later. They always knew something was missing and as kids suffered from separation anxiety. They would bang their heads on the crib or on the walls. They found out that the study had them all put in different socioeconomic backgrounds to study how all of these elements worked in growing up. Three Identical Strangers has twists and turns like a roller coaster. If you are Jewish, in your 50s, and adopted, you just might have a twin out there.

On this film tour, Kellman explained how much Tim League made them comfortable and catered to them. "He hasn't let his celebrity change him. He's the real deal!" he said about League. It's nice to know that after a documentary like this, we know that there's good people like Tim League in this world.

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