7.3/10
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149 user 106 critic

Dead Ringers (1988)

Twin gynecologists take full advantage of the fact that nobody can tell them apart, until their relationship begins to deteriorate over a woman.

Director:

David Cronenberg
Reviews
Popularity
3,950 ( 473)
20 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Irons ... Beverly / Elliot
Geneviève Bujold ... Claire / Leo's wife(actress)
Heidi von Palleske ... Cary / Elliot's girlfriend
Barbara Gordon ... Danuta / clinic receptionist
Shirley Douglas ... Laura / Claire's friend
Stephen Lack ... Anders Wolleck
Nick Nichols Nick Nichols ... Leo / Claire's husband
Lynne Cormack Lynne Cormack ... Arlene / patient
Damir Andrei Damir Andrei ... Birchall / Claire's secretary
Miriam Newhouse Miriam Newhouse ... Mrs. Bookman / patient
David Hughes David Hughes ... Superintendent
Richard W. Farrell Richard W. Farrell ... Dean of Medicine (as Richard Farrell)
Warren Davis Warren Davis ... Anatomy Class Supervisor
Jonathan Haley Jonathan Haley ... Beverly / Age 9
Nicholas Haley Nicholas Haley ... Elliot / Age 9
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Storyline

The Mantle brothers are both doctors - both gynecologists - and identical twins. Mentally however, one of them is more confident than the other, and always manages to seduce the women he meets. When he's tired of his current partner, she is passed on to the other brother - without her knowing. Everything runs smoothly, until an actress visits their clinic, and the shy brother is the first to fall in love. Will they be able to 'share' her ? Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Two bodies. Two minds. One soul. Separation can be a terrifying thing. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Hurt was David Cronenberg's first choice to play the twins. He regretted turning it down but had a scheduling conflict. He later commented about turning down the roles by saying that he "had a hard enough time playing one character, let alone two". See more »

Goofs

In a scene dated 1954, the twins seen are playing with The Visible Woman, Revell toy company's biological model of a woman that was not marketed until at least five years later. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Elliot, Age 9: You've heard about sex...
Beverly, Age 9: Sure I have.
Elliot, Age 9: Well I've discovered why sex is.
Beverly, Age 9: You have? Fantastic.
Raffaella: It's because humans don't live under water.
Beverly, Age 9: I don't get it.
Elliot, Age 9: Well, fish don't need sex because they just lay the eggs and fertilize them in the water. Humans can't do that because they don't live in the water. They have to - internalize the water. Therefore we have sex.
Beverly, Age 9: So you mean humans would have sex if they lived in the water?
Elliot, Age 9: Well they'd have a kind of sex. The kind where you wouldn't have to ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

In the Still of the Night (I'll Remember)
Performed by The Five Satins
under license from Arista Records, Inc.
Copyrighted by Llee Corp.
Composed by Fred Parris
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User Reviews

 
"No, you're right, he's not alone- but he's lonely. Even with me."
4 March 2002 | by latherzapSee all my reviews

While I like "The Brood" quite a bit, Dead Ringers gets my vote as Cronenberg's best work.

Follow along as the twin brothers spiral out of control when they unsuccessfully try to break free from each other. One's more confident, the other more timid. But they depend on each other, and at middle age neither has the psychological strength to be their own person; they still don't have a sense of self. Among many favorite moments, I love the scene where Elliott, the more confident twin, tries to kiss Claire. It's his way of trying to synchronize himself with his brother Beverly, whom Claire has a true connection with. "I'm sorry but I can't", she intones. Elliott turns to the mirror, disturbed. "Am I really that different from my brother?". He absolutely does not know who he is.

Although it's not without some humor, Dead Ringers is very bleak. It has an emotional intensity that most movies can't touch. It is sad AND beautiful.

The movie itself *looks* great. Good script, and AWESOME performances from both Irons and Bujold. As another reviewer suggested, watch it twice if you don't like it the first time- it might grow on you.

This is my all-time favorite movie.


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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 September 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dead Ringers See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,012,180, 25 September 1988

Gross USA:

$8,038,508

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,038,508
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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