Dead Ringers (1988)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

Canada/USA, 1988.  , Téléfilm Canada, Mantle Clinic II.  Screenplay by David Cronenberg, , based on the book Twins by , .  Cinematography by . Produced by , David Cronenberg.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Podcast:  My Criterions

The best example of David Cronenberg’s combination of kinky visual style and psychological exploration is this fascinating drama based on Bari Wood’s fact-based novel Twins (which was the film’s original title until producers heard about the upcoming Danny DeVito/Arnold Schwarzenegger project). Two identical twin brothers (both played to creepy perfection by Jeremy Irons) have grown up in a totally private world and now share a home and business as gynecologists. Their dangerously intimate existence threatens to tear right apart when they both fall in love with a patient (Genevieve Bujold) with an odd uteran deformity. The drama progresses as the less confident of the two brothers becomes obsessed to the point of endangering his career and his life. Irons’ beautifully realized performances, assisted by some seamless computer-controlled matte photography, make for captivating entertainment in this very disturbing film. It features an otherworldly look to the photography and set design that you won’t be able to shake for days.

The Criterion Collection:  #21

One thought on “Dead Ringers (1988)

  1. This is another excellent demonstration of Cronenberg’s abilities. The subtlety of Irons’ performance as the twins is brilliant and is what I would consider to be the best performance of his career, in fact. I agree, Dead Ringers is a film the viewer is not likely to shake off quickly.

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