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Body Double (1984)


No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 0



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 8,105

My Rating

Movie Info

In Body Double, director Brian DePalma pays homage to the Alfred Hitchcock movies Vertigo and Rear Window, adding a few grotesque touches all his own. Craig Wasson plays Jake, a struggling actor who keeps losing jobs because of his claustrophobia. To make matters worse, his girlfriend has walked out on him, so he has no place to sleep. His pal offers him the use of his apartment for the evening. The apartment happens to be equipped with a huge picture window and telescope, enabling him to spy on


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Robert J. Avrech, Brian DePalma

Mar 6, 2001

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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All Critics (32) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (6) | DVD (10)

Is Body Double Brian De Palma's most underrated film or merely a guilty pleasure on my part? Naturally, I make the case for the former.

August 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Sleaze dominates the thin plot and absurd story line.

June 11, 2012 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Classic De Palma. Stylish and Sexy.

September 5, 2008

It's a mystery, a romance, a horror flick, and a straight-faced parody all rolled into one unique little movie.

November 1, 2006 Full Review Source: DVD Clinic
DVD Clinic

...De Palma's expectedly grandiose directorial choices go a long way towards keeping things interesting...

October 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Emblematizes De Palma's refusal to take Hollywood seriously.

October 1, 2006
Groucho Reviews

Body Double, while not his finest, is the best candidate as Brian De Palma's signature film.

August 29, 2006 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

enough to portend the downfall of civilization... a guilty pleasure

August 17, 2006 Full Review Source:

Another sexed-up Hitchcockian thriller from Brian De Palma. Plays much better today than it did in 1984.

January 24, 2006 Full Review Source:

Kinda stupid, really.

March 17, 2004
New Times

A gripping murder mystery in which director Brian De Palma offers sly tributes to Alfred Hitchcock.

July 23, 2003 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

No one can rip off Hitchcock quite like De Palma

June 3, 2003
Lawrence Journal-World

A minor De Palma with a few great moments and a soggy leading man.

March 2, 2003
San Francisco Examiner

Uneven, but underrated De Palma effort.

December 1, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Ultimately, Body Double feels like a film that seems more interested in pleasing itself than pleasing the audience.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source:

Sneaky, bloody but clever reworking of Vertigo

July 26, 2002
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

Audience Reviews for Body Double

I first saw this film when it was released in 1984, was immediately captivated by it, and have re-visited it many times since then. Body Double may be my favorite DePalma film, even more so than Scarface since it blends different elements together so entertainingly. Body Double is of course a thriller, containing various Hitchcockian themes and devices for which DePalma has become famous. Its also a spoof of the porn industry, but it treats the porn business and B-movie slasher films in a refreshingly frank and candid manner. Its done with humor and without any moralizing, just another part of the business. Also, the LA locations, like the Tail O' the Pup hot dog stand and the futuristic Chemospehere house, not only lend the film authenticity, they really add to the memorable quality DePalma achieves.

I enjoyed the performances of Craig Wasson, Dennis Franz, and others, but Body Double may be best remembered for Melanie Griffith's breakthrough role. She's sexy and totally hilarious. Her list of adult acting "restrictions" is one of the all-time greatest monologues. Wasson, who I liked in Ghost Story, is similar to De
Palma's idol Hitchcock's hero in Vertigo Scotty (Jimmy Stewart). He is paralyzed by claustrophobia and "can't act." Wasson as Jake Scully is the perfect unpretentious "set-up witness." I can't fail to mention former Miss America Deborah Shelton as Gloria Revelle, one of the most beautiful women who ever graced the silver screen.

There's a lurid fascination about this film. Its got sex, voyeurism, a power-drill murder, and the most palpable claustrophobia I've seen. You've also the Frankie-Goes-To-Hollywood "Relax" tie-in. It will harken you back to the glory days of MTV. All in all, its great tongue-in-cheek entertainment and, for my money, the most notable voyeur fantasy movie ever.
August 1, 2013
Clintus M.
Clintus Maximus

Super Reviewer

Sam Bouchard: Don't be so melodramatic. 

"You Can't Believe Everything You See"

Body Double is Brian De Palma at his core. This is a film that driven by erotica and violence, and De Palma balances the two of the really well, while paying homage(or ripping off, however you want to look at it) to Hitchcock's Vertigo and Rear Window. The film is odd for sure. De Palma isn't known for making non-odd films, but this one is even weirder than his norm. 

I liked it for sure. Actually, I loved it for the first hour or so. I loved the scene where Jake follows the woman for like 15 minutes straight on screen. There's little dialogue, but it works perfectly because of genuine suspense being built by watching Jake follow a woman who's being followed by another man. The movie falls apart in its last third, but not enough to change how much I liked the movie, especially the first hour. 

Jake is a struggling actor who was just fired from his acting job as a vampire because he is claustrophobic and can't handle the coffin scene. He also just broke up with his girlfriend and doesn't have a place to live. A friend of his sets him up with a nice place and shows him a woman that does a little naked dance in the window every night. Like any guy, Jake watches her every night. Through watching her, he notices another guy watching her, and sees him follow her one day. The guy steals her purse, but Jake gets it back for her. Later that night, Jake views the same guy breaking into her house. He tries to save her, but is too late. Yeah, that's just the set up.

If you are a De Palma fan, you should get a lot of satisfaction out of watching this one. If you aren't a De Palma fan, this movie is why you hate him. It definitely is not anywhere near his best, but there is something that is incredibly interesting about it. I could never recommend this to anyone though, because most people would probably be turned off to it. And I would completely understand why.
August 8, 2012
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

i laughed my ass off when i saw the scene where the dude steals the worn panty from the chanel paperbag in the garbage can...definitely bonerifici. lol.

it was a classic WTF moment. you were wondering whether this is a cheesy porn or really an artsy work by director like de palma..

January 2, 2012
Veronique Kwak

Super Reviewer

I loved this thriller, it's got a great mystery, and keeps you guessing till the end. It's very cool, and I highly recommend it.
January 18, 2011

Super Reviewer

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