Being John Malkovich

Being John Malkovich

4.0 18
Director: Spike Jonze

Cast: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener


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Would you pay money to journey into the mind of the star of Con Air, The Killing Fields, and In The Line of Fire? Puppeteer Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) is having money problems, so he takes a temporary job as a file clerk on the seventh-and-a-half floor of a large office building. One day, while rummaging behind a cabinet, he finds a small doorSee more details below

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Would you pay money to journey into the mind of the star of Con Air, The Killing Fields, and In The Line of Fire? Puppeteer Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) is having money problems, so he takes a temporary job as a file clerk on the seventh-and-a-half floor of a large office building. One day, while rummaging behind a cabinet, he finds a small door that leads to the center of the mind of actor John Malkovich (played by, you guessed it, John Malkovich). Craig discovers that entering the portal allows him to become John Malkovich for a brief spell, and in time he and his beautiful but aloof co-worker Maxine (Catherine Keener) get the bright idea to charge admission for the privilege of spending 15 minutes inside the head of a well-known actor. Malkovich realizes that something strange is happening to him, but can do little to stop it, as strangers take over his mind for a quarter-hour at a time. Craig's wife, Lotte (Cameron Diaz), eventually takes a trip into Malkovich's psyche, and she soon finds herself in love with Maxine, with whom Malkovich has an affair; meanwhile, Maxine in time becomes infatuated with both Craig and Lotte, but only when they're inside Malkovich. Being John Malkovich marked the feature-length debut of director Spike Jonze, who previously made acclaimed music videos for Weezer, the Beastie Boys, and the Breeders, among others.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - John Guida
This hilarious, breathtakingly original feature debut by music video director Spike Jonze is Alice in Wonderland for the age of celebrity: the rabbit hole that the characters fall into is actor John Malkovich's head. On the seventh and a half floor of a Manhattan office building (yes, half floor -- that's why everyone's stooping), a nebbishy puppeteer (John Cusack) discovers a door that delivers him straight into the mind of Malkovich. The ride is thrilling, but the portal turns out to be a Pandora's box: opening it sets hearts afire and desires running amuck. Cameron Diaz, sporting seriously bad hair, gamely turns her babe wattage way down to play Cusack's plain Jane wife, while Catherine Keener (Your Friends and Neighbors) plays Cusack's seductive office colleague and the object of everyone's obsession. Malkovich, playing himself, does a delicious satire on his own celebrity lifestyle. Watching this film, filled with mistaken identities and dizzying plot twists that never let up, is a bit like being in a car with a crazy but brilliant driver -- unnerving but an awful lot of fun.
All Movie Guide - Jason Clark
Surrealist cinema at its most inventive and edifying, this feature debut by music video maestro Spike Jonze poses questions of existentialism and celebrity without the pretension of feeling like you're in a philosophy symposium. Armed with Charlie Kaufman's devilishly clever and narratively sound script, the director creates a funhouse of the mind, but never strays from its originating premise, which involves the fascination and consequences of living as someone else, even for a brief period. Filled with offbeat humor and surprisingly free of empty flash (unusual for a director whose only previous experience is in music video), Being John Malkovich finds a genre niche that seems relatively untapped, similar to a film like David Lynch's Blue Velvet, which created a world all its own even in the midst of familiar surroundings. A mid-level success upon release, the film was honored on several critics' Ten Best lists of 1999, and garnered first-time Oscar nominations for Jonze, Kaufman, and co-star Catherine Keener, who is ruthlessly funny as the object of John Cusack's affections.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

New selected-scene audio commentary featuring Jonze's friend and competitor the filmmaker Michel Gondry; New behind-the-scenes documentary by filmmaker Lance Bangs; New conversation between actor John Malkovich and humorist John Hodgman; New interview with Jonze in which he discusses his on-set photos; Two films within the film: 71/2 Floor Orientation and "American Arts & Culture" Presents John Horatio Malkovich: "Dance of Despair and Disillusionment"; An Intimate Portrait of the Art of Puppeteering, a documentary by Bangs; Trailer and TV Spots; Plus: a Booklet featuring a conversation between Jonze and pop-culture critic Perkus Tooth

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Cusack Craig Schwartz
Cameron Diaz Lotte Schwartz
Catherine Keener Maxine Lund
John Malkovich John Malkovich
Orson Bean Dr. Lester
Mary Kay Place Floris
Charlie Sheen Charlie Sheen
Carlos Jacott Larry the Agent
W. Earl Brown Erroll
Willie Garson Guy In Restaurant
Byrne Piven Captain Mertin
Gregory Sporleder Drunk At Bar
Ned Bellamy Derek Mantini
Eric Weinstein Father at Puppet Show
Madison Lanc Daugher at Puppet Show
Octavia L. Spencer Woman In Elevator
Reggie Hayes Don
K.K. Dodds Wendy
Judith Wetzell Tiny Woman
Kevin Carroll Cab Driver
Gerald Emerick Sad Man In Line
Bill M. Ryusaki Mr. Hiroshi
James Murray Student Puppeteer
Richard Fancy Johnson Heyward
Dan Hansen Boy John Malkovich
Patti Tippo John Malovich's Mother
Mariah O'Brien Girl Creeped Out By John Malkovich
Kelly Teacher Emily
Jacqueline Benoit Doctor Lester's Friend
Audrey Gelfand Doctor Lester's Friend
Eddie J. Low Doctor Lester's Friend
William Nichols Buck Doctor Lester's Friend
Yetta Ginsburg Doctor Lester's Friend
Ralph W. Spaulding Doctor Lester's Friend
Christine Coleman Doctor Lester's Friend
Sylvester Jenkins Doctor Lester's Friend
David Wyler Doctor Lester's Friend
Jeanne Diehl Doctor Lester's Friend
Roy C. Johnson Doctor Lester's Friend
Flori Wyler Doctor Lester's Friend
Kevin Lee Ballet Dancer
Marlowe Bassett Ballet Dancer
Kristin D'Andrea Ballet Dancer
Jessica Neuberger Ballet Dancer
Jennifer Canzoneri Ballet Dancer
Charlene Grimsley Ballet Dancer
Sara Rifkin Ballet Dancer
Kristie Cordle Ballet Dancer
Christine Krejer Ballet Dancer
Elizabeth Rivera Ballet Dancer
Denise Dabrowski Ballet Dancer
Erica Long Ballet Dancer
Chelsa Sjostrom Ballet Dancer
Yvonne Montelius Ballet Dancer
Pamela Hayden Featured Character Voices
Michelle Madden Featured Character Voices
Neil Ross Featured Character Voices
Jayne Hess Featured Character Voices
Greg O'Neill Featured Character Voices
Bill Wittman Featured Character Voices
Christopher Bing Himself [uncredited]

Technical Credits
Spike Jonze Director
Fanee Aaron Set Decoration/Design
Lance Acord Cinematographer
Peter Andrus Art Director
Justine Baddeley Casting
California Ballet Choreography
KK Barrett Production Designer
Lynn Barron Makeup
Björk Songwriter
Forrest Brakeman Sound Mixer,Sound/Sound Designer
Carter Burwell Score Composer
Elisa Bussetti Set Decoration/Design
Mark S. Constance Asst. Director
Kimberly Davis-Wagner Casting
Debra L. Ferullo Makeup
Steve Golin Producer
Peter Gulla Camera Operator
Charlie Kaufman Executive Producer,Screenwriter
Ren Klyce Sound/Sound Designer
Michael Kuhn Executive Producer
Vincent Landay Producer
Maxine Mahon Choreography
Malcolm Fife Sound/Sound Designer
Tony Maxwell Choreography
Tony Maxwell Choreography
Optic Nerve Studios Makeup Special Effects
Nick Peck Sound/Sound Designer
Thomas Patrick Smith Asst. Director
Dawn Solér Musical Direction/Supervision
Mit Out Sound Sound/Sound Designer
Sandy Stern Producer
Michael Stipe Producer
Casey Storm Costumes/Costume Designer
Sloane U'ren Set Decoration/Design
John Vulich Makeup Special Effects
Eric Zumbrunnen Editor

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