Gift Guide

Dead Ringers

( 1 )


Criterion's disc of Dead Ringers isn't as technically stunning as their more recent output but offers enough quality extras to make it worthwhile for David Cronenberg enthusiasts. The letterboxed transfer serves up the film's dark color palette in style but suffers from occasional moments of digital noise that make it less-than-perfect. The Dolby Surround soundtrack doesn't offer the directionality and full-bodied sound one associates with this format, delivering a soundtrack that is free of distortion but sadly ...
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Criterion's disc of Dead Ringers isn't as technically stunning as their more recent output but offers enough quality extras to make it worthwhile for David Cronenberg enthusiasts. The letterboxed transfer serves up the film's dark color palette in style but suffers from occasional moments of digital noise that make it less-than-perfect. The Dolby Surround soundtrack doesn't offer the directionality and full-bodied sound one associates with this format, delivering a soundtrack that is free of distortion but sadly lacking in excitement and detail. Thankfully, this mediocre transfer is atoned for with a solid set of supplements. First up is an informative commentary track that includes Cronenberg, actor Jeremy Irons, and several above-the-line crew members. Overall, the track is as dry and intellectual as one might expect for a film like Dead Ringers but the comments of the various participants are skillfully edited to create a seamless flow of information that offers plenty of intriguing insights into the many technical challenges involved in turning one actor into a set of twins. There are also extensive still galleries that cover everything from the bizarre medical tools created for the film to a cross-section of artwork created by Cronenberg himself (there are even designs for an unused title sequence). The package is rounded out with an EPK that amusingly reveals how difficult it was to sell this film. All in all, this edition of Dead Ringers lacks the technical pizzazz that infuses the best special edition DVDs but remains worthwhile for Cronenberg fans thanks to its quality supplements.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
David Cronenberg focussed his obsession with the grotesque inward with Dead Ringers. Unlike his previous efforts, the director is more interested in the emotional defects of his characters as opposed to their physical manifestations of deviance. The clinical, disquieting tone is somewhat surprising from a director who is considered something of an auteur of vulgarity, not only because of the bizarre qualities of his films, but also because of his tendency to push the boundaries of special effects. Too often, his early work annoys because the effects are deliberately cultish and preposterous (a quality he tempered for his mainstream remake of The Fly). In Dead Ringers, however, he uses an altogether more subtle effect, making twins out of lead Jeremy Irons though computer-aided split screen; the technique has since become much more widespread. Irons' distinguished performance (or rather, performances) makes sure that the technique isn't just a gimmick. Irons won several critics' prizes for his work in the film; many feel the actor should have been nominated for an Oscar as well.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/14/1998
  • UPC: 715515009249
  • Original Release: 1988
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: 0
  • Aspect Ratio: Vistavision (1.66:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Dolby 5.1 / Stereo
  • Sound: Dolby Digital, stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:55:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jeremy Irons Beverly Mantle, Elliot Mantle
Geneviève Bujold Claire Niveau
Heidi von Palleske Cary
Barbara Gordon Danuta
Shirley Douglas Laura
Stephen Lack Andrers Wolleck
Murray Chuchley Assisting Surgeon
Denise McLeod Art Gallery Lady
Rina Polley Soap Opera Character
Nicholas Rice M.C.
Nick Nichols Leo
Lynne Cormack Arlene
Damir Andrei Birchall
Miriam Newhouse Mrs. Bookman
David Hughes Superintendent
Richard W. Farrell Dean of Medicine
Warren Davis Anatomy Class Supervisor
Jonathan Haley Beverly, Age 9
Nicholas Haley Elliot, Age 9
Marsha Moreau Raffaella
Denis Akiyama Pharmacist
Dee McCafferty Surgeon
Susan Markle Operating Room Nurse
Jane Luk Lecture Hall Nurse
Tita Trevisan Furniture Salesman
Jacqueline Hennessy Escort Twin Coral
Jill Hennessy Escort Twin Mimsy
David Walden Director
Liliane Stillwell Wardrobe Person
Bob Bainborough Mr. Glaser
Nick Rice MC
Joe Matheson Sean
Hadley Kay Delivery Boy
Cynthia Eastman Sobbing Woman
Nora Colpman Mrs. Randall
Madeleine Atkinson Soap Opera Character
John Bayliss Performance Double
Graham Evans Picture Double
Technical Credits
David Cronenberg Director, Co-producer, Screenwriter
Carol Baum Executive Producer
John Board Associate Producer
Deirdre Bowen Casting
Marc Boyman Co-producer
Terry Burke Sound Editor
Richard Cadger Sound Editor
Denise Cronenberg Costumes/Costume Designer
Bryan Day Sound/Sound Designer
David Evans Sound Editor
Elinor Rose Galbraith Set Decoration/Design
David Giammarco Sound Editor
Wayne Griffin Sound Editor
Shonagh Jabour Makeup
James McAteer Art Director
Andy Nelson Sound/Sound Designer
Fred Parris Songwriter
Joe Roth Producer
Ronald Sanders Editor
Howard Shore Score Composer
Gordon J. Smith Special Effects
Norman Snider Screenwriter
Carol Spier Production Designer
Peter Suschitzky Cinematographer
Sylvio Tabet Executive Producer
Steve Weslak Editor
Don White Sound/Sound Designer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapters
1. Logos [:15]
2. Opening credits [2:14]
3. Toronto 1954: The young twins [1:54]
4. Cambridge 1967: The Mantle Reactor [2:24]
5. Toronto 1988: "The Claire Niveau?" [1:53]
6. "Let's take another look" [2:13]
7. "You've got to try the movie star" [2:11]
8. "I need to be punished" [3:45]
9. Bedside manners [2:22]
10. "Doctor, you've cured me" [2:40]
11. "I want to keep it...for myself" [1:15]
12. "We don't do husbands" [1:57]
13. Side effects [2:45]
14. Unknown territory [1:36]
15. Subtly schizophrenic [2:54]
16. ."..there are two of them?" [1:35]
17. "When can I meet him?" [2:53]
18. The confrontation [3:32]
19. The Feldman Award [4:35]
20. A sleepless night [1:16]
21. The reunion with Claire [3:16]
22. Bev's nightmare [1:45]
23. Special order [1:39]
24. "Too many sleepers" [2:40]
25. Ellie visits the set [3:18]
26. Separation anxiety [1:43]
27. Crank call [2:58]
28. "I've been hiding from you" [2:26]
29. "In the Still of the Night" [5:28]
30. Detox program [1:37]
31. Solid gold [2:39]
32. "Instuments for Operating on Mutant Women" [2:11]
33. "I've got to slow everything down" [3:24]
34. Easing into pure research [3:39]
35. Chang & Eng [2:12]
36. Getting synchronized [3:38]
37. Clair returns [3:40]
38. Artistic license [2:32]
39. "Tell me about these tools" [2:18]
40. "Welcome home, kid" [3:42]
41. "Separation can be a terrifying thing" [3:42]
42. Union [5:26]
43. End credits [3:17]
0. Index
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Side #1 --
   Play the movie
         Opening title design
         The street
         The first twinning shot
         Jeremy Irons
         Exotic creatures in an aquarium
         "It's all acting"
         Set design
         "He wasn't displaying his wares"
         The famous operating room scene
         The most complicated twinning shot
         Claire's apartment
         A different environment
         The comic possibilities
         The beginning of the end
         Public humiliation
         Ménage à trois
         The mind/body split
         The metaphor of Siamese twins
         A love story between three people
         The red operating gowns
         The make-up trailer
         "The technical problems can usually be solved"
         Dolly shot and decay
         A good schizophrenic
         Pop music
         Double trouble
         Over the edge
         Stephen Lack
         High priests of gynecology
         The medical establishment
         "Biology might well be destiny"
         Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
         Film acting
         Designing the instruments
         Art, science and medicine
         Unbearable closeness
         "Can't one of the twins survive?"
         "Twin Docs Found Dead in Posh Pad"
   "The Strange Object's of David Cronenberg's Desire"
      Original Designs For The Opening Credit Sequence
      "Mathmatics In Metal"
      "Instruments For Operating On Mutant Women"
   Twinning effects
      Hospital Hallway Shot
         Play Clip
      Birthday Celebration
         Play Clip
      Telephone Call
         Play Clip
      In The Closet
         Play Clip
      Office Shuffle
         Play Clip
      Final Tableau
         Play Clip
   Color bars
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    I am a connoisseur of films that mess with your mind. This one definitely tops the list. After viewing this film, I woke up in the middle of the night and could not go back to sleep. Jeremy Irons plays the dual role of identical twins as they slide into drug-induced insanity. The protrayal of his characters is both convincing and disturbing.

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