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Being John Malkovich (1999)

A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of movie star John Malkovich.

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 48 wins & 75 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Derek Mantini
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Father at Puppet Show
Madison Lanc ...
Daughter at Puppet Show
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Woman in Elevator (as Octavia L. Spencer)
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Wendy
Byrne Piven ...
Captain Mertin
Judith Wetzell ...
Tiny Woman
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Cab Driver
...
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Storyline

Puppeteer Craig Schwartz and animal lover and pet store clerk Lotte Schwartz are just going through the motions of their marriage. Despite not being able to earn a living solely through puppeteering, Craig loves his profession as it allows him to inhabit the skin of others. He begins to take the ability to inhabit the skin of others to the next level when he is forced to take a job as a file clerk for the off-kilter LesterCorp, located on the five-foot tall 7½ floor of a Manhattan office building. Behind one of the filing cabinets in his work area, Craig finds a hidden door which he learns is a portal into the mind of John Malkovich, the visit through the portal which lasts fifteen minutes after which the person is spit into a ditch next to the New Jersey Turnpike. Craig is fascinated by the meaning of life associated with this finding. Lotte's trips through the portal make her evaluate her own self. And the confident Maxine Lund, one of Craig's co-workers who he tells about the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Be All That Someone Else Can Be See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 December 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Biti John Malkovich  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$637,721, 31 October 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$22,858,926, 7 May 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The play that Craig was performing with his puppets (when he gets smacked by an angry parent) is based on the letters of Abelard and Heloise, written between 1115 and 1117 AD, which were found, copied and abridged by Johannes de Vepria, a 15th century Cistercian monk, into "Ex Epistolis duorum amantium" ("From the Letters of Two Lovers"). This became a classic document of early romantic (tragic) love used by many artists in their work including William Shakespeare in "Romeo and Juliet". In addition, screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's later project Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) took its title, and no small amount of inspiration, from Alexander Pope's "Eloisa to Abelard". See more »

Goofs

When Craig first wakes up ("wintry economic climate"), the position of the comforter around his shoulders changes several times. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lotte Schwartz: Craig, honey, it's time for bed.
[fade out and in]
Orrin Hatch the bird: Craig, honey, time to get up, Craig, honey, time to get up, Craig, honey, time to get up, Craig, honey, time to get up,
Craig Schwartz: Lotte...
Lotte Schwartz: I'm sorry. I didn't know Orrin Hatch was out of his cage.
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Crazy Credits

at the end of the cast listing is noted ...and John Malkovich See more »

Connections

Referenced in Despicable Me 2 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Pace, pace, mio Dio
from "La Forza del destino"
Written by Giuseppe Verdi
Performed by Eva Urbanová and The Prague Symphony Orchestra
Courtesy of Promusic, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"Meet you in Malkovich in one hour"
19 April 2007 | by See all my reviews

Being John Malkovich (1999), the Spike Jonze's directorial debut, is an amazing film - hip, inventive, delightfully weird, incredibly funny and disturbingly serious with the gleefully absurd plot twists. Let's face it, that was a stroke of genius - to throw together the tragic medieval lovers, Abelard and Heloise in the street show created by a talented puppeteer Craig Scwartzh (John Cusack) with the nimble fingers but out of work in "today's wintry economic climate", Elijah the Chimp with the mental problems that go back to his childhood, the surreal office that is located on the 7 1/2 store of a New York City office building and a floor is four feet high. Add Cameron Diaz (Craig's animals loving wife Lotte), completely unrecognizable, aging and balding Charlie Sheen, cynical and practical Maxine (Catherine Keener), who had an unique experience of having two people looked at her "with complete lust and devotion, through the same pair of eyes", and send them all to the wild ride inside the famous and respectable actor John Malkovich's brain to see what he sees and to feel what he feels, to the trip that would last 15 minutes and end up in a ditch on the side of New Jersey Turnpike. This is just the beginning...Oh, and what John Horatio Malkovich feels with all the travelers in his head and what he sees when he enters the portal to his own brain, you have to find out for yourself! What drug were Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze on?! Not even two hours long, the movie never ceases to surprise and entertain. "Being John Malkovich" is a fascinating and truly original film which I love and always enjoy watching even if there were never a connection with any of its characters (with the exception of Abelard and Heloise and Elijah the Chimp).


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