196 user 110 critic

Body Double (1984)

1:27 | Trailer
A young actor's obsession with spying on a beautiful woman who lives nearby leads to a baffling series of events with drastic consequences.


Brian De Palma


Robert J. Avrech (screenplay), Brian De Palma (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2,604 ( 226)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

More Like This 

Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A mysterious blonde woman kills one of a psychiatrist's patients, and then goes after the high-class call girl who witnessed the murder.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen
Blow Out (1981)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A movie sound recordist accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow
Femme Fatale (2002)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A woman tries to straighten out her life, even as her past as a con-woman comes back to haunt her.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Rebecca Romijn, Antonio Banderas, Peter Coyote
Raising Cain (1992)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The oncologist wife of a prominent child psychologist suspects her husband has an unhealthy scientific obsession with their child, unaware of what - or who - is really going on inside his head.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: John Lithgow, Lolita Davidovich, Steven Bauer
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A disfigured composer sells his soul for the woman he loves so that she will perform his music. However, an evil record tycoon betrays him and steals his music to open his rock palace, The Paradise.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Paul Williams, William Finley, Jessica Harper
Obsession (1976)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A wealthy New Orleans businessman becomes obsessed with a young woman who resembles his wife.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Cliff Robertson, Geneviève Bujold, John Lithgow
Sisters (1972)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A fledgling Staten Island journalist witnesses a brutal murder in the neighboring apartment of a French-Canadian model, but the police do not believe that the crime took place. With the help of a private detective, she seeks out the truth.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Margot Kidder, Jennifer Salt, Charles Durning
The Fury (1978)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A former CIA agent uses the talents of a young psychic to help retrieve his telekinetic son from terrorists, who want to use his mental powers for evil.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Kirk Douglas, John Cassavetes, Carrie Snodgress
Snake Eyes (1998)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A shady police detective finds himself in the middle of a murder conspiracy at an important boxing match in an Atlantic City casino.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Gary Sinise, John Heard
Crime | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

During the Vietnam War, a soldier finds himself the outsider of his own squad when they unnecessarily kidnap a female villager.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Sean Penn, Don Harvey
Redacted (2007)
Crime | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The devastating reconstruction of the rape and murder of a 15-year-old Iraqi girl by American soldiers in Samarra in 2006.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Patrick Carroll, Rob Devaney, Izzy Diaz
Wise Guys (1986)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Harry Valentini and Moe Dickstein are both errand boys for the Mob. When they lose two hundred fifty thousand dollars, they are set up to kill each other. But they run off to Atlantic City, and comedy follows.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Danny DeVito, Joe Piscopo, Harvey Keitel


Cast overview, first billed only:
Craig Wasson ... Jake
Melanie Griffith ... Holly
Gregg Henry ... Sam
Deborah Shelton ... Gloria
Guy Boyd ... Jim McLean
Dennis Franz ... Rubin
David Haskell David Haskell ... Drama Teacher
Rebecca Stanley Rebecca Stanley ... Kimberly
Al Israel ... Corso
Douglas Warhit ... Video Salesman
B.J. Jones B.J. Jones ... Douglas
Russ Marin ... Frank
Lane Davies ... Billy
Barbara Crampton ... Carol
Larry Flash Jenkins ... Assistant Director (as Larry 'Flash' Jenkins)


Jake Scully comes home to find his girlfriend with another man and has to find a new place. In between his acting workshops and his job in a vampire B-movie, he scans the paper looking for anything. He happens to meet Sam Bouchard, a fellow actor who needs a house sitter. Both are pleased with the arrangement that will have Jake staying in the house and for a sweetener, Sam shows him his favorite neighbor, a well-built woman who strips with her window open each night. Jake becomes obsessed with meeting her and is able to help recover her purse from a thief, but shows his own phobia, he is incapacitated by claustrophobia when the thief runs through a tunnel. When Jake witnesses a murder, he finds out that the police love to pin crimes on peeping Toms. Jake discovers that here are just too many coincidences but must hunt them down himself without the police. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


You can't believe everything you see. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

26 October 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Body Double See more »


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,837,978, 28 October 1984

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo


Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Tatum O'Neal, Jamie Lee Curtis and Carrie Fisher all auditioned for the role of Holly, but turned it down. Brooke Shields was offered the role, but turned it down in order to study French Literature at Princeton. Linda Hamilton turned down the role in order to prepare for her role in The Terminator (1984). See more »


When Scully is chasing the Indian on the beach, the ship in the background jumps during the supposed same shot. See more »


Det. Jim McLean: Gloria Revelle was a rich lady. Very rich. When rich wives get dead, I usually go after the husband. The only problem is, you saw a thief. An Indian killed Gloria Revelle.
See more »

Alternate Versions

This film was passed uncut in 2000 in the UK when re-submitted to the BBFC. See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Slumber Party Massacre III (2017) See more »


The House is Burning
(video clip)
Performed by Vivabeat
Courtesy of Derek Khan Chang and Vivabeat
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

De Palma at his most subversive and satirical. Not for everyone.
30 January 2011 | by TheothervipSee all my reviews

Rating: ***1/2 out of 4.

Brian De Palma has had it with his critics and the rating's board. After the cuts that needed to be made to his masterpieces like DRESSED TO KILL and SCARFACE (which eventually got to be released in its intended format inconspicuously), the line is drawn. So naturally, he would make a movie about it. The result is BODY DOUBLE, a big thumb-in-the-nose to Hollywood conventions and 80's pop-culture. It's one-part Hitchcockian thriller and one-part satire, but its an all-around crazy movie.

If you despise De Palma, chances are you'd consider BODY DOUBLE as one of his worst. Here, De Palma doesn't give a damn if you get him or not. Here, he revels in who he is and what he wants. He also intentionally throws in the trashy 80's fad at the time, from a tacked in music video of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's one-hit wonder "Relax" to the voyeuristic obsession with porn, as the sufficient atmosphere (as well as a social critique) of the era. The story, which basically riffs VERTIGO and REAR WINDOW, has a B-movie actor named Jake Scully (Bill Maher look-alike Craig Wasson) who has a very bad day when first he gets fired from his only B-movie gig and later sees her girlfriend in bed with another man. Discouraged, he bumps into a friend named Sam Bouchard (Gregg Henry, the most noticeable "Hey, isn't he that guy?" character actor appearing in De Palma's films) who invites him to watch over his place; a campy-looking tower mansion that looks like it came out of an episode of LOST IN SPACE. While there, Sam introduces him to his "favorite neighbor", a beautiful woman named Glora Revelle (Deborah Shelton) who does a striptease in her bedroom, not knowing she's being watched. Every night, Jake would watch Gloria doing her routine like clockwork through a telescope, which is harmless perverted fun until he realizes that her life may be in danger; danger in the form of a weird-looking Indian(!) who's spying on her too.

It may take a lot of suspension of disbelief to understand the plot of BODY DOUBLE as it goes to even crazier heights. At first, it looks like the usual De Palma-as-Hitchcock thriller with some terrific sequences, then it turns into something out of a slasher film, then enters the sleazy world of 80's pornography where a young Melanie Griffith plays Holly Body, a porn star who may be a key to solving the crime. But when people realize that this is meant to be a thriller-cum-satirical comedy, they might enjoy it more. As usual, De Palma demonstrates his talents with staging mise-en-scene in sequences like when Jake stalks Gloria who is being stalked by the Indian (which is obviously borrowed from VERTIGO but is actually a little more voyeuristic in nature here) and there's the REAR WINDOW-inspired scene where Jake spies on Gloria while she's doing her striptease routine, backed up by a catchy score by Pino Donaggio.

Overall, it's not meant to be taken seriously. "It's only a movie!", Hitchcock once said to some of his difficult actors, and this movie screams that mantra. Wasson's character was meant to be a an average loser and his casting isn't just coincidence; he was meant to play the audience's surrogate. The film being set in Hollywood is another. And is it no wonder that the director that Dennis Franz plays is a direct copy of De Palma? BODY DOUBLE thumbs its nose at Hollywood and many pop-culture fads of the era, turning out to be both a sleazy re-working of Hitchcock's classics and a clever satire.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 196 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Recently Viewed