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Boxing Helena (1993)

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1:41 | Trailer
A surgeon becomes obsessed with the seductive woman he once was in an affair with. Refusing to accept that she has moved on, he amputates her limbs and holds her captive in his mansion.

Director:

Jennifer Lynch (as Jennifer Chambers Lynch)

Writers:

Philippe Caland (story), Jennifer Lynch (screenplay) (as Jennifer Chambers Lynch)
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Popularity
3,830 ( 1,897)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julian Sands ... Dr. Nick Cavanaugh
Sherilyn Fenn ... Helena
Bill Paxton ... Ray O'Malley
Kurtwood Smith ... Dr. Alan Harrison
Art Garfunkel ... Dr. Lawrence Augustine
Betsy Clark Betsy Clark ... Anne Garrett
Nicolette Scorsese ... Fantasy Lover / Nurse
Meg Register Meg Register ... Marion Cavanaugh
Bryan Smith Bryan Smith ... Russell
Marla Levine Marla Levine ... Patricia
Kim Lentz Kim Lentz ... Nurse Diane
Lloyd T. Williams Lloyd T. Williams ... Sam the Clerk
Carl Mazzocone Sr. ... Pastor
Erik Shoaff Erik Shoaff ... Uncle Charlie
Lisa Oz Lisa Oz ... Flower Shop Girl
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Storyline

A top surgeon is besotted with a beautiful woman who once ditched him. Unable to come to terms with life without her, he tries to convince her that they need each other. She has other ideas, but an horrific accident leaves her at his mercy. The plot is bizarre and perhaps sick at times, ending abruptly and with a twist. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A deep, dark obsession that bares a woman's body and a man's soul. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R on appeal for two scenes of strong sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 September 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Boxing Hanna See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$787,724, 6 September 1993

Gross USA:

$1,796,389

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,796,389
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mainline Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the release in the U.S., Jennifer Lynch was forced to cut about 30 seconds of sex from the version that was being screened in Europe in order to get an R rating from the MPAA. See more »

Goofs

Helena's black dress changes specifically when she is walking through the fountain in her undergarments, as it is impossible for the black dress she wears in all other scenes of Nick's party to conceal the particular underclothing. See more »

Quotes

Russell: [watching Helena bathe in the fountain] Who is she?
Doctor Nick Cavanaugh: [mesmerized] She's... Helena.
See more »

Alternate Versions

"Boxing Helena" was originally rated "NC-17" by the MPAA. The DVD contains 1 minute of sexually explicit footage that had to be cut for the "R" rating. The cut footage in the UNRATED DVD version is as follows:
  • When Nick fantasizes about Helena and Ray having sex we see a shot of most of Helena's butt in her thong underwear; Helena removing Ray's pants where we see part of his bare butt; Ray kissing up Helena's body where we see one of her breasts; and finally one last shot that shows Helena's breasts very briefly.
  • During Nick's sex scene with the fantasy woman while Helena watches, extra footage includes a scene with Nick behind the woman, then a shot of him thrusting into her, followed by several views of the woman's bare breasts.
See more »


Soundtracks

O MIO BABBINO CARO
Performed by Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra
Written by Giacomo Puccini
Courtesy of Sony Classical
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

Positive review
22 July 2003 | by emma_larkinSee all my reviews

This is an hypnotic, powerful tale of obsession and eroticism. Sherilyn Fenn is wonderful as Helena and gives a performance way beyond the cherry-sucking antics of Twin Peaks. Despite the torture inflicted on Helena, Fenn's portrayal never allows you to feel abject horror, as her Helena remains caustic, tough and impossible to break throughout the film. Julian Sands is good, although he maybe over-eggs the pudding a bit in some of the more gruelling scenes. The first sight of Helena propped up in bed without legs is never forgotten and the special effects make her amputations incredibly realistic. It's just a shame that the ending is such an appalling cop-out, sanitised for viewers who couldn't accept that love and need can blossom in the sickest of circumstances. In fact, I felt tears of frustration well up at the ending because I felt so cheated! If only it had been braver, this would have been a film of groundbreaking proportions. Fenn is great though and acts the hell out of Kim Basinger, the original choice. Watch it but don't build yourself up for the ending.


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