26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cronenberg, Irons tour-de-force
'Dead Ringers' may indeed be David Cronenberg's best film. Jeremy Irons performance is truly extraordinary. As for not being able to tell the difference between the two brothers, I could sense immediately which brother was which by simple body language and how each brother carried himself. Which is a testiment to the subtlties of Iron's acting, that he could make you...
Published on 14 April 2004 by R Jess
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good film, poor DVD
If Cronenberg is your cup of tea, then you'll enjoy this, Jeremy Irons is excellent in the dual role of the identical twin gynaecologists, thanks to his performance and some filming tricks, it really seems like he's playing two seperate, if physically identical, characters.
However I feel I have to warn you that the DVD you'll be watching (from the Carlton...
Published on 11 Jan 2010 by Gwasgray
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cronenberg, Irons tour-de-force,
This review is from: Dead Ringers [VHS]  (VHS Tape)'Dead Ringers' may indeed be David Cronenberg's best film. Jeremy Irons performance is truly extraordinary. As for not being able to tell the difference between the two brothers, I could sense immediately which brother was which by simple body language and how each brother carried himself. Which is a testiment to the subtlties of Iron's acting, that he could make you believe he was two different people at the same time on screen. This belief was also helped by the amazing motion control camera sequences which allowed Irons to "act with himself" in the same frame. The clean perpendicular lines of the twins' appartment was especially chosen to make it easier to cut the film together.
Viewers should be warned beforehand that 'Dead Ringers' is not a horror movie, it's more of a psychological character study. The twin brothers have an unusual gendered relationship. Elliot as the suave unfeeling male who's "no good with the serious ones" and Beverly, with the girl's name, as the the sensitive, caring female. Soon they come to realize that they are one physical entity, forever separated as two physical beings.
In talking about the film Cronenberg has said that men have proven to be much more squeamish about this film than women as lying on the gynecological chair is an experience that many women have gone through. Yet many men have no idea what it's like. Cronenberg was fascinated by these doctors who knew more abaout their patients than their husbands did.
The only drawback about this whole project is that the marvellous soundtrack is not available anywhere!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good film, poor DVD,
This review is from: Dead Ringers [DVD]  (DVD)If Cronenberg is your cup of tea, then you'll enjoy this, Jeremy Irons is excellent in the dual role of the identical twin gynaecologists, thanks to his performance and some filming tricks, it really seems like he's playing two seperate, if physically identical, characters.
However I feel I have to warn you that the DVD you'll be watching (from the Carlton Silver Collection) is pretty lacklustre compared to what DVDs can be like now (not to mention Blu-Rays). It was produced early in the DVD era (2000 according to this site) and the low quality of this transfer will be more evident if you watch it on a large LCD or Plasma, you'd probably get better quality if you watched it on a Standard Definition TV channel. And the only extra is a trailer for other DVDs in the Carlton Silver Collection.
If you can ignore that, it's worth seeing if you like Cronenberg or Jeremy Irons, but if you want to buy this film on DVD do not bother with this low rent version, there's probably much better ones (there's also a Criterion Collection Edition), even if you have get one that's Region 1.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cronenberg's best work,
This review is from: Dead Ringers [DVD]  (DVD)Identical twin brothers Beverly and Elly Mantle are successful gynaecologists in Toronto. Their relationship is intense and very close - perhaps too close. The Mantles experiment with sex, drugs and personal identity, to the detriment of their practice, and ultimately of their psychological health.
This is a David Cronenberg film, so we are in the familiar realm of horror, mind games and perverted science. The director/producer/writer appears in the credits above the title and even ahead of his stars, Irons and Bujold. Essentially, the 'dead ringers' of the title are the brothers, who regard their mental and emotional oneness as being something more. They see themselves as siamese twins, bound by their flesh, and fated to share every experience, even unto death.
Irons does wonders to play two complex characters in one movie. A new technique called 'motion control' allows the actor to appear as two people in the same frame, but there is also plenty of the old 'body double' method, filming over a shoulder, then reversing the angle.
As teenage boys, the Mantle twins are clearly very bright, and display a precocious interest in surgery and women's reproductive apparatus. They are also creepy geeks. By the late 1980's they are handsome forty-somethings, and hailed as brilliant gynaecologists by everyone in the medical profession.
The screen actress Claire Niveau becomes Elliot's patient, and the brothers are soon sharing her. They frequently swap places without her knowledge. She has a unique uterus, and as Beverly (or is it Elliot?) explores this feature with his fingers, it is difficult to tell whether he is examining her or masturbating her. Before long, both brothers are doing both to Claire.
Elliot is a few minutes older than Beverly, microscopically taller and a nuance darker in colouring, but by nature he and 'baby brother' are utterly different. While Beverly is shy and diffident, Elliot is a callous, manipulative smoothie. When Claire, still unaware that she is sleeping with two men, expresses an interest in mild masochism, Beverly recoils but Elly enthusiastically obliges. He uses surgical tubes and clamps to tie Claire down for sex, and as he releases her after orgasm, we sense that for him the experience has been 'surgical' - almost a dispassionate experiment.
If Beverly is Jeckyll and Elliot is Hyde, we are always conscious that both personalities inhabit one awareness. "You haven't had any experience until I've had it too," Elliot tells Beverly, and the twins certainly seem to share everything, treating each other's patients (without telling the patients, of course) and working in tandem on research papers. The twins have a twin obsession in common - work and sex. Beverly sums it up with, "We do women - that's our speciality."
Identity is at the core of this film, and the dualities and ambiguities of personality recur with brain-teasing frequency. The twins are interested in female genitalia, both professionally and recreationally. Claire attracts them because of her dualities - she is a big personality who adopts other personas for her work: a strong woman who is turned on by being submissive: a gynaecological 'star' who happens to be infertile: and the French Canadian 'twin' to the English Canadian brothers. Elliot sleeps with two call-girls who are twin sisters, and identifies them by getting each to call him either 'Bev' or 'Elly'. The film has layer upon layer of these dualities. Genevieve Bujold is a French Canadian actress playing a French Canadian actress. We see her being made up for a movie, but when we see her left side, the make-up is of cuts and bruises. The Mantles prescribe drugs to each other, and each to himself, criss-crossing the doctor/patient demarcation lines. They take pills to cure their addiction to pills. Cary is having a relationship with Elliot, but when she gets both brothers at once, she is deeply aroused. The film, like the brothers, oscillates between oneness and separation. "I want to see you two together," says Claire, confused by their duality. So do we.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good psychological drama, Jeremy Irons steals the show,
This review is from: Dead Ringers [DVD]  (DVD)Typical Cronenberg film giving trademark Cronenberg feeling: original, intellectual, weird and mind-blowing. But soo slow and monotonous most of the time, but that's O.K. The film tells the self-destruction story of brilliant twins who grow up to be successful gynecologists Elliot and Beverly; the former is dominant, extrovert, controlled and ladies man; and the latter, more sensitive, shy and less sociable. The twins share virtually everything, from medical practices to women. But, the real story begins when a famous actress enters into twins life. After her, the equilibrium between the twins starts deteriorating, until both retreating into private disintegration and finally heading to own self-destruction.
I must say that the real treat of the film is Jeremy Irons, who delivers a standout performance in a dual role, succeeding to impersonate twins as substantially different people.
With its strong psychological elements, "Dead Ringers" is a kind of film that you will either love or hate, there is very little middle ground. Ideally suited for mature, patient, intelligent and attentive viewers. Just most Cronenberg films, it deserves a second viewing. The story is not that complicated with full of mysteries need to be untangled but there are lots of subtle details scattered throughout the movie that must be put together to see the whole picture clearer.
Last word about the product: Contrary to the movie, the DVD is just a "bare to bones" disc. Audio options and DVD transfer is poor, pictures are grainy, and of course it lacks any special features. What a shame... (3.8/5.0)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've often thought that there should be beauty contests for the insides of bodies.,
This review is from: Dead Ringers [DVD]  (DVD)Dead Ringers is directed by David Cronenberg who also co-adapts the screenplay with Norman Snider from the book "Twins" written by Bari Wood and Jack Geasland. It stars Jeremy Irons and Genevieve Bujold. Music is by Howard Shore and cinematography by Peter Suschitzky.
Identical twin gynaecologists Beverly and Elliott Mantle (Irons) run a high end fertility clinic in the city. Both in tune with each in spite of being different personalities, their world starts to fold inwards when Beverly falls in love with drug dependent actress Claire Niveau (Bujold).
Inspired by the real life story of gynaecologist twins Cyril and Steve Marcus (who were both found dead from suicide brought about by drug addiction), Dead Ringers is an amalgamation of unsettling horror and icy cold playfulness; in other words a perfect canvas for auteur Cronenberg to paint some of his peccadilloes.
Cronenberg doesn't need to be gory, gimmicky or schlocky, he instead utilises the characters on the page to spin a clinical character study. Themes pulsing throughout involve individuality, identity, misogyny, narcissism, eroticism and addiction, all played out in the mystical world of surgery and in-human metaphysics. The tempo never rises above a steady heart beat, rumbling along ominously, until we enter the home straight and the director delivers a devastating yet deeply moving conclusion.
Backed by a stunning dual performance from Irons, and a ballsy one from Bujold, Dead Ringers is a film of genuine greatness and a piece of work that's alive with smart ideas. 8.5/10
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead Ringers,
This review is from: Dead Ringers [DVD]  (DVD)Received in excellent order and an excellent film to brighten up the day, so thank you very much for the good service
5.0 out of 5 stars Irons steals the show..twice!,
This review is from: Dead Ringers [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)Arguably David Cronenberg's most accomplished film, save perhaps The Fly, sees Jeremy Irons give the performance, or rather performances, of his career as identical twins - two surgeons who struggle to co-exist together and yet cannot survive apart. Gripping, impacting, superbly made and played.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Twin Story...,
This review is from: Dead Ringers [DVD]  (DVD)David Cronenberg is far from being an easy Filmmaker. His Filmography since 1986 ( "The Fly" ) till 2007 ( "Eastern Promises" ) has been very irregular, heterogeneous and stage of controversy.
I remember 1991 "Naked Lunch" as one of the most hated (at least in Portugal), and 1996 "Crash" ( the most incredible and fascinating Paranoia I've ever seen ), an excellent Movie and a completely misunderstood one!
Although being suspicious, because for long years I've been fascinated by the darkest side of his cinematography, misunderstood or not, this man developed original and creative ideas giving birth to the most strange Movies some of them notable, whether People like them or not...
He has started in brilliantly with the genial "The Fly", one of the best Films ever made of this genre. Then, "Dead Ringers" in 1988, a very different, interesting and well structured idea, a psychological and physical experience with the brilliant performance of Jeremy Irons.
A Story about identical twin Gynecologists.
Since they were kids, they shared uncommon feelings concerning sexuality and grew up fascinated by women's reproductive system. Later, they developed a deep investigation on the subject and became famous. Along their Lives they've shared the same practice, same apartments, same women, everything except Personality!
Two different sensibilities, two different Minds!
Things went well until the day an Actress ( Geneviève Bujold ), a pacient they were studying, began sharing their Lives, and their Minds started taking opposite directions.
Sexual confusion and drug abuse drove them into Madness and into an inevitable collapse.
Of course the End is tragic, but no happy ending should fit in here! Because there's scientific evidence that identical twins can feel the pain of each other and the horrifying idea of being apart brings them great suffering...
Technically speaking the Film is perfect! So, considering Irons Acting and Cronenberg's Camera and Direction a very good Movie has been made.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Identical till death ensues,
This review is from: Dead Ringers [DVD]  (DVD)Cronenberg is the most surprising and shocking film director I know but he always deals with situations that are out of the ordinary and he pushes them to their extreme end or even beyond. In this film he explores the relation between two real twins who have perfectly identical routes in life to the point of becoming schizophrenic and wanting to get rid of the second half of their individual personality, which is the personality of the other. They become obsessed with separating the Siamese twins they are in a way and yet are not. This derangement develops all by itself and they discover that they cannot survive separately and as soon as one does something that the other does not do both of them are disturbed to the point of having to become morbid, death-obsessed, death-seeking, death-hungry and death-thirsty. Death becomes what they physiologically need, each one of them, and both of them, to survive by compensating the difference that has appeared in their relation. All that sounds crazy and is in fact just extremely natural, natural to the extreme. The death instinct, the other side of the libido, takes over when the slightest difference appears between them and is interpreted, unconsciously, subconsciously and even consciously, as a treason of their libido, or libidos, of their libidinous survival instinct. Their survival instinct calls their death instinct up to regulate the disruption and what has to happen happens: one kills the agreeing other and that one let himself die on the body of the one he has killed, the one who has died first. The supreme irony of that film is that these two identical twins are gynecologists by profession and they are giving birth to babies day after day, till they finally and mutually abort their own lives. Amazing. And what's worst in this picture is that it is realistically possible. Cronenberg here reveals the deep fear we feel in front of identical twins, a real vertigo, in Hitchcock's meaning of the word.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
6 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of Jeremy Iron's Finest Performances.,
By A Customer
This review is from: Dead Ringers [VHS]  (VHS Tape)One Of Jeremy Iron's Finest Performances (in my humble opinion and though so very different, it must rate along with that of Claus Von Bulow in Reversal Of Fortune). While not a Cronenberg devotee per se, I suppose I must admit without apology to being one of Jeremy Irons. It all started with Brideshead Revisited.............
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Dead Ringers [DVD]  by Jeremy Irons (DVD - 2000)
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