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Dead Ringers 1988

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4.4 out of 5 stars (29) IMDb 7.3/10
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A psychological thriller (based on a true story) in which Jeremy Irons plays both Elliot and Beverly Mantle, a pair of gynaecologist twins who have always shared everything - until Claire (Genevieve Bujold) walks into their clinic. Initially toying with her affections, sibling rivalry gradually increases until the two threaten to pull each other apart. Relatively restrained drama from horror director David Cronenberg, except for fantasy sequences involving bizarre gynaecological instruments.

Starring:
Barbara Gordon, David Hughes
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 51 minutes
Starring Barbara Gordon, David Hughes, Heidi Von Palleske, Jeremy Irons, Genevieve Bujold
Director David Cronenberg
Genres Thriller
Studio ITV STUDIOS HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 31 January 2000
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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!
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I assume any potential customer for this French BD is familiar with David Cronenberg's output and the story, more or less of this film. The film in question is one of Cronenbergs best ( I possess 16 of his feature length films on DVD & BD - so I have seen a fair number of his movies) and Jeremy Irons double performance as the Mantle twins is very good. But the main reason for review is to let Cronenberg fans know that the FRENCH SUBTITLES FOR THE FEATURE FILM ' CAN ' BE REMOVED and the film enjoyed in English. As for the extras there's a 57mimute portrait of David Cronenberg in English with removable French subtitles, short feature's in English with forced subtitles, and a useless ( to me) feature all in French without English subtitles. The picture quality of the main feature is good, an improvement on the existing DVD, recommended. MPC.
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Format: 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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I love Jeremy Irons and had heard good things about his dual role in this playing identical twin doctor brothers. Although the film is showing it's age so the quality isn't great it doesn't detract from the film itself. Jeremy Irons plays the twins, Beverly and Elliot brilliantly. His performance as the shy and sensitive Beverly who falls in love with a patient that has already been seduced and cast aside by his more confident brother Elliot. The films follows them as their lives slowly unravel ending in tragedy.
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Format: 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.
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