February 26th, 1988



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In a hotel room in Paris, a doctor comes out of the shower and finds that his wife has disappeared. He soon finds himself caught up in a world of intrigue, espionage, gangsters, drugs and murder.

Release Year: 1988

Rating: 6.8/10 (22,323 voted)

Director: Roman Polanski

Stars: Harrison Ford, Betty Buckley, Emmanuelle Seigner

A doctor and his wife go to Paris for a medical conference. While showering, his wife disappears. His lack of language, and the odd way she disappeared makes it nearly impossible for him to find any official help in his search as he enters the punk/drug culture to find out what has happened to her.

Writers: Roman Polanski, Gérard Brach

Harrison Ford - Dr. Richard Walker
Betty Buckley - Sondra Walker
Emmanuelle Seigner - Michelle
Djiby Soumare - Taxi Driver
Dominique Virton - Desk Clerk
Gérard Klein - Gaillard
Stéphane D'Audeville - Bellboy
Laurent Spielvogel - Hall Porter
Alain Doutey - Hall Porter
Jacques Ciron - Le Grand Hotel Manager
Roch Leibovici - Bellboy 2
Louise Vincent - Tourist
Patrice Melennec - Hotel Detective Le Grand Hotel
Ella Jaroszewicz - Restroom Attendant
Joëlle Lagneau - Florist

Taglines: They've taken his wife. Now he's taking action.

Release Date: 26 February 1988

Filming Locations: Lady Liberty Statue, Allée des Cygnes, Paris 16, Paris, France

Box Office Details

Budget: $20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $4,359,424 (USA) (26 February 1988)

Gross: $17,637,950 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Cameo: [Witold Sobocinski] the Polish cinematographer makes a brief cameo in the early bar scene where Harrison Ford is asking about his wife (23rd minute). Sobocinski sits to the far right of the frame.

Continuity: The level of beer in Walkers bottle in the scene in the bar with the drug dealer changes from nearly full to half between shots.

Richard Walker: Who were the two guys in her apartment?
Douglas Shaap: Probably our side.
Richard Walker: Our side? Your side!

User Review

Underrated, brilliant masterpiece!

Rating: 10/10

I really don't understand how this movie could have such a low score at this site. Perhaps the European atmosphere doesn't appeal as much to Americans as it does to Europeans.....just like most french top-films never made it to the US.

Nevertheless, Roman Polanski is terribly underrated as a master of suspence. In fact, looking back at Hitchcock's movies (which is unfair, since they've been made in a completely different era) I don't think he ever made movies written this well.

For some reason most of the time film making starts with putting the director together with some of the best or most popular actors of that period. But this one certainly doesn't.... It shows that Polanski wrote this himself, with his close friend and film-writing-partner, because he really knows what this story is about - he knows where to be funny, where to make it tense, where to make things kind of 'sensual'.

The weird thing is, that looking at all the things that happen in this movie, it's still so relatively shot, and doesn't feel at all too paced, or rushed. No, it rather feels like you are watching a 4 hour movie.

Anyway, those who have ever lost track of someone (for a short moment) in a strange, big city or those who have ever tried to find out something in France, will know and recognize exactly what Harrison Ford's character is going through - people not taking you seriously, people who don't care, people who refuse (or aren't able) to help you in your own language. All these things are put in this movie, so well, that -at least for me- it is really very realistic.

Most writers and directors nowadays seem to ruin most great movies/thrillers by not being able to make a good ending to the developing story. At one point our main character has got to find out what is happening....and how to do that, without taking away the suspence is incredibly difficult. Roman Polanski has done this very well, by not making this story too complicated and slowly unraveling a -looking back- simple mistery. There is no need to glue parts of the story together to make it all fit, or just skip parts to make it easier for him/you.

No, this is the first movie I've seen where when someone looses his shoes on a roof, he has to walk barefoot the next day. Most movies just ignore these little facts, but Roman makes it always difficult for himself in order to make it more easy (or, more easy to believe) for us.

There are no things that make me wonder 'how this is possible' - no, if you are a well known surgeon, many other surgeons from all over the world will know you. And if you will go to a convention in Paris, it's not at all unrealistic that you will run into a few of your friends...even when it's such a big city. Having problems with luggage when you're flying, isn't unrealistic too...nor is the story of this movie, the reason why what happened, happened.

Although I've never understood why our friend wanted his own wife back, instead of staying with the beautifull french girl ;) Again, that's what most people would do in real life....



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