Dead Ringers


1h 55m 1988

Brief Synopsis

Psychological drama loosely based on a true story about twin gynecologists who become involved with a famous actress, and develop a serious drug addiction.

Film Details

Also Known As
Faux-semblants
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1988
Distribution Company
20TH CENTURY FOX DISTRIBUTION/ASTRAL FILMS
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 55m

Synopsis

Psychological drama loosely based on a true story about twin gynecologists who become involved with a famous actress, and develop a serious drug addiction.

Crew

Jami Abell

Assistant

Scotty Allan

Gaffer

Dimitris Anapliotis

Other

Trysha Bakker

Wardrobe Assistant

Donato Baldasarra

Assistant

Randall Balsmeyer

Motion Control

John Bannister

Scenic Artist

Carol Baum

Executive Producer

John Board

Assistant Director

John Board

Associate Producer

Roger Bowden

Generator Operator

Deirdre Bowen

Casting

Marc Boyman

Producer

James F Breithaupt

Accountant

Howard Brenner

Driver

David Brown

Driver

Terry Burke

Foley Artist

Richard Cadger

Sound Editor

Carlo Campana

Key Grip

Jon Campfens

Other

John P Cassels

Production Assistant

Andrew Chatham

Assistant

Kirk Cheney

Construction Manager

Ane Christenson

Assistant Set Dresser

Ying Chung

Carpenter

Brian Clancy

Carpenter

Lesley Clark

Post-Production Assistant

Lesley Clark

Assistant

Cyndie Clayton

Assistant Director

Ron Coles

Driver

Arthur E Cooper

Assistant Camera Operator

Marijo Corcoran

Camera Trainee

Janet Cormak

Scenic Artist

Eva Coudouloux

Hair

Eva Coudouloux

Makeup

Robert Crone

Steadicam Operator

David Cronenberg

Screenplay

David Cronenberg

Producer

Denise Cronenberg

Costume Designer

Victoria Cseh

Sound Editor

Bryan Day

Sound

Homer Denison

Original Music

John Denniston

Camera Assistant

Casey Desnoo

Carpenter

Charlotte Disher

Production Assistant

Attila Dory

Photography

Nigel Draper

Electrician

Jay Duboisson

Wardrobe

Nancy Duggan

Wardrobe

Christopher Dutton

On-Set Dresser

Brian Eddols

Music

J. C. Edwards And Band

Carpenter

David Evans

Sound Editor

Joe Everett

Carpenter

Ted Fanyeck

Electrician

Alice Ferrier

Production Coordinator

Marta Fischer

Production Assistant

Danielle Fleury

Set Decorator

Brian Fowler

Carpenter

Bill Francis

Assistant

Chris Furniotis

Other

G John Furniotis

Other

George Furniotis

Other

Elinor Rose Galbraith

Set Decorator

Jon Garland

Electrician

John Gaskin

Accounting Assistant

Janet Gayford

Other

Jack Geasland

Book As Source Material

Chris Geggie

Props

David Giammarco

Assistant Editor

David Giammarco

Sound Editor

Brian Gibson

Scenic Artist

Brenda Gilles

Wardrobe Assistant

R Alan Gough

Producer

Lynn Gran

Craft Service

John Grierson

Camera Operator

Wayne Griffin

Sound Editor

Peter Grucza

Animator

Peter Grundy

Art Director

Duane Gullison

Generator Operator

David Hamayda

Carpenter

Celia Hamilton

Assistant

Pat Hanley-cumming

Wardrobe

Douglas Harlocker

Property Master

Jasper Haynes

Carpenter

Jacqui Hemingway

Production Assistant

Frances Hendry

Driver

Chris Hinton

Color Timer

Mitch Holmes

Best Boy Grip

Sara Holmes

Production

Ted Hunter

Art Department

Michael Iwan

Grip

Shonagh Jabour

Makeup

John C Jackson

Carpenter

Anthony Kadak

Location Assistant

Gregory Keen

Art Director

John Keenan

Carpenter

Murray R Keith

Assistant

Bernadette Kelly

Assistant Editor

Lynn Kelly

Assistant

Sean Kelly

Sound Editor

Judy Kemeny

Sound Editor

Jean Kerr

Other

Alicia Keywan

Art Director

Walter Klassen

Mechanical Special Effects

Al Kosonic

Driver

Neil Kredentser

Location Assistant

Simon Kwasniak

Carpenter

Gilbert Lacasse

Driver

Michael Lacroix

Boom Operator

John Laing

Sound Editor

Kevin Larstone

Assistant Director

Scot Laughton

Assistant

Peter Lavender

Casting

Gary Ledbetter

Electrician

Dick Lewzey

Music

Brian Lumley

Carpenter

Ivan Lynch

Hairdresser

Joe Madziak

Carpenter

Susan Maggi

Assistant Editor

Gabriella Martinelli

Production Manager

Gabriella Martinelli

Post-Production Supervisor

Rocco Matteo

Art Assistant

James Mcateer

Art Director

Jerome Mccann

Driver

Dan Mcgee

Carpenter

Heather Mcintosh

Production Auditor

Don Mcleod

Art Department

Michael J Meade

Set Decorator

Bruce H Meredith

Carpenter

Allan Meuse

Carpenter

Marvin Midwicki

Assistant Camera Operator

Laurie Mirsky

Assistant Director

Izadore K Musallam

Assistant Director

Andy Nelson

Sound

Vince Nyuli

Unit Location Manager

Jak Oliver

Scenic Artist

Richard Palin

Motion Control

Dr. Harvey Pasternak

Assistant

Don Payne

Grip

Thomas Pearce

Foreman

Alan Peppiatt

Rotoscope Animator

Don Percifield

Assistant

Suzana Peric

Music Editor

Dino Pigat

Adr

Donna Powell

Foley Artist

J L Quesenberry

Carpenter

Warren Quigley

Production Assistant

Marlene Rain

Props Buyer

Michael Rea

Assistant Editor

Malcolm Reid

Carpenter

Maxine Rennes

Hair Assistant

Margaret Roiphe

Other

Jacques Rophoz

Carpenter

Ted Ross

Assistant

Myles Roth

Carpenter

Dug Rotstein

Script Supervisor

Steven Sacrob

Driver

Wendie Saltarski

Accountant

Ted Samuels

Carpenter

Ronald Sanders

Editor

Lillian Sarafinchan

Location Manager

Cindy Scott

Accountant

Ian D Scott

Electrician

Howard Shore

Music

Howard Shore

Music Conductor

M A Simmons

Video Assist/Playback

Gordon Smith

Visual Effects Designer

Norman Snider

Screenplay

Al Snikkar

Carpenter

Don Snowdon

Rotoscope Animator

Teri Spasov

Accounting Assistant

Richard Spiegelman

Transportation Coordinator

Carol Spier

Production Designer

Danni Starbuck

Carpenter

Yasna Stefanovic

Art Assistant

Peter Suschitzky

Director Of Photography

Vlasta Svoboda

Art Director

Barbara Szablowski

Makeup Assistant

Sylvio Tabet

Executive Producer

Melanie Tanz

Casting

Peter Tarshis

Sound

Clive Thomasson

On-Set Dresser

Alexandra Thompson

Art Assistant

Andreas Trauttmansdorff

Camera Trainee

Steve Trevella

Carpenter

Sandra Tucker

Production Assistant

Sandra Tucker

Assistant

James H Veale

Foreman

Chris Radley Walters

Driver

Kenneth Watkins

Art Director

Steve Weslak

Associate Editor

Janet M West

Assistant

Ian Wheatley

Set Decorator

Don White

Sound

David J Willets

Electrician

Bill Wilson

Electrician

Lee Wilson

Digital Effects Supervisor

Arthur Winkler

Assistant

Bari Wood

Book As Source Material

Film Details

Also Known As
Faux-semblants
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1988
Distribution Company
20TH CENTURY FOX DISTRIBUTION/ASTRAL FILMS
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 55m

Articles

David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers on DVD


Canadian director David Cronenberg is famous for his thematic obsessions with damaged people and the visceral transmutations they experience. Small surprise, then, that in the wake of his commercially successful remake of The Fly (1986), wherein Cronenberg had a cameo as a gynecologist, he would tackle a story he'd remembered reading about in July of 1975 that dealt with the strange demise of identical twin gynecologists Stewart L. Marcus and Cyril C. Marcus, whose decayed bodies were found in their East 63rd Street apartment. The setting was certainly surreal, as Stewart's body was nude except for socks, Cyril was dressed in shorts, and the apartment was a mess, strewn with garbage and pharmaceuticals. Stewart apparently died several days before Cyril, and the cause of death was blamed on barbiturate withdrawal. This strange story launched a fictional novel, Twins, 1977, by Bari Wood and Jack Geasland. While Dead Ringers is "based on" this book the screenplay by Cronenberg and Norman Snider takes liberties that conform the material to meet the director's aesthetic for a film delving into existential horror and classic tragedy.

Cronenberg recalls when he first came across the story in Cronenberg on Cronenberg (edited by Chris Rodley): "I'd first heard about the Marcus twins through a blurb in the paper: 'Twin docs found dead in posh pad.' I thought they were making it up. It was too perfect - better than 'Two-toed man falls to death in bathtub,' another one of my favourites. Then every day I would read something else about these twin gynaecologists, until it became a huge subject, because it involved medical scandal and holding back evidence of malpractice. Eventually there was an article in Esquire called 'Dead Ringers,' a very good article." And one that would fortuitously provide the title to his own film when the Twins title was scuttled by the Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito comedy vehicle that was released that same year in 1988.

In Dead Ringers Jeremy Irons acts as both Beverly Mantle and Elliott Mantle (with "Mantel" a deliberate play on the word "mental"). The Mantle twins run a successful gynecology clinic and seem poised for even greater things, awards, and inventions, but this trajectory instead goes into a very different realm, one involving existential codependency muddied by sexual obsessions and drug addictions put in motion by their relationship to actress Claire Niveau (Genevieve Bujold). Given the riveting performance put in by Irons, it's hard to imagine how different things would have been had first choice Robert DeNiro taken the role (who declined because he would have preferred the twins be lawyers rather than gynecologists) or even second choice William Hurt (who declined because he felt he had enough trouble playing just one character). For B>Dead Ringers, the third time was most certainly the charm with Irons at the helm. He plays Elliott as more confident and cynical than Beverly, and in the commentary makes clear that he puts Beverly's energy center in his Adam's apple, while putting Elliott's energy center in his forehead. He also distinguished them by alternating where he placed his weight, on the balls of his feet for one, the heels for the other. Of course, the motion control camera that was developed by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg was crucial for the seamless integration of Irons' performances, but Cronenberg didn't go overboard with the effect, wanting to film Dead Ringers as he would any film with two actors. In all, there are only about ten shots where Irons actually shares the screen with himself, and otherwise the effect is accomplished with standard matching shots using a stand-in (played by John Bayliss). Irons' performance netted him the Best Actor award by the New York Film Critics Circle, but two years later when he got the Academy Award for his role as Claus von Bülow in Reversal of Fortune (1990) he thanked David Cronenberg in his acceptance speech because he knew his good fortune that night was helped by his memorable performance in Dead Ringers.

The Warner Bros. Pictures dvd release of Dead Ringers showcases the film in its American theatrical release widescreen ratio of 1.85:1, which is in contrast to how the Criterion Collection released it, with Tim Lucas explaining the difference in The Video Watchdog (issue No. 36): "The film was photographed full-frame and soft-matted for theatrical screenings at 1.85:1; Cronenberg has personally chosen 1.66:1 (actually 1.62) for this presentation." This explains why U.K. 35mm prints are available that show the film in 1.66:1 compared to U.S. matted prints, with the former providing the kind of added information along the top and bottom that help engulf the Mantel twins further into the many interiors they inhabit (there are very few exterior shots).

The Warner Bros. dvd has a running commentary on the film by Jeremy Irons, who can be heard lighting cigarettes and exhaling his words with an English accent that is both languid and commanding. Even when he doesn't have much to say the tone of his voice is mesmerizing and incentive alone to search out his reading of the novel Lolita on tape. Other special features include "Interviews with Cast and Crew" and a "Behind the Scenes" short (culled from similar sources, thus showing some overlap of material). Topping things off are a "Dead Ringers Psychological Profiler" which allows you to use the remote-control to "fill in" multiple choice questions of the tongue-in-cheek variety, and the original theatrical trailer.

For more information about Dead Ringers, visit Warner Video. To order Dead Ringers, go to TCM Shopping.

by Pablo Kjolseth
David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers On Dvd

David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers on DVD

Canadian director David Cronenberg is famous for his thematic obsessions with damaged people and the visceral transmutations they experience. Small surprise, then, that in the wake of his commercially successful remake of The Fly (1986), wherein Cronenberg had a cameo as a gynecologist, he would tackle a story he'd remembered reading about in July of 1975 that dealt with the strange demise of identical twin gynecologists Stewart L. Marcus and Cyril C. Marcus, whose decayed bodies were found in their East 63rd Street apartment. The setting was certainly surreal, as Stewart's body was nude except for socks, Cyril was dressed in shorts, and the apartment was a mess, strewn with garbage and pharmaceuticals. Stewart apparently died several days before Cyril, and the cause of death was blamed on barbiturate withdrawal. This strange story launched a fictional novel, Twins, 1977, by Bari Wood and Jack Geasland. While Dead Ringers is "based on" this book the screenplay by Cronenberg and Norman Snider takes liberties that conform the material to meet the director's aesthetic for a film delving into existential horror and classic tragedy. Cronenberg recalls when he first came across the story in Cronenberg on Cronenberg (edited by Chris Rodley): "I'd first heard about the Marcus twins through a blurb in the paper: 'Twin docs found dead in posh pad.' I thought they were making it up. It was too perfect - better than 'Two-toed man falls to death in bathtub,' another one of my favourites. Then every day I would read something else about these twin gynaecologists, until it became a huge subject, because it involved medical scandal and holding back evidence of malpractice. Eventually there was an article in Esquire called 'Dead Ringers,' a very good article." And one that would fortuitously provide the title to his own film when the Twins title was scuttled by the Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito comedy vehicle that was released that same year in 1988. In Dead Ringers Jeremy Irons acts as both Beverly Mantle and Elliott Mantle (with "Mantel" a deliberate play on the word "mental"). The Mantle twins run a successful gynecology clinic and seem poised for even greater things, awards, and inventions, but this trajectory instead goes into a very different realm, one involving existential codependency muddied by sexual obsessions and drug addictions put in motion by their relationship to actress Claire Niveau (Genevieve Bujold). Given the riveting performance put in by Irons, it's hard to imagine how different things would have been had first choice Robert DeNiro taken the role (who declined because he would have preferred the twins be lawyers rather than gynecologists) or even second choice William Hurt (who declined because he felt he had enough trouble playing just one character). For B>Dead Ringers, the third time was most certainly the charm with Irons at the helm. He plays Elliott as more confident and cynical than Beverly, and in the commentary makes clear that he puts Beverly's energy center in his Adam's apple, while putting Elliott's energy center in his forehead. He also distinguished them by alternating where he placed his weight, on the balls of his feet for one, the heels for the other. Of course, the motion control camera that was developed by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg was crucial for the seamless integration of Irons' performances, but Cronenberg didn't go overboard with the effect, wanting to film Dead Ringers as he would any film with two actors. In all, there are only about ten shots where Irons actually shares the screen with himself, and otherwise the effect is accomplished with standard matching shots using a stand-in (played by John Bayliss). Irons' performance netted him the Best Actor award by the New York Film Critics Circle, but two years later when he got the Academy Award for his role as Claus von Bülow in Reversal of Fortune (1990) he thanked David Cronenberg in his acceptance speech because he knew his good fortune that night was helped by his memorable performance in Dead Ringers. The Warner Bros. Pictures dvd release of Dead Ringers showcases the film in its American theatrical release widescreen ratio of 1.85:1, which is in contrast to how the Criterion Collection released it, with Tim Lucas explaining the difference in The Video Watchdog (issue No. 36): "The film was photographed full-frame and soft-matted for theatrical screenings at 1.85:1; Cronenberg has personally chosen 1.66:1 (actually 1.62) for this presentation." This explains why U.K. 35mm prints are available that show the film in 1.66:1 compared to U.S. matted prints, with the former providing the kind of added information along the top and bottom that help engulf the Mantel twins further into the many interiors they inhabit (there are very few exterior shots). The Warner Bros. dvd has a running commentary on the film by Jeremy Irons, who can be heard lighting cigarettes and exhaling his words with an English accent that is both languid and commanding. Even when he doesn't have much to say the tone of his voice is mesmerizing and incentive alone to search out his reading of the novel Lolita on tape. Other special features include "Interviews with Cast and Crew" and a "Behind the Scenes" short (culled from similar sources, thus showing some overlap of material). Topping things off are a "Dead Ringers Psychological Profiler" which allows you to use the remote-control to "fill in" multiple choice questions of the tongue-in-cheek variety, and the original theatrical trailer. For more information about Dead Ringers, visit Warner Video. To order Dead Ringers, go to TCM Shopping. by Pablo Kjolseth

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Fall September 23, 1988

Released in United States on Video April 20, 1989

Released in United States September 8, 1988

Released in United States September 15, 1988

Released in United States November 23, 1988

Released in United States January 1989

Released in United States February 1989

Shown at Toronto Festival of Festivals September 8, 1988. (World Premiere)

Shown at Boston Film Festival September 15, 1988.

Shown at London Film Festival November 23, 1988.

Shown at Avoriaz International Fantasy Film Festival in France January 1989.

Shown at Fantasporto Film Festival in Portugal February 1989.

David Cronenberg won the 1989 Best Director Golden Horse Award in Taiwan.

Began shooting February 1, 1988.

Completed shooting April 1988.

Released in United States on Video April 20, 1989

Released in United States September 8, 1988 (Shown at Toronto Festival of Festivals September 8, 1988. (World Premiere))

Released in United States September 15, 1988 (Shown at Boston Film Festival September 15, 1988.)

Released in United States November 23, 1988 (Shown at London Film Festival November 23, 1988.)

Released in United States January 1989 (Shown at Avoriaz International Fantasy Film Festival in France January 1989.)

Released in United States February 1989 (Shown at Fantasporto Film Festival in Portugal February 1989.)

Released in United States Fall September 23, 1988