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Crimes of Passion (1984)

A mysterious woman, fashion designer by day and prostitute by night, is hounded by two men: a married father of two, and a sexually repressed preacher.

Director:

Ken Russell

Writer:

Barry Sandler
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Davison ... Donny Hopper
Gordon Hunt Gordon Hunt ... Group Leader
Dan Gerrity Dan Gerrity ... Group Member No.1
Terri Hoyos ... Group Member No.2
Vince McKewin ... Group Member No.3
Deanna Oliver Deanna Oliver ... Group Member No.4
Patricia Stevens ... Group Member No.5
John Laughlin ... Bobby Grady
Kathleen Turner ... Joanna Crane / China Blue
John G. Scanlon John G. Scanlon ... Carl
Anthony Perkins ... Peter Shayne
Janice Renney Janice Renney ... Stripper
Stephen Lee ... Jerry
Pat McNamara Pat McNamara ... Frank
Annie Potts ... Amy Grady
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Storyline

The thirty year-old hard-worker Bobby Grady is married with two children to the frigid Amy Grady and their marriage is in crisis. Bobby is invited to work the night shift at a fashion design studio whose owner believes his talented and introspective designer Joanna Crane is selling his designs to competitors. Bobby accepts the job to make money and please Amy with a bathtub and follows Joanna after hours. He discovers she has a double life, working as a fifty-dollar hooker called China Blue in the red light district and practicing kinky sex with her clients to satisfy their fantasies. Bobby becomes obsessed by China Blue and when the true thief is found, he has sex with her and they have a crush on each other. Meanwhile the insane preacher Rev. Peter Shayne (Anthony Perkins) decides to save Joanna's soul and stalks her everywhere. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Her name is China Blue. She is watched. She is worshipped. And, she must remain a mystery. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 October 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crimes of Passion See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,103,210, 21 October 1984, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,912,945
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut) | (censored)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White | Color (CFI)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Kathleen Turner was initially hesitant about Ken Russell's suggestion that she smear yogurt over her lips to simulate semen. She complied with his request but drew the line at gulping down an oyster to emulate swallowing ejaculate. See more »

Quotes

China: Uh, do you want some coffee?
Bobby Grady: No... I could, uh, use a shot of morphine, if you got it. Enough to kill the last twelve years.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Film was heavily cut in the US to avoid an X-rating. The European version, available as an unrated video in the USA, features additional sex scenes. See more »


Soundtracks

It's a Lovely Life
Music by Rick Wakeman
Lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Performed by Maggie Bell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Thought provoking and highly entertaining.
24 January 2005 | by Vancity_Film_FanaticSee all my reviews

It's no surprise that Ken Russell's ambitious psychosexual drama "Crimes of Passion" was not well received upon its initial release back in 1984. But to be fair, based on the heavy edits required to achieve an 'R' rating, it's hard to imagine the film having the same sort of effect as the un-rated director's cut. Explicitness is key to a film of this nature -- necessary for provoking audience reaction, but also for providing a raw layer of intensity to which the viewer can connect with. For example, the explicit dialogue in the bedroom confessional scene between Bobby & Amy Grady (equally fine performances from John Laughlin and Annie Potts) effectively captures the real disconnect present within so many relationships. On one hand there's a need and/or desire for sex as a means of fulfillment and expression of love, but on the other hand there are responsibilities associated with family life that may impede that desire, or in the case of the character of Amy Grady, a general lack of sexual desire is just part of her persona. Meanwhile this leaves her husband Bobby feeling discontented. The film asks then, just how important is sex? Is it an essential part of being happy? In stark contrast to the dynamic between Bobby & Amy Grady, is the character of China Blue/Joanna Crane -- played with absolute gusto by Kathleen Turner (giving one of the finest performances of her career). While her motives remain for the most part unclear, the character of China Blue appears to be using sex as a control mechanism. But what is it that she is trying to control? Through the use of some fairly explicit sex scenes it seems apparent that she enjoys the sex itself while also enjoying the anonymity and emotional disconnect involved with being a girl for hire. But is this feeling the result of her actual disdain for having that emotional connection, or is it a result of having been scarred by a past relationship? The power play argument is reinforced by seeing the Joanna Crane side of the character -- a highly successful undergarment designer with a cool car and a great apartment; someone who seems to have it all, yet wants to take her power one step further. This theory is drawn into question (of course!) when her path crosses with Bobby Grady; someone who seems to be able to offer her the entire package she secretly longs for. To complicate things further, there's the character of Rev. Peter Shayne (an Oscar worthy performance from Anthony Perkins); a man so distraught and shamed by his own inner demons that he seeks his own redemption through the course of offering to redeem China Blue. Throw in an enjoyably hypnotic yet cheesy & dated synthesizer score, and the usual striking visual imagery and religious allegory that Ken Russell is well known for, and the result is a thought provoking and highly entertaining film. Best recommended to those who don't mind being left with a lot of unanswered questions at the end, or who aren't easily offended – an 8/10, this film is destined to become a major classic and deserves repeated viewings.


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