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Pacific Heights (1990)

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A couple work hard to renovate their dream house and become landlords to pay for it. Unfortunately, one of their tenants has plans of his own.

Director:

John Schlesinger

Writer:

Daniel Pyne
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Melanie Griffith ... Patty Palmer
Matthew Modine ... Drake Goodman
Michael Keaton ... Carter Hayes
Mako ... Toshio Watanabe
Nobu McCarthy ... Mira Watanabe
Laurie Metcalf ... Stephanie MacDonald
Carl Lumbly ... Lou Baker
Dorian Harewood ... Dennis Reed
Luca Bercovici ... Greg
Tippi Hedren ... Florence Peters
Sheila McCarthy ... Liz Hamilton
Guy Boyd ... Warning Cop
Jerry Hardin ... Bennett Fidlow
Dan Hedaya ... Loan Officer
James Staley ... District Attorney
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Storyline

A yuppie couple buy a large house in an exclusive San Fransisco neighborhood. They renovate it and plan to rent two apartments on the first floor to cover the costs. A prosperous looking man moves in but is not the ideal tenant. He never pays any rent, drives the other tenants away and systematically ruins the lives of his landlords. Written by Jim Sadur <jsadur@keyflux.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It seemed like the perfect house. He seemed like the perfect tenant. Until they asked him to leave. See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 September 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fremde Schatten See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,912,637, 30 September 1990, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$29,381,956

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$44,926,706
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Tippi Hedren cameos without dialogue as a wealthy older woman romanced by Michael Keaton. This makes a six degrees of separation circle: in Batman (1989), Keaton played the love interest of Kim Basinger; in Never Say Never Again (1983), Basinger played the love interest of Sir Sean Connery; and in Marnie (1964), Connery played the love interest of Hedren. Much more recently, in Fifty Shades Darker (2017), Basinger played an ex-lover of Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson's love interest in the same film. Johnson is the daughter of Melanie Griffith and granddaughter of Hedren. See more »

Goofs

Patty's last name is shown to be "Palmer" on her financial statement seen in Carter's briefcase, but the closing credits list her name as "Patty Parker" See more »

Quotes

Carter Hayes: [to Drake] You're very a brave and stupid man.
[Drake turned to Carter]
Carter Hayes: What are you doing, Drake? You can't come in here.
Drake Goodman: Listen, Carter. It's no big deal. I just want to go upstairs and see Patty, okay?
Carter Hayes: But you've broken the law, Drake.
Drake Goodman: Wait a minute.
[Carter shot Drake once and twice at his left arm. Hayes then plants a crowbar at the scene to prevent any criminal charges]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Melanie Griffith's character Patty Palmer is credited as Patty Parker in the credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 100 Scariest Movie Moments: Part I: 100-81 (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

HANDS ALL OVER
Written by Kim Thayil (as Ken Thayil) and Chris Cornell (as Christopher Cornell)
Performed by Soundgarden
Courtesy of A&M Records, Inc.
Copyright 1989 Loud Love Music (ASCAP)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Tenants are the curse of the propertied class
27 August 1999 | by DeeNine-2See all my reviews

This is a carefully programmed yuppie nightmare, something to titillate the emotions betwixt the sushi and the creme de mint, something to remind the upwardly mobile that you have to keep your guard up at all times because there are animals out there waiting to take it all away from you.

Clever plot premise: Yuppie couple, stylishly unmarried, possibly for tax purposes, buy a painted lady in the Pacific Heights district of San Francisco, a Victorian fixer upper for $750,000. It's the 1980's and everybody is getting rich in California real estate. They are now in yuppie heaven since there are two rentals on the property which take care of $2300 of the $3700 monthly mortgage, which leaves them responsible for only $1400, which is less then they were paying before, and now they have a huge tax write-off and hopefully an appreciating property. Of course they are margined to the gills, but what can go wrong?

How about the tenant from hell? Forget about your wild parties and your late-with-the-rent dead beats. This guy (Michael Keaton as a slimy, upper crust psycho genius) doesn't even pay the deposit. He just moves in, squats, and our yuppie couple is helpless to get rid of him since by law he now has possession. He changes the locks, cultivates big ugly oriental cockroaches, and pounds away at all hours of the night, and chases off the other tenant. Seems he has done this before. Seems it is an elaborate scam to gain total possession of the entire property. Next to go are the owners.

Naturally the cops and the law seem to work for him, not our adorable couple. (This is a little fictional reality to further excite the passions of the audience, call it poetic license, since we all know that the tenant/landlord laws in California are written by and for the propertied class, as they are anywhere else, as is only right.)

But this is a morality play. Could it be that our yuppies are undeserving of their wealth and are easy prey in the econ jungle because of their naiveté? Could be. But as this is a modern morality tale, you can be sure that the woman, played with worrisome lines under her eyes by the ever adorable Melanie Griffith, will turn the tables and kick some male butt despite the handicap of having a not too bright boyfriend, who is easily manipulated by our villain into some rather stupid male behavior that makes things worse for our heroine. Incidentally, he is played with such annoying exactitude by Matthew Modine that I can hear the rednecks in the audience screaming: "Die yuppie scum!"

It should be noticed that the adversary of the yuppies is not your standard ghetto dweller, but a wayward member of the upper class, a fitting adversary in this yuppie trial by fire.

I'll let you guess who wins.

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)


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