7.7/10
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104 user 93 critic

Three Identical Strangers (2018)

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In 1980 New York, three young men who were all adopted meet each other and find out they're triplets who were separated at birth. But their quest to find out why turns into a bizarre and sinister mystery.

Director:

Tim Wardle
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Popularity
1,789 ( 32)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 11 wins & 44 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Shafran Robert Shafran ... Himself (as Bobby Shafran)
Michael Domnitz Michael Domnitz ... Himself
Howard Schneider Howard Schneider ... Himself
Ellen Cervone Ellen Cervone ... Herself
Alan Luchs Alan Luchs ... Himself
David Kellman David Kellman ... Himself
Hedy Page Hedy Page ... Herself
Alice Shafran Alice Shafran ... Herself
Elliott Galland Elliott Galland ... Himself
Eddy Galland Eddy Galland ... Himself (archive footage)
Richard Kellman Richard Kellman ... Himself (archive footage)
Justine Wise Polier Justine Wise Polier ... Herself (archive footage)
Mort Shafran Mort Shafran ... Himself
Ilene Shafran Ilene Shafran ... Herself
Janet Kellman Janet Kellman ... Herself
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Storyline

New York, 1980: three complete strangers accidentally discover that they are identical triplets, separated at birth. The 19-year-olds' joyous reunion catapults them to international fame, but it also unlocks an extraordinary and disturbing secret that goes beyond their own lives - and could transform our understanding of human nature forever.

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Taglines:

The Most Amazing, Incredible, Remarkable True Story Ever Told


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some mature thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 November 2018 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Three Identical Strangers See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$171,503, 1 July 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$12,320,845, 18 October 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RAW See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie that the triplets had a cameo in is Desperately Seeking Susan (1985). See more »

Goofs

The Volvo used in the initial sequences was a later model year (from the 80's) than the actual year (in the 70's). See more »

Quotes

Robert Shafran: When I tell people my story, they don't believe it. I guess I wouldn't believe the story if someone else were telling it, but , I'm telling it and it's true, every word of it.
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Connections

Features Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Since You Been Gone
Written by Russ Ballard
Performed by Rainbow
Published by Union Square Music Songs Ltd., a BMG Company
Courtesy of Polydor Records (US)
Under license from Universal Music Operations Ltd.
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User Reviews

An emotional roller-coaster with some questions left lingering
13 July 2018 | by gortxSee all my reviews

Stories about Twins (and other pairs of siblings) separated at birth aren't all that uncommon - but, triplets? Director Tim Wardle takes that rare occurrence and runs with it in the breathless and highly entertaining first section of his Documentary THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS. Wardle also cleverly edits his footage (including the interviews) in order to preserve as many surprises about the secrets and lies to come later in the movie. Some might argue that Wardle's technique is a bit of cheat, but, for those who enter without knowing the full story it enhances the viewing, even if it does cause some issues later on.

The story is told quite sequentially, and, again, that is in service of providing more drama as the Doc unfolds. Because the events go back to the 60s, many of the participants aren't around any longer to speak for themselves. Still, Wardle and his team managed to assemble a good cross-section of survivors to go on the record. Because the story was such a cause celebre in the early 80s (and in the NYC area to boot) we are also able to see a decent amount of historical footage of the triplets and their rise to fame including trips to the Today show, Donahue and a brief cameo in Susan Seidelman's DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN (supposedly at the behest of star Madonna). Some fairly minor dramatic re-enactments are also employed, and aren't distracting (Wardle also maintains the proper aspect ratio in much of the vintage footage - to his credit).

As the true tale turns darker, a few issues with the filmmaking arrive. I won't delve into spoilers (I avoided them myself in order for the Doc to have maximum impact), but, the old Nurture vs. Nature debate becomes a key point of contention - as it does with all of these 'separated at birth' cases. Because of the way Wardle structures his editing, we mostly get the 'Nature' perspective until very late in the process. Further, a major cache of evidence is dropped in at the very last moment, and isn't sufficiently analyzed. It's understood that after five years in the making, Wardle, Raw, Neon and other production entities wanted to get their movie done and released, but one can't help but feel the editing was wrapped up in order to get a prized Sundance Film Festival spot. Wardle also includes a couple of curious montages repeating what we've seen earlier as if he had an eye on TV showings (CNN is set to show it). But, these problems pale compared to Wardle's casting a light on some highly unethical behavior that effected the triplets' lives.

These relatively minor issues aside, THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS again shows why there is a bit of Documentary boom going on. In a cinema dominated by Superhero and Animated flicks, there is a yearning among some adults for movies of substance and reality. STRANGERS is a true emotional roller-coaster.


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