Great Watching: Dead Ringers (1988)

So something different for Monday morning, bloody great way to start the week, I’m bring back my movie posts, lucky everyone! Might be a little tooo intense for Monday really but what the hell! I think, I watch it the end of last month so it’s taken a while to put this post together. Watching sometime around Halloween, should have watch it on that night really because it’s a bit of a horror movie but maybe, it’s labeled more like psychological thriller? I was reminded about Dead Ringers by Elaine over at the mondomovies, here’s a link to her much better write-up! I’m going be having a lot of embedded clips and images about it below than writing so going over to Eliine’s blog to read all about it, she’s much better at telling you all about movies! I’m NOT really a film blogger, you know? I did do a couple of old ones earlier this year plus then did a new music doco a couple of months ago so if you count today’s that like four movies in ten months. Maybe, we’ll see if I’ll do anymore? I think, when doing those ones at the start of this year I was saying/trying to do once a month movie blog post so maybe, try bit harder to do that again or it might be a long time until the next one? So make the most of it because it could be the last one for a long time! For some reason have used a lot of images from movies for my posts lately: my yearly playlists, decade top 10’s and even a SOTD post but you could know that already? Anyway then I’ve watched again for second time on the weekend just gone so I guess it deserved a blog post just for that, re-watching it twice! What do you think? Have you seen Dead Ringers or NOT? I’m just pretending you’ve seen it but just in case you’ve NOT I should say SPOILER!

DR base facts are it’s starring Jeremy Irons as identical twin of Beverly and Elliot Mantle who are both work as gynecologists and also live together in the same apartment. David Cronenberg was the director, at this point he was coming hot after major success of The Fly re-make in 1986. When I was younger I loved all Cronenberg stuff but haven’t watch anything for ages. Oh no, I have been re-watching some of his movies lately. Will say some have age way better than others, maybe should blog about some more of his better ones? I think, I would agree with calling Dead Ringers his masterpiece!

I haven’t really watch all of Irons films he’s acted in. Here he’s playing the kind-of double lead and is some bloody wicked amazing acting. Off course back in the late 80’s having the same actor doing two leads was spilt screen nightmare for film making but Cronenberg used something new called “moving splits” employing latest computer technology and what I understand, his camera could work at same time as the characters walk and talk together. I was reading somewhere else after watching it, how Irons make his performs different for himself of the two twins: one he was played with his weight on the balls of his feet and the other one was played with his weight on his heel.

It’s director David Cronenberg (left) and topless Jeremy Irons (right) on the set of the film together!

Off course, no one would want a doctor like these in real life but that’s wants so great about movies, you know what can happen on the screen. Should say DR was based on a book called Twins, amazing NOT blasted across the opening credits was actually based on true story. Maybe too much was changed but that normally that doesn’t stops movies clamming it! Twins books was written by Bari Wood and Jack Geasland published in 1977 which was a fictionalized account of the true story of Stewart and Cyril Marcus who were twin-brother gynecologists and barbiturate addicts who were both found dead in their Manhattan apartment in 1975. Never read that book, it’s got some very bad reviews on the goodreads website, if you wanna know?

Sorry to anyone who thinks all of this is a bit much but this next bit could be way tooooo much? But I just had to google Dead Ringers’ surgical instruments or those “gynecological instruments for operating on mutant woman” and found close-up details of each of them and the drawing plans of each of them. I just have to included them in this post just below as works of art or something? I think, my most favorite scene of the whole movie is were Beverly is showing his plans to artist to get them made, the look on the artist’s face is his mind is blowing and says something like “I think we can arrange something.” Then seeing the scene a little later where he’s got them in an operating room ready to use them but the look on the assistants face is total terrifying then all hell breaks out plus finally cutting a bit later to when he steals them from the art gallery window display which is just pretty funny! Also did find tiny video about how they design them, embedded that after all these crazy images:

Off course, I’ve gotta included all the music of the movie in this post as the ending bit, maybe should have done this first being that’s it’s more music blog really. It has a very wonderful score done by Howard Shore, who’s most well-known now for Lord of Rings trilogy. It’s all on YouTube which I think, I did listen to on Halloween but embedding it here for anyone else who wants a listen?

One old song NOT on that soundtrack score album above which is in this movie was I’ll Remember (In the Still of the Night) as performed by The Five Satins of 1956. Fun fact this track was made famous again the year before in the blockbuster Dirty Dancing putting that into context DD was pretty lame/tame compared to DR plus the scene it was use it’s when Elliot’s girlfriend asks Beverly for a dance which they’re hoping for a threesome. So bloody funny, if you remember that fact they’re kind-of taking the piss out of the big 1987 Hollywood hit but then Bev falls over into unconscious. Even about this song: in 1989 teenage pop singer Debbie Gibson covered it for The Wonder Years TV show and then in 1991 pop group Boys II Men covered it as well plus then even more recently the original again was used in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman in 2019. I like to think it’s most well-known for Dead Ringers but most likely NOT the case:

BTW I did notices while doing this post a remake is in the works, staring Rachel Weisz but don’t know if that means she’s the lead as the twin-sisters so gender roles reversed? Could be a interesting twist already and it’s going to be a TV series for Amazon. Could be good, maybe even great but I think it’s only in very early in development stage with no production start date?

The DR movie poster!

Cheers! 🙂



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