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Raising Cain (Widescreen)

John Lithgow , Lolita Davidovich , Brian De Palma    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
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Product Description


In this wicked thriller from 1992, director Brian De Palma shamelessly borrows from Alfred Hitchcock (as usual) and several other filmmakers to create a shock-a-thon that plays like a film buff's highlight reel from a dozen different thrillers. Taken on those terms it's a lot of fun to watch (though not for the faint-hearted), and multiple maniac roles for John Lithgow make it an irresistible shocker that isn't afraid to wallow in its own excess. Lithgow not only plays the evil Dr. Carter Nix, who is performing strange experiments on children, but he also plays the doctor's twin sons, Josh and Cain, who kidnap kids and bring them to their father's laboratory. Lolita Davidovich is a mother whose child has been abducted, but she won't give up without a fight. If this sounds repulsive, rest assured that De Palma focuses on the battle between the mother and the nefarious twins (this isn't a film about gratuitous child abuse), and film students will delight in the allusions to Hitchcock, Michael Powell's Peeping Tom, and Orson Welles's Touch of Evil, among others. It never makes much sense or adds up to anything truly satisfying, but thanks to Lithgow's wild performances Raising Cain is the kind of over-the-top thriller that grabs you for 95 minutes and holds you in its entertaining grip. --Jeff Shannon

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb ! Dec 9 2003
By A Customer
One of my favourite DePalma movies - this is an incredibly contrived but hugely enjoyable thriller with some fantastic fluid camerawork from Stephen Burum and a tremendous score from DePalma regular Pino Donnagio.
John Lithgow delivers a towering performance (or is that performances?) that holds the attention right through the film.
Top stuff. A definite keeper.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Over-the-top Or Not, LITHGOW ROCKS! April 11 2003
By A Customer
Alright, look. So many people say that this is DePalma's worst. Okay, fine. Who cares. Apparently it meant enough to you to spend your time writing a review. The bottom line is this is a cool movie. To say that this is a Psycho rip-off, is to single it out from the dozens of other films that have stolen from Hitchcock. Everybody steals from everybody. When something works, you use it. You make it your own. Get over it.
Norman Bates and Carter Nix comparison: both have a female multiple who has them wearing a dress and both dump bodies in a lake. That's it. Otherwise, they're nothing alike. A split personality is a good ailment to pair with murderous tendencies. Hollywood latches on to a lot of lame ideas that didn't work from the getgo, but this one they got right. And if nothing else, it has John Lithgow giving one of the finest performances in his career and people need to recognize that. Quite a stretch from Third Rock From the Sun, eh? Range is everything.
I was confused by the dream sequences and continue to wonder exactly how Lolita Davidovich got from Steven Bauer's hotel room back to her and Carter's home if her car ride was a dream. Bizarre, yes. Bad, no. Deserves to be seen becasue Lithgow is amazing to watch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars More Good Fun from a true Movie-Loving Director Nov. 28 2002
Those who expect movies to teach moral lessons ought to stay away from most of the work of De Palma (with the weird exception of "Untouchables" which the moral lesson-types will enjoy until the very last scene, when the real De Palma has the last laugh, indicating that the entire "moral drama" of the picture has been a big joke!). For those who enjoy giving themselves over to De Palma when he is at his most inspired with in-jokes, absurdly brilliant cameras moves, and bravura scares, this is a total gem. One of De Palma's best for those with a sense of humor!
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4.0 out of 5 stars John Lithgow Nov. 8 2002
By Pete K
Lithgow's performance is the reason to own this film. Classic. I also reccommend purchasing "Riccochet" to see Lithgow spit out some of the best one-liners in movie history. Yes, movie history! This guy is/was awesome as a bad guy.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Confusing, silly, and unbelievable Oct. 29 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I agree with the review below by Steven that says this is the worst Brian DePalma film ever. The plot is completely ridiculous. The cinametography is distracting and takes away from what's going on. And the action isn't really all that much fun to watch. It's just gory and boring.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Flashy thriller, not for the faint-hearted June 13 2002
A disturbed psychologist (John Lithgow) begins to demonstrate symptoms of apparent multiple personalities after his adulterous wife (Lolita Davidovich) stumbles on his plans to kidnap a number of children and recreate the horrific experiments of his equally deranged father...
Following the excesses of his Vietnam blockbuster "Casualties of War" (1989) - unfairly overshadowed by the simultaneous theatrical release of Oliver Stone's "Born on the Fourth of July" (1989) - and the commercial misfire of "The Bonfire of the Vanities" (1990), director Brian De Palma opted for a brief return to the kind of small-scale movies which had established his reputation in the 1970's. "Raising Cain" (1992) is an intimate, character-driven thriller which allows the director to indulge his penchant for visual dexterity on a grand scale. A masterpiece of camerawork (Stephen H. Burum) and editing (Paul Hirsch, Bonnie Koehler, Robert Dalva), De Palma's own script takes a potentially distasteful subject (the emotional abuse of children) and neatly circumvents audience discomfort by telling his convoluted story via a seies of increasingly skilful set-pieces, each of which contains either a visual twist, a jump-through-the-roof shock, or a nerve-shredding escalation of narrative suspense. Lithgow anchors proceedings in a number of roles, each distinct from one another and brilliantly executed, and Davidovich is every bit his equal as the tormented wife who falls prey to his twisted psychology, while veteran stage actress Frances Sternhagen almost steals the show as a terminally ill psychologist who unlocks the secret of Lithgow's personality disorder, with devastating consequences. The film also co-stars Steven Bauer ("Scarface") and Mel Harris (TV's 'thirtysomething'), both excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars OMG! March 28 2002
My friend, Amanda was on this movie! She played Cain's Daughter!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Modern version of Psycho March 6 2002
This is an interesting film brought to us by Brian DePalma. It's obvious that this is his worst film compared to his other masterpieces. I thought that some things in this were ripped off of the movie Psycho - The car in the swamp, man dressed as a woman & the music. It was also put together in a very strange way. There are too many dream sequences that may confuse some. If you want to see a true DePalma film, see Carrie, Blow Out or Carlito's Way.
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