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      The Fan

      R Released May 15, 1981 1 hr. 35 min. Mystery & Thriller List
      33% 18 Reviews Tomatometer 34% 1,000+ Ratings Audience Score Broadway star Sally (Lauren Bacall) is successful, famous and working on a new musical. But she's in love with ex-husband Jake (James Garner), and his absence creates a void in her life. Despite her loneliness, she doesn't reciprocate when a fan, Douglas (Michael Biehn), starts sending her letters. This angers the delusional admirer so much that he starts getting violent. With secretary Belle (Maureen Stapleton) and others caught up in the drama, Sally's career and well-being are jeopardized. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Apr 17 Buy Now

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      The Fan

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      Audience Reviews

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      Alec B Definitely better than its reputation. Besides the great cast it feels more honest than you'd expect this kind of thriller to be. Also a lot of the movie does seem genuinely subversive in retrospect. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/22/24 Full Review Blu B It really wasn't bad at all. Everything about it is half decent really. Beihn is solid and the best thing in this. Bacall isn't bad and gets better as it goes on but shes very boring and flat in the first half. Everyone else is just kind of ok especially Gardner who I forget is in it half the time. The title music is good but the rest is kind of forgettable and Bacall's singing is is a bit hit or miss with a lot of off key notes but she hits the low ones. The main issue is this feels like 2 different stories though. Sally's and Doug's never really work together and form one tight narrative. There interesting on there own but it doesn't really build that well save for the ending which was suprisingly good. This needed more of a cat and mouse with Bacall & Beihn to help tie the narrative together better. Along with a better soundtrack. Some of the shots are a bit boring but a lot are pretty good actually especially the end. If your a fan of any actors in this or a hardcore thriller fan than check this out. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 10/06/23 Full Review isla s This is a relatively tense and sinister film. The plot was quite well thought out and it reminded me of an episode of a TV series I really enjoy called Inside No9. The subject matter is certainly still very relevant these days (i.e. that of an obsessive fan) and in a way it was somewhat thought provoking. There is violence and some gore present, so its not ideal for anyone especially squeamish. Performance wise, Lauren Bacall does well as the celebrity. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member I've wanted to see 1981's The Fan for the longest time and finally it was shown on TV here in the UK (the channel Talking Pictures is amazing and never disappoints!) Sally Ross (Lauren Bacall) is an actress who is heading a Broadway musical. She is also the target of superfan and superstalker Douglas Breen (Michael Biehn) who professes his undying love for her in numerous letters that are intercepted and responded to by Ross' assistant who grows incresingly worried about the mental state of this particular fan. She even raises it was Ross who admonishes her for treating a fan badly. But then things go from bad to worse. Was the wait to see this film worth it? YES! There's so much to love about The Fan. Firstly, I found myself aghast at the cast. Not only do we get Bacall, Biehn and James Garner but also Hector Elizondo, Griffin Dunne and Dwight Schultz (from The A-Team!) We even get a non-speaking cameo from Charles Scorsese (father of Martin) in a theatre audience scene. The Fan doesn't skimp when it comes to the gritty and deranged nature of stalking which wasn't a crime or behaviour that had been discussed widely at that point yet. Although, the film was released a few months after Mark Chapman shot dead John Lennon outside The Dakota Building (where Bacall used to live spookily enough) and so stalking was set to enter the zeitgeist and prompt more conversations. Biehn is excellent as Douglas Breen with the scenes in which we see him at a typewriter professing his love for Ross in his typed letters reminding me of the telephone scenes from Prom Night- dimly lit, claustrophobic and scary as hell. In fact, Biehn is fantastic at turning from loving to psychotically menacing at a dime. He's perfectly cast. The film is also very gory that mirrors a lot of films that were bigger budget efforts but didn't skimp on the blood perhaps to tap into the demographic who were going to see slasher movies. In fact, there's an amazing scene in the New York subway in which you definitely get a Dressed To Kill vibe that apparently this film's producer Robert Stigwood had just seen. There's also a nod to Cruising with one scene involving the killer getting picked up in a gay bar and leaving for a tryst which takes place on a rooftop. Sex and death go hand in hand with this scene. What would Genet say?! I love the look of the film with it having a certain haze as if theres Vaseline on the camera lens. Another thing I loved about The Fan was that it's a great New York movie. This actually feels like a cleaner and more genteel vision of New York from that time. Maybe the filmmakers thought there was enough sleaze in the events taking part in the film without depicting the sleazier locales of the city as well.  And then there's the camp. Not only do we get divine creature Bacall gracing the role of Sally Ross but with the action revolving around her heading a Broadway musical, we get deliciously gay rehearsals and even get to see the finished product on opening night resplendent with a song that was subsequently nominated for a Razzie (a sure stamp of approval) that was written by Tim Rice. Hell, we even get Do The Dog by The Specials over one earlier scene in a record store. Talk about contrasts.  The Fan bombed at the box office on it's initial release and was derided by Bacall who hated how gory and violent it was. James Garner even said it was the worst film he ever made. Some reviews were fair but others were really bad (yes there's that Gene Siskel again). I love The Fan and feel that maybe audiences didn't fully engage as at that time stalking as a crime hadn't entered public consciousness yet. Remember, another film that dealt with stalking was The King of Comedy which was released the following year and also underperformed. Some films are way ahead of their time and judged very well by history with both films finding their audiences and being appreciated more now. One person online said that this would make a great double-bill with The Eyes of Laura Mars. That's very true. Both films are as camp as a row of pink tents but with gritty and genuinely disturbing scenes that reflect the slasher film sensibilities of the time.  Look out for the remarkable edition of The Fan on Blu ray on Scream Factory. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/19/23 Full Review Audience Member Solid cat and mouse thriller about a deranged fan. Yes it's been done a million times, but this was one of the first and Bien is great in it. It just kind of falls flat by the end. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 11/25/19 Full Review Audience Member This flick is under-rated and a victim of the era it was released in. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/29/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (18) Critics Reviews
      Gary Arnold Washington Post What started out as a taut thriller has somehow evolved into unintentional burlesque, with killer and victim functioning as a second-rate comedy team. Dec 21, 2015 Full Review Michael Bronski Gay Community News (Boston) The Fan is junk. Sep 9, 2022 Full Review Alan Jones Starburst There’s nothing more depressing in the cinema than a bad comedy and boy is this one a depressing experience. Jul 27, 2022 Full Review Joe Lipsett Bloody Disgusting Regardless of which way you want to look at it, though, this film is queer. A young man stalking an older star who is past her prime?...Throw in a...musical, replete with glittering, sequined costumes and go-go boys and you have a stock recipe for camp Feb 22, 2020 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy Many of the risible moments come courtesy of the scenes in which stage star Sally Ross (Bacall) is preparing for a new musical -- the glimpses we see of the kitschy show designate it as the unholy lovechild between 1980's Xanadu and 1983's Staying Alive. Rated: 1.5/4 Nov 30, 2019 Full Review Pat Padua Spectrum Culture As Douglas closes in on his Broadway prey, The Fan ramps up the horror movie tropes just as it ramps up the Broadway schmaltz of the finished show. Aug 31, 2018 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Broadway star Sally (Lauren Bacall) is successful, famous and working on a new musical. But she's in love with ex-husband Jake (James Garner), and his absence creates a void in her life. Despite her loneliness, she doesn't reciprocate when a fan, Douglas (Michael Biehn), starts sending her letters. This angers the delusional admirer so much that he starts getting violent. With secretary Belle (Maureen Stapleton) and others caught up in the drama, Sally's career and well-being are jeopardized.
      Director
      Ed Bianchi
      Distributor
      Paramount Pictures
      Production Co
      Paramount
      Rating
      R
      Genre
      Mystery & Thriller
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      May 15, 1981, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Apr 19, 2016
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