6.0/10
1,438
28 user 23 critic

Liebestraum (1991)

Trailer
1:43 | Trailer
The successful writer and professor of architecture Nick Kaminsky returns from New York to Elderstown to visit his biological mother Lillian Anderson Munnsen that is terminal. Nick does not... See full summary »

Director:

Mike Figgis

Writer:

Mike Figgis
Reviews

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Anderson ... Nick Kaminsky
Pamela Gidley ... Jane Kessler
Bill Pullman ... Paul Kessler
Kim Novak ... Lillian Anderson Munnsen
Graham Beckel ... Sheriff Pete Ricker
Zach Grenier ... Barnard Ralston IV
Thomas Kopache ... Dr. Parker
Anne Lange Anne Lange ... Nurse #1
Jack Wallace ... Mike
Max Perlich ... Orderly #1
Catherine Hicks ... Mary Parker
Taina Elg ... Old Mother Ralston
Tom McDermott ... Night Porter
Joseph McKenna Joseph McKenna ... Day Clerk
Hugh Hurd Hugh Hurd ... Orderly #2
Learn more

More Like This 

The Children (1990)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Rose Sellars (Kim Novak) is a middle-aged woman who falls in love with a widower (Sir Ben Kingsley). However, his children believe that their father is too old to start a new relationship.

Director: Tony Palmer
Stars: Ben Kingsley, Kim Novak, Siri Neal
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director: Mike Figgis
Stars: Sara Baras, Elena Camunez Andújar, Eva Yerbabuena
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An Internal Affairs agent becomes obsessed with bringing down a cop who has managed to maintain a spotless reputation despite being involved in a web of corruption.

Director: Mike Figgis
Stars: Richard Gere, Andy Garcia, Nancy Travis
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A British car racer meets a suicidal woman while in Istanbul for the Gumball Rally.

Director: Mike Figgis
Stars: Rosey Chan, Daniel Lapaine, Sophie Winkleman
Miss Julie (1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A footman seduces a count's daughter.

Director: Mike Figgis
Stars: Saffron Burrows, Peter Mullan, Maria Doyle Kennedy
Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A cinematographic adaptation of the dance performance by Ann Van den Broek.

Director: Mike Figgis
Stars: Sura Dohnke, Frauke Marien, Cecilia Moisio
Co/Ma (2004)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

19 filmmakers from ten european countries selected by Mike Figgis for a Masterclass by the European Film Academy come to Slovenia in a challenging mission: to conceive, shoot, complete a ... See full summary »

Directors: Jovan Arsenic, Mike Figgis, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Aleksandra Balmazovic, Aljosa Kovacic, Thekla Reuten
Stormy Monday (1988)
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A crooked American businessman tries to push the shady influential owner of a nightclub in Newcastle, England to sell him the club. The club's new employee and the American's ex lover fall in love and inadvertently stir the pot.

Director: Mike Figgis
Stars: Melanie Griffith, Tommy Lee Jones, Sting
Hotel (2001)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

A prostitute, a hired killer, and a movie crew cross paths in a Venice hotel where human meat is on the menu in this freewheeling film.

Director: Mike Figgis
Stars: Max Beesley, Saffron Burrows, Rhys Ifans
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

On the verge of forced resignation, a strict old-fashioned teacher rethinks his life.

Director: Mike Figgis
Stars: Albert Finney, Greta Scacchi, Matthew Modine
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Set in the wake of the 1916 Easter Rising, a married woman in a small Irish village has an affair with a troubled British officer.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Trevor Howard, John Mills
Straight Time (1978)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After being released on parole, a career burglar assaults his former probation officer, returns to a life of crime, and goes on the run.

Directors: Ulu Grosbard, Dustin Hoffman
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Theresa Russell, Gary Busey
Edit

Storyline

The successful writer and professor of architecture Nick Kaminsky returns from New York to Elderstown to visit his biological mother Lillian Anderson Munnsen that is terminal. Nick does not know Lilian since he was adopted when he was a child but he pays the bill for her to stay in a private room in the hospital. While walking on the street, Nick stumbles upon his former college friend Paul Kessler, who is demolishing with his team an old department store building where a murder and a suicide happened many years ago. While talking to Paul, there is an accident and Nick saves his life. Paul invites Nick to go to the birthday party of his wife Jane Kessler. Nick feels attracted by the building that is built in cast iron and asks Paul to visit it. Meanwhile Jane, who is a photographer, decides to take photos of the same building. They get close to each other and Nick learns that Jane was also adopted. Along the following days, Jane and Nick have a love affair and Nick discloses hidden ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A story of lust, murder and dreams.

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sensuality, and for language | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Title is German and means "Dream of Love". See more »

Quotes

Nick Kaminsky: You're a really good dancer.
Mary Parker: I'm an even better fuck!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Director's cut is unrated and contains several minutes of additional footage. This version is available in VHS format. See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Breakthrough Stars of 1992 (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Tribes
Courtesy of SFO Productions, Inc.
Rodgers & Hammerstein Williamson Music used under license from owner
See more »

User Reviews

 
Haunting, dreamlike film best experienced in uncut version!
14 September 2001 | by hippiedjSee all my reviews

I love discovering films that completely surprise me and have me wanting to discuss them for hours with friends. Liebestraum had a very strong effect on me, and then when I found the "unrated" version I was overwhelmed all over again.

I love films like those from David Lynch, but sometimes Lynch tries too hard to make his characters as strange as possible (Wild At Heart was absolutely his worst offering). Mike Figgis' Liebestraum has the look and feel of a Lynch film, but the characters seem to be wandering through a haunting yet gorgeous dream, seemingly all sedated (something in the water?). Because this film is so well done, the slow and dreamy quality gives it a life of its own and I loved every moment of it. Which leads me back to this "unrated" business of it...

I first saw the "R" version on VHS (having missed its theatrical release), and by accident found it was available in an "unrated" director's cut that is about 9 minutes longer. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT: if you possibly can, see this longer version instead of the other! The one scene that takes place at a brothel is really the most important scene in the film, bringing several points of the plot into light! It shows that the prostitutes are also the same actresses as the nurses in the hospital, and a bit more insight to a fetish of Nick (Kevin Anderson) and the importance of the scent on his fingers. Once I saw this scene, the film made so much more sense and seemed like an entirely different film altogether! Apparently MGM decided to just put the "R" version on the DVD and place the brothel scene as a separate supplement to view as a "deleted scene." I'm afraid I may just hang onto my director's cut on VHS and watch that one instead. View that scene and you'll understand why it needs to be a part of the film.

Otherwise, WOW, what an experience. Nick's devotion to trying to save an old building with a dark past, the discovery of secrets and family ties....all beautifully revealed with stunning visuals and panache. Of course I found the story fascinating as well, so all these aspects when put together are breathtaking. Kevin Anderson, Pamela Gidley, and Bill Pullman manage give their roles meaning in what must have been frustrating to try and understand what the heck this film was going to really be -- It reminds me, for instance, Jessica Harper saying when she was working on Dario Argento's film Suspiria, she was not sure what that film was actually about because it was such an unusual project. But not to worry, much of Liebestraum's secrets are carefully revealed. It has been said Kim Novak's role was wasted since she barely speaks from a hospital bed in her scenes, but what else was she supposed to do?There must have been a reason she did the part anyway, and to hear Kim Novak utter a taboo word in one scene will make your jaw drop! Even Alicia Witt's brief dream sequence appearances and her performing the title piano piece along side the end credits is impressive. Now, if only I could get the soundtrack on the 10 Records label....anyone have a clue on that one? I've tried and tried and never could obtain it.

Accepting the surreal atmosphere in this film will help you then accept the equally surreal manner the characters possess. I've always been confounded as to why personalities are so guarded and bitchy in Hitchcock films, or even in many of the Italian giallos. Liebestraum's townsfolk seem to be on guard because you never know if someone knows more than they're letting on. There are mysteries to the town and the Ralston building and you have to watch each character like a hawk, as the film has subtle and symbolic clues (like the nurse/prostitute connection).

I was very impressed by the restraint used in the sexual aspect of Liebestraum -- this is the kind of film that had all sorts of opportunites to display nudity yet it held back (I wonder how many takes it took to get that towel on Anderson just right?), and made sex more sensual actually by giving us less to see.

I could go on about many scenes that had me awestruck, but that would take up too much space here! Nick's dreams and some creepy walks through the Ralston building are just a couple of the striking ones. See it to believe it for yourself, and I cannot stress this enough, hunt down the director's cut and see that one first if you can, you won't be sorry.


30 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 28 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

November 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Liebestraum See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$133,645

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$133,645
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed