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Patty Hearst

Film poster
Directed by Paul Schrader
Produced by Marvin Worth
Written by Patricia Hearst,
Alvin Moscow,
Nicholas Kazan
Starring Natasha Richardson,
William Forsythe,
Ving Rhames,
Frances Fisher,
Jodi Long,
Olivia Barash,
Dana Delany
Music by Scott Johnson
Cinematography Bojan Bazelli
Editing by Michael R. Miller
Distributed by Atlantic
Release date(s) September 23, 1988
Running time 108 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Patty Hearst is a 1988 biographical film directed by Paul Schrader and stars Natasha Richardson as Patricia Campbell Hearst and Ving Rhames as SLA leader Cinque. It is based on Hearst's 1982 autobiography Every Secret Thing (co-written with Alvin Moscow), which was later rereleased as Patty Hearst - Her Own Story.




Schrader has said that he made Patty Hearst on a low budget and for a small salary to recover from the commercial and artistic failure of Light of Day. The film has a very distinctive visual style, not least because it is made almost entirely from Patty Hearst's point of view and therefore the first part is set largely in a dark closet with occasional blinding shafts of light when the kidnappers open the door.

The ending, like those of Schrader's American Gigolo and Light Sleeper, echoes that of Robert Bresson's Pickpocket, showing the central character physically imprisoned but beginning to think hopefully about a new phase in her life.


The film was entered into the 1988 Cannes Film Festival.[1]

The film grossed $601,680 in its opening weekend in the US, and made a total domestic gross of $1,223,326.[2]

The film garnered a generally mixed critical response, although Richardson's performance was applauded by most critics. Amongst credited critics, the film has a rating of 50% positive reactions on rotten tomatoes, with 8 reviews counted.[3]. Writing in the New York Times, Vincent Canby praised the film "Patty Hearst is a beautifully produced movie, seen entirely from Patty's limited point of view. It is stylized at times, utterly direct and both shocking and grimly funny."[4] Roger Ebert writing for the Chicago Sun-Times praised Richardson's performance; "The entire film centers on the remarkable performance by Natasha Richardson as Hearst." but concluded that "This whole story seemed so much more exciting from the outside."[5]


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Patty Hearst". Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  2. ^ Patty Hearst Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ Patty Hearst Rotten Tomatoes.
  4. ^ Movie Review Patty Hearst New York Times. 23 September 1988
  5. ^ Patty Hearst Chicago Sun-Times. 23 September 1988

External links


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