Foreign shadows

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German title Foreign shadows
Original title Pacific Heights
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1990
length 103 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director John Schlesinger
script Daniel Pyne
production Scott Rudin ,
William Sackheim
music Hans Zimmer
camera Amir M. Mokri
cut Steven Ramirez ,
Mark Warner

Pacific Heights ( Pacific Heights ) is an American thriller from John Schlesinger from the year 1990 . The leading roles were played by Melanie Griffith , Matthew Modine and Michael Keaton .


The unmarried couple Patty Palmer and Drake Goodman buy a house in the exclusive Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco . To pay off the loan, they want to rent two apartments in the house. They rent one of them to the Watanabe couple. For the other, Goodman chooses the well-dressed Carter Hayes. With his Porsche, he initially gives the impression of a solvent tenant. He wants to prepay for six months and shows Goodman a wad of money. Goodman and Palmer are foregoing an in-depth review of their tenant.

It turns out that Hayes is not making the promised rent payments. Palmer and Goodman reach out to a lawyer who says the eviction process could take weeks or months. They lose in court in the first instance because Goodman tried to put Hayes under pressure by turning off the electricity and heating.

Together with an accomplice, Hayes demolishes the apartment. Because of the constant noise and vermin that Hayes releases in the house, the Watanabe couple quit. Palmer and Goodman's financial hardships continue to grow. Palmer experiences a miscarriage . When Hayes visits the couple, apparently to express his sympathy, Goodman loses his nerve and beats Hayes out of the house. The police, already alerted by Hayes, take Goodman to the station. With the condition not to approach the house further than 150 meters, he is released and moves in with a friend. Goodman is shot by Hayes while trying to check on Palmer at the house. In the meantime, the eviction action has taken effect. When opening the apartment, Palmer realizes that it is totally demolished. Even the sanitary facilities are expanded, except for the connection pipes. Hayes has disappeared without a trace.

Palmer discovers that Hayes has been incapacitated by his family and that his fortune is run by a trust. She takes revenge after tracking down Hayes in a hotel. There she discovers that Hayes is using counterfeit credit cards in her boyfriend's name. Palmer calls Goodman to have his credit cards and account blocked. She later made numerous expenses for Hayes' account. As a result, Hayes is arrested.

Hayes asks his rich lover to provide bail. He is released and breaks into Palmer and Goodman. Goodman is beaten up. In the ensuing fight, Hayes falls on the protruding water pipes and dies. The house is then lavishly restored by Palmer and Goodman and sold to a new owner at a significant profit.


  • Roger Ebert wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times on September 28, 1990 that the film was a horror film for yuppies, in which people are not attacked, but their property. He praised the part of the film in which Patty Palmer takes her revenge, which he found amusing . Otherwise the film vacillates between realism and shameless manipulation .
  • Cinematic trimmed for high tension thriller, which unfortunately collapses too early under the accumulation of unlikely events. Impressive individual performances by the director and camera will still be remembered.
  • Everything is applied a bit thick and in its stylized perspectives on everyday madness decided "bigger than life", but the convincing play of the three main actors ..., a perfect cut ... and the experienced hand of the old master in the director's chair are a good one Insurance against boredom in this somewhat different thriller.

Web links


  1. Release certificate for Stranger Shadows . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , January 2009 (PDF; test number: 64 980 DVD).
  2. Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times
  3. film service 25/1990
  4. epd film 12/1990