Dead Ringers (1988)

Canada, USA, 1988
35mm film, colour, 1.33:1 (negative ratio), 1.85:1 (intended ratio)
Dolby Stereo, English

A Canadian/American horror film directed by David Cronenberg.

Plot Summary

Gynaecologist twin brothers Beverly and Elliot Mantle seem outwardly to be well adjusted and successful. But their private lives are growing extremely weird – when the more dominant brother tires of a lover, he passes her on to his less confident sibling without her ever suspecting. When actress Claire Niveau visits their clinic, it sets into motion an tragic chain of events that will lead to madness and murder.


Directed by: David Cronenberg
© 1988 The Mantle Clinic II, Ltd.
James G. Robinson and Joe Roth present a David Cronenberg film. Produced in association with Morgan Creek Productions, Inc. Produced with the participation of Téléfilm Canada
Executive Producers: Carol Baum and Sylvio Tabet
Produced by: David Cronenberg and Marc Boyman
Associate Producer: John Board
Written by: David Cronenberg and Norman Snider
Based on the book Twins by Bari Wood and Jack Geasland
Director of Photography: Peter Suschitzky
Edited by: Ronald Sanders
Music by: Howard Shore
Sound Mixer: Bryan Day
Costume Designer: Denise Cronenberg
Make-up Artist: Shonagh Jabour
Hair Designer: Ivan Lynch
Special Effects Designer: Gordon Smith
Optical Effects Supervisor: Lee Wilson
Production Designer: Carol Spier
Locations: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Jeremy Irons (Beverly Mantle, Elliot Mantle)
Geneviève Bujold (Claire Niveau)
Heidi von Palleske (Cary)
Barbara Gordon (Danuta)
Shirley Douglas (Laura)
Stephen Lack (Anders Wolleck)
Nick Nichols (Leo)
Lynne Cormack (Arlene)
Damir Andrei (Birchall)
Miriam Newhouse (Mrs Bookman)
David Hughes (Superintendent)
Richard Farrell (Dean of Medicine)
Warren Davis ((anatomy class supervisor)
Jonathan Haley (Beverly, age 9)
Nicholas Haley (Elliot, age 9)
Marsha Moreau (Raffaella)
Denis Akiyama (pharmacist)
Dee McCafferty (surgeon)
Susan Markle (operating room nurse)
Murray Cruchley (assisting surgeon)

Alternative Titles

Dubbelgångare – Sweden
Erottamattomat – Finland
Faux-semblants – France
Gemini – working title
Inseparabili – Italy
Inseparables – Spain
Irmãos Inseparáveis – Portugal
Nierozlaczni – Poland
Twins – working title
Die Unzertrennlichen – Germany

Extracts included in
David Cronenberg: I Have to Make the Word be Flesh (1999)
Naked Making Lunch (1992)



  • Interzone no.28 (March/April 89) p.27 – review (by Nick Lowe)
  • Première February 1989 p.12 – review (by Michèle Halberstadt)
  • Studio February 1989 p.12 – review (Michel Rebichon)
  • TV Filmes August 1999 p.40 – review (by Carlos Cabral)


  • Diário de Notícias 1 August 1999 p.55 – review
  • Expresso, Antena 31 July 1999 – review (by António Cabrita)


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.430
  • The Cinema of David Cronenberg: From Baron of Blood to Cultural Hero by Ernest Mathijs pp.2, 7, 11, 26, 69-70, 101, 104, 129-132, 135, 138-146, 150-154, 161-163, 169-172, 200, 223; 280
  • Cronenberg on Cronenberg by Chris Rodley (ed.) pp.8, 12, 31, 34, 57, 78, 87-88, 97, 109, 134-151, 159; 216-217 – illustrated notes; credits
  • David Cronenberg: Author or Film-maker? by Mark Browning pp.82-108
  • David Cronenberg: Interviews with Serge Grünberg by Serge Grünberg pp.96-107; 191-192 – illustrated interview; credits
  • The Films of the Eighties by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.132 – credits, synopsis
  • Horror Films by Subgenre: A Viewer’s Guide by Chris Vander Kaay and Kathleen Fernandez-Vander Kaay p.182
  • Horror Films of the 1980s by John Kenneth Muir pp.646-648 – credits, synopsis, review
  • The Modern Fantastic: The Films of David Cronenberg by Michael Grant (ed.) pp.6, 9, 25, 28, 29, 85-92, 97, 99, 123, 148-167, 169, 174, 179, 180
  • The Pocket Essential David Cronenberg by John Costello pp.65-69 – credits, review
  • The Politics of Insects: David Cronenberg’s Cinema of Confrontation by Scott Wilson pp.106, 107, 111, 124-39, 145, 150, 161, 164, 169, 184
  • The Vampire in Science Fiction Film and Literature by Paul Meehan p.83