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  • Pacific Heights [VHS]
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Pacific Heights [VHS]

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Product Details

  • Actors: Melanie Griffith, Matthew Modine, Michael Keaton, Mako, Nobu McCarthy
  • Directors: John Schlesinger
  • Writers: Daniel Pyne
  • Producers: David Nicksay, Dennis E. Jones, Gary Barber, James G. Robinson, Joe Roth
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Original recording reissued, NTSC
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: August 31, 1999
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0790741423
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #344,566 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


Ever a had neighbor from hell? You know, the one who never cleans, makes too much noise at night with his jigsaw, and breeds cockroaches and pumps them into your apartment? Never have? Well, pump up your paranoia with this outlandish if mildly enjoyable thriller starring Melanie Griffith and Matthew Modine as San Francisco yuppies-cum-landlords who rent out an apartment in their Pacific Heights house to mild-mannered Michael Keaton in order to make the mortgage payment. What seems like a happy arrangement all around turns hellish when: (a) Keaton refuses to pay the rent; (b) firmly entrenches himself in the apartment thanks to some legal maneuvering; and (c) starts playing with the cockroaches. Ostensibly, Keaton wants to drive Griffith and Modine to bankruptcy and then pick up their fab Victorian house for cheap, but as is the way of all thrillers, he's got a sadistic and homicidal bent to back up his real-estate envy. Director John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy) manipulates the thrills somewhat effectively, if not gratuitously, especially with Griffith's damsel-in-distress character, turning on the tension in the don't-go-to-the-attic/garage/basement set pieces. Part of the problem of the film lies in its schizophrenic tone: one moment it's a what's-in-the-dark? thriller, at other times a nifty cat-and-mouse game of psychological wills between Keaton and his landlords. Both sides of the movie are effective in their own right, and Keaton is a great psycho, but Schlesinger doesn't quite bring it together, despite a considerably amped-up climax. Still, if the sight of a beautiful house being slowly destroyed is your idea of the ultimate horror, you'll be chilled to the bone. Look for Griffith's mother, Tippi Hedren of The Birds fame, in a small role. --Mark Englehart

Customer Reviews

Very suspenseful tense thriller..
Things go from bad to worse, to very worse, and to much more worse.
Tom Brody
If you like good thrillers then you will love this movie.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By John on November 7, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
If you haven't seen the movie Pacific Heights, you haven't seen one of the best suspense films of the decade. Michael Keaton is a terrific villain in the worst possible way. It is amazing to watch as Keaton's passive aggressive behavior ruins the lives of an unmarried couple who are trying to purchase an old Victorian home in San Francisco by renting parts of the house out to pay the mortgage. What is even more of a surprise is Melanie Griffith's character ... she is the ultimate heroine. This is an excellent movie that didn't even seem to get the critical acclaim it deserved.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 13, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Upwardly-mobile couple Patty and Drake Goodman (Melanie Griffith and Matthew Modine) buy a $750K house in SF. In order to offset the titanic mortgage payments, they must rent out the two apartments downstairs. At first, all is well, as a nice older couple become the first tenents. The second rental doesn't go quite as smoothly. A man named Carter Hayes (Michael Keaton from Batman, Batman Returns, and Beetlejuice) moves right in w/ what appear to be impeccable references, and a wad of cash in his wallet. Alas, Hayes is not on the level, and Patty and Drake soon find out just how off-balance this guy is! Hayes squats in the apartment, refusing to leave. He causes constant noise that eventually drives everyone nuts! He even releases an army of cockroaches to infest the whole place! The building stress, and inabiliy to legally do anything about it, eventually cause Drake to snap, sending him diving on Hayes for a major beat-down! Well, this action results in Goodman's arrest. Of course, Hayes is seen as just a poor innocent victim in all of this. Goodman is even under restraining order, and cannot come within 500ft of his own home! What can this couple do to regain their property and their sanity? Watch the fun unfold! PACIFIC HEIGHTS is a magnificent Catch-22 type story of the common man caught up in the idiocy of the system. No matter how hard they try, Hayes is always protected by the law. There's a healthy stream of good old fashioned black comedy running through this movie's veins! Keaton is superb as the nefarious Hayes, driven to do what he does by whatever pathology rumbles through his head. I consider this to be his finest performance. Watch for cameos and small roles by Beverly D'Angelo (The Sentinel), Dan Hadaya (Blood Simple), and Laurie Metcalf (Scream 2)! Highly recommend, especially to future landlords...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Z. Freeman VINE VOICE on January 31, 2007
Format: DVD
Pacific Heights is a prettt solid three star movie. It's not the greatest thriller ever, but it's definitely not entirely unbelievable. It's somewhere in between.

A couple (young couple, if you believe the back of the DVD) pools their life savings to purchase an old Victorian house in San Francisco, with plans to rent out the two rooms on the bottom floor in order to pay the mortgage each month. What they don't count on is Michael Keaton's sociopathic creation Carter Hayes moving in. Terrible events ensue.

It's a pretty solid premise and plays out fairly well, except that in order for Hayes' plans to unravel correctly, you have to assume that any landlord would be rash enough to accept you as a tenant without receiving any payment and without a rental application, shut off your power if you're loud at night, physically attack you and knock you through a glass window, and ultimately be unsuspecting enough not to watch out for you making bail once you've been discovered and arrested. These flaws, which feel more and more forced throughout, seriously damage the chilling nature of the film, and also damage what would otherwise be a very credibly psychological thriller.

Michael Keaton is the only credible actor in the film a well, although Beverly D'Angelo also has some good scenes. Melanie Griffith and Matthew Modine give stilted performances that also hurt the movie, Modine more so than Griffith.

Now that I've said all the bad stuff about the movie, I'm changing my tune to say that it was still interesting to watch and for a movie made 17 years ago, it held on to quite a bit of its twists and intrigue. Identity theft is much more technologically advanced these days, but the idea of someone walking around pretending to be you is equally disconcerting in 2007 as it was in 1990. Pacific Heights is definitely still worth a watch.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mike Liddell on July 30, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Pacific Heights is not a haunted house movie in the classic sense however this house is haunted, not by a ghost but by a man named Carter Hayes, if that's his real name. Carter Hayes is a con artist played by Michael Keaton. Hayes isn't a smooth con artist like Gordon Gecko in Wall Street or as smart as Frank Abagnale Jr. in Catch Me If You Can who always seems to be one step ahead of the law on the contrary Keaton's character needs and manipulates the laws to pull off his cons they serve to protect him more than his victims, also victims to a flawed system. He is also a psychopath, we get glimpses into his childhood that may explain why he is the way he is.
The victims in this movie are a couple who take a risk and buy an investment property depending a great deal financially on the rent of the two apartments they'll be renting out. One of those apartments gets rented to our psycho con artist who wants the house for himself and so begins our game of cat and cockroach.
This is for fans of thrillers, it'll have you voicing your opinion to the screen or whoever you are watching it with about what you would do in that situation. It taps into that fear that most of us can relate to, that is hardwired into us the fear of losing what we have, paying bills, and protecting what is ours.
Pacific Heights is also ranked #93 on Bravo channel's scariest movie moments list.

DVD features:
Special Features: Soundtrack Remastered in dolby digital 5.1 - Interactive Menus Theatrical Trailer-Scene Access- Languages: English and French.
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