Light Sleeper (1992)

# 14966 IMDb R 

Light Sleeper (1992

taglineA story about the discovery of the spirit, the Lure of Decadence, and the Chance for Escape. [Australia theatrical]

Director: Paul Schrader

Stars: Willem Dafoe, Sam Rockwell, Susan Sarandon, Victor Garber, David Clennon

Crime, Drama (1h 43min)


Rated 6.9 after 4,614 votes, 70% postive reviews on 20-Jan-19.

1 win & 6 nominations


A drug dealer with upscale clientele is having moral problems going about his daily deliveries. A reformed addict, he has never gotten over the wife that left him, and the couple that use him for deliveries worry about his mental well-being and his effectiveness at his job. Meanwhile someone is killing women in apparently drug-related incidents.


Paul Schrader (director) Willem Dafoe Susan Sarandon Dana Delany David Clennon Mary Beth Hurt Victor Garber

Willem Dafoe (John LeTour), Susan Sarandon (Ann), Dana Delany (Marianne), David Clennon (Robert), Mary Beth Hurt (Teresa), Victor Garber (Tis), Jane Adams (Randi), Paul Jabara (Eddie), Robert Cicchini (Guidone), Sam Rockwell (Jealous), Rene Rivera (Manuel), David Spade (Theological Cokehead), Steven Posen (Hasid), Ken Ladd (Carlos), Brian Judge (Thomas), Vince Cupone (Young Cuban (as Vinny Capone)), Chris Northup (Retro Yuppie (as Christopher Todd Northup)), Paul Stocker (Maitre D'), Bernadette Jurkowski (French Girl), Tatiana von Furstenberg (French Girl), Francesca Bonicoli (Model #1), Elena Vannucci (Model #2), Jeff Telvi (Male Model), Jennifer Fowler (Woman at Bar), Gabrielle Stubbert (Woman at Bar), James Saxenmeyer (Bar Patron), Raymond Normandeau (Chef), Arcoiris Medina (Woman at Laundromat), Esteban Fernández (Concierge), Catherine L.A. Walker (Police Woman), Timothy Stickney (Young Dominican), Joey Gironda (Funeral Home Employee), Heather Rose Dominic (Crackhead), Paul Stockman Smith (Radio Announcer), Peter Macklin (Baseball Card Fan), Billy Joe Novinski (Baseball Card Fan), David Sukoff (Baseball Card Fan), Damian Corrente (Baseball Card Fan), Ronald Sylvers (Prison Guard), Daniel Margotta (Drug Dealer (uncredited))...

From the same director


Paul Schrader (written by)

Produced by

G. Mac Brown (co-producer), Mario Kassar (executive producer), Linda Reisman (producer), Ronna B. Wallace (co-executive producer)



Paul Schrader is a director whose films should be seen more often. He is a man that never compromises and tackles adult themes with great panache, as he has amply demonstrated throughout his distinguished career. He was long associated with Martin Scorsese, but when he decided to go on his own, he showed his talent was there all the time.

Mr. Schrader's films have a sense of style that are not easily matched by many of today's filmmakers. He knows what seems to work, and what not. His movies show a sophistication, as we mere mortals, are invited to participate, even though we haven't received the invitation in the mail.

Most comments in this forum are excellent, so we won't even attempt to add anything that hasn't been said before. "Light Sleeper" is supposed to be one of Mr. Schrader's favorite films, and it's clear to see why. He has infused the film with characters that are easy to see why they are portrayed on the screen. Willem Dafoe is obviously an actor held in high esteem by Mr. Schrader. As John LaTour, Mr. Dafoe is at his most introspective self. His character shows a complexity that is hard to match.

The rest of the cast is excellent. Susan Sarandon is perfect as Ann. Dana Delaney is Marianne. Mary Beth Hurt, Victor Garber, Sam Rockwell, David Spade, are seen in supporting roles.

The great atmospheric music of Michael Been is heard in the background and it helps add another layer in the texture of the finished product. Edward Lachman does an amazing job with the way he photographed the film that includes a lot of night time scenes in Manhattan.

Take a look at the film, as Mr. Schrader will impress, even a casual viewer.

Memorable quotes

Marianne: [to John] Quite an erection you have there... Strange... I'm dripping.

6 total 


Director Paul Schrader actually sent Willem Dafoe out to observe deals with a real drug dealer as training for this role. When Schrader asked Dafoe if anybody recognized him, Dafoe said he believed some did, but that they were afraid they would not get their drugs if they said anything.

8 total 


1 win & 6 nominations 
Berlin International Film Festival • Deauville Film Festival • Film Independent Spirit Awards • Mystfest • National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA • Sant Jordi Awards

Other titles

Traficantes (Argentina) • Безсъние (Bulgaria (Bulgarian title)) • O Dono da Noite (Brazil) • Posibilidad de escape (Spain) • Light Sleeper (Finland) • Nyhterines episkepseis (Greece (transliterated ISO-LATIN-1 title)) • Νυχτερινές Επισκέψεις (Greece) • Tihi spavac (Croatia) • Könnyű altató (Hungary) • Lo spacciatore (Italy) • Margines zycia (Poland) • Perigo Incerto (Portugal) • Noćobdija (Serbia) • Чуткий сон (Russia)



Rated R for strong language and drug content, and for violence and a scene of sensuality


Australia:M / Canada:14A / Finland:K-16 / France:16 / Germany:16 / Iceland:16 / Norway:15 / Portugal:M/16 / South Korea:18 / Spain:18 / United Kingdom:15 / United States:R



Added on


15,783 movies | 9,877 in HiDef | 249 of TOP#250 | 15,783 posters | 84,051 photos | 209,027 biographies