Taglines: Roberta is desperate to be Susan. Susan is wanted by the mob. The mob finds Roberta instead…
Bored Roberta spots a regular personal ad in the paper titled ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’. She heads off to New York, following one of the ads, and finds Susan. When Susan sells her jacket, Roberta – trying to emulate her mystery ad writer – buys the jacket and wears it. Little does she know someon is looking for the jacket – and its owner…
Desperately Seeking Susan is a 1985 American comedy-drama film directed by Susan Seidelman and starring Rosanna Arquette and Madonna. Set in New York, the plot involves the interaction between two women – a bored housewife and a bohemian drifter – linked by various announcements in the personal column of a newspaper.
This was Madonna’s first major screen role and the film also provided early roles for a number of other well-known performers, such as John Turturro, Laurie Metcalf, Aidan Quinn and Steven Wright. The New York Times named the film as one of the 10 best films of 1985.
About the Story
Roberta (Rosanna Arquette) is an unfulfilled suburban housewife living in Fort Lee, New Jersey who is fascinated with a woman she only knows about by reading messages to and from her in the personals section of a New York City tabloid. This fascination reaches a peak when an ad with the headline “Desperately Seeking Susan” seeks a rendezvous in Battery Park with the man who regularly seeks her (i.e. Jim, played by Robert Joy).
Roberta goes to Battery Park too, sees the woman (Madonna), and in a series of events involving mistaken identity, amnesia, and other farcical elements, Roberta goes from voyeur to participant in an Alice in Wonderland–style plot, ostensibly motivated by the search for a pair of stolen Egyptian earrings. With both of them trying to locate Roberta, her husband Gary (Mark Blum) encounters the wild Susan.
Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)
Directed by: Susan Seidelman
Starring: Rosanna Arquette, Madonna, Aidan Quinn, Mark Blum, Robert Joy, Laurie Metcalf, Anna Levine, Will Patton, Anne Carlisle
Screenplay by: Leora Barish
Production Design by: Santo Loquasto
Cinematography by: Edward Lachman
Film Editing by: Andrew Mondshein
Costume Design by: Santo Loquasto
Set Decoration by: George DeTitta Jr.
Art Direction by: Speed Hopkins
Music by: Thomas Newman
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some vulgar language and partial nudity..
Distributed by: Orion Pictures
Release Date: March 29, 1985