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Boxing Helena (1993)

Cast: J.L. Parker, J.L. Parker, Julian Sands, more...
Director: Jennifer Chambers Lynch, Jennifer Chambers Lynch
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: MGM
Genre: Drama, Golden Turkeys, Erotica
Running Time: 106 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish, French
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In this stylized art film, which marked the directorial debut of second-generation filmmaker Jennifer Chambers Lynch, a surgeon with a mommy fixation and a problem with premature ejaculation grows obsessed with a vivacious young libertine, to the detriment of her mobility. Dr. Nick Cavanaugh (Julian Sands), the son of a frosty, unfaithful society matron, can't get lovely neighbor Helena (Sherilyn Fenn) out of his head. Although the two only ever shared a one-night stand, Nick won't let Helena go -- a hang-up that bodes ill for the health of his plodding romance with the smitten Anne Garrett (Betsy Clark). After Nick's mother dies, he moves into her mansion and promptly throws a lavish gala just so he can lure Helena into his orbit. She spurns him for another bedmate, but not before Anne figures out something fishy is going on. Discovering that Helena forgot her purse during her hasty exit, Nick uses it to lure her back to his place for some attempted courtship. When she storms out, furious, she's the victim of a hit-and-run. Rather than simply call 911, Nick performs an emergency amputation of her legs and lets her convalesce in his house. When the hobbled Helena tries to leave, he makes her his prisoner, eventually removing her arms to prevent her escape. But when Ray O'Malley (Bill Paxton), her leather-trousered former lover, starts sniffing around to discover her whereabouts, Nick's fragile little fantasy world threatens to pop like a bubble. After Madonna and Kim Basinger both dropped out of the title role, Lynch settled on Fenn, who had risen to prominence working with the writer/director's father, David Lynch. After a lengthy breach-of-contract lawsuit, Basinger was eventually ordered to pay the film's producers eight million dollars in damages. ~ Brian J. Dillard, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Leaves me craving another film by this director Jennifer Lynch by Synn December 9, 2004 - 1:24 PM PST
3 out of 6 members found this review helpful
Another film that, after viewing, I immediately went online and bought. You have the storyline in the review above. Generally considered by my friends a difficult person to please and one who will find the flaw in anything, I honestly find it hard to fault Boxing Helena. I found running side by side in this psychological thriller an abundance of horror and sensuality, sparsely peppered with scary physical violence. The sensuality takes the form of plentiful parading of nude bodies and actual sex scenes sewn in a thick thematic fabric of of emotional sadomasochism. My joy in watching this film leaves me almost speechless as it gripped and held my attention throughout. Incredible finesse in the direction of the actors and camera work. I could hardly wait till the end to see the name of the man who directed this, and when I look and find, appropriately so, it was a Woman! I had to own it. Numerous times I felt compelled to replay a scene and uncontrollably had to stop the dvd and "rewind". I have to withhold "10" due to what I consider events absolutely disruptive to the story - specifically, unnecessary showing of female nipple and the fleeting glimpse of amputated legs during the truck accident. Aside, the director might have better spent that footage by lovingly showing us closeups of Helena's gorgeous limbs - soon to be removed by Dr. Nick, as I think this has more shock value for the plot.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 4.70)
106 Votes
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