The Long Kiss Goodnight

October 11th, 1996


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Still of Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson in The Long Kiss GoodnightStill of Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson in The Long Kiss GoodnightRobert Rodriguez at event of The Long Kiss GoodnightStill of Geena Davis in The Long Kiss GoodnightStill of Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson in The Long Kiss GoodnightStill of Geena Davis in The Long Kiss Goodnight

A women suffering from amnesia begins to recover her memories after trouble from her past finds her again.

Release Year: 1996

Rating: 6.6/10 (35,483 voted)

Critic's Score: 44/100

Director: Renny Harlin

Stars: Geena Davis, Samuel L. Jackson, Yvonne Zima

Samantha Caine, suburban homemaker, is the ideal mom to her 8 year old daughter Caitlin. She lives in Honesdale, PA, has a job teaching school and makes the best Rice Krispie treats in town. But when she receives a bump on her head, she begins to remember small parts of her previous life as a lethal, top-secret agent. Her old chums in the Chapter are now out to kill her so she enlists the help of a cheap detective named Mitch. As Samantha remembers more and more of her previous life, she becomes deadlier and more resourceful. Both Mitch and Charly proceed to do the killing thing, the bleeding thing and the shooting thing.

Geena Davis - Samantha Caine / Charly Baltimore
Samuel L. Jackson - Mitch Henessey
Yvonne Zima - Caitlin Caine
Craig Bierko - Timothy
Tom Amandes - Hal
Brian Cox - Dr. Nathan Waldman
Patrick Malahide - Leland Perkins
David Morse - Luke / Daedalus
Joseph McKenna - One-Eyed Jack
Melina Kanakaredes - Trin
Dan Warry-Smith - Raymond
Kristen Bone - Girl #1
Jennifer Pisana - Girl #2
Rex Linn - Man in Bed
Alan North - Earl

Taglines: Eight years ago she lost her memory. Now, a detective must help her remember the past before it buries them both. What's forgotten is not always gone.

Release Date: 11 October 1996

Filming Locations: Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $65,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $9,065,363 (USA) (13 October 1996) (2247 Screens)

Gross: $89,456,761 (Worldwide) (1997)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Geena Davis and then-husband director Renny Harlin checked how long she could hold her breath in their bathtub to prepare for the "water torture" scene.

Continuity: When Charly shoves Mitch out of the car, he is seen rolling over and up onto the sidewalk. In the next scene, he is shown laying on his back in the street.

Samantha: I know he has a pin in his leg, car accident. I... I know he cuts his own hair. He doesn't even own a TV. He... he sits when he pees...
Mitch: Hey, hey, hey. That's enough, I'm gettin' a boner here, all right?

User Review

A Ballistic Buddy Movie

Rating: 9/10

This is by far my favorite action movie. But what makes it work is not the elaborate Renny Harlin explosions and shoot-em-ups. It's the Shane Black script and its deft delivery by Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson.

The chemistry between the two principals merited a sequel. Thank God it was never made. Too much danger of marring the original.

'The Long Kiss' checkerboards from quotable scene to action scene to quotable scene and back again. Never a dull moment.

This has to be Jackson's funniest role ever, and the amazing thing is that he is playing one of the most normal characters of his career. No quirky Tarantino hit-man, super-cool Shaft, or borderline psycho soldier. In TLKG, Jackson is the everyman we identify with. The poor schmuck gets dragged along on this crazy woman's odyssey to uncover the dangerous secret of her past.

Though the story claims that Davis's character, Samantha Caine is suffering from amnesia, the writer and director treat her condition as if it were a multiple personality disorder.

Samantha Caine is not just a new identity taken by the amnesiac Charly Baltimore -- she is a separate, fully-developed personality. The traumas suffered by Samantha in the first half-hour of the movie help the submerged dissociate personality of Charly to emerge again.

The materials of her past life excavated by Jackson's detective Mitch Henessey facilitate Charly's resurfacing. Good timing, too, considering the target Samantha makes of herself.

But Charly has to fight herself to remain the dominant personality. One gathers from bits of dialogue that the warrior personality (Charly) developed after her father died and she was recruited by the "Chapter".

In the eight years Charly was buried in the psyche, though, her Samantha identity developed into the dominant personality. (She's even funnier that Charly.) This was probably due to becoming a mother, because it's the reunion with her daughter that breaks Charly's struggle to suppress Samantha, leading to their apparent integration by movie's end.

It's impossible to choose a "best quote" from this film:

"Now you're a sharpshooter?"

"I saved your ass. It was great!"

"Continue dying. Out."

"I sock 'em in the jaw and yell 'Pop goes the weasel'".

And a couple of dozen more, many too raunchy to quote here.

Geena Davis looks great, and comes off as an action hero without glossing over the fact she's turning forty. (Listen to Charley's history, do the math).

Fantastic soundtrack, too. Santana, Muddy Waters, Elvis, LaBelle, Marvin Gaye.

I give 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' a 9, only because I don't believe in a perfect 10. Seen it a dozen times, and it still stays fresh. Nice twisted holiday flick to place on your shelf next to 'It's A Wonderful Life.'