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Raising Cain

Director: Brian De Palma Run Time: 92 min. Format: 35mm Rating: R Release Year: 1992

Starring: John Lithgow, Lolita Davidovich, Steven Bauer, Frances Sternhagen, Gregg Henry, Tom Bower

Some consider Carter Nix (John Lithgow) “the perfect man” for his passionate investment in raising his daughter Amy. Presumed to be on hiatus from his child psychology practice, his devotion unsettles wife Jenny (Lolita Davidovich), who suspects Amy to be a professional project for Carter. Jenny, caught up in a reignited tryst with Jack (Steven Bauer), is having trouble distinguishing between dreams and reality just as mothers and children start to disappear from a neighborhood playground. Meanwhile Carter’s evil twin has emerged, putting on display the damage done by their father who specialized in child development.

A return to thriller form for Brian De Palma, who dips into his bag of tricks to confound and delight, Raising Cain revels in upending expectations, toying with the audience. Lithgow chows down on the multiple roles, effortlessly swinging from whiny man-child to slick maniac.