Extremities is a 1986 American thriller film based on William Mastrosimone's 1982 off-Broadway play of the same name, directed by Robert M. Young, starring Farrah Fawcett, Alfre Woodard, Diana Scarwid and James Russo.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about
the entire movie.

Marjorie (Farrah Fawcett) is a young woman who works in a museum and lives with two female roommates, Pat (Alfre Woodard) and Terry (Diana Scarwid) in Los Angeles. One night, while getting into her car, she is attacked at knifepoint by a masked assailant (James Russo), who forces her to touch him sexually.

Marjorie manages to escape, but not before the mugger makes off with her purse. She goes to the police but is told there is very little they can do. A week later, while Marjorie's roommates are at work, her nightmare comes true as the assailant (named Joe) casually enters her house, having used her personal information to find out where she lives.

A terrifying sequence of events unfolds as Joe subjects Marjorie to a continuous barrage of mental and physical assaults. The tables finally turn, however, when Marjorie overpowers Joe by spraying his eyes and mouth with insect repellent as he's getting ready to rape her.

Marjorie then ties Joe up and subjects him to the same kind of physical and mental assaults he used on her earlier, even reducing him to tears as he pleads for his life when he learns that he's ingested some of the insect repellent Marjorie sprayed at him.

When Terry and Pat return home, they try to convince Marjorie, who is contemplating murdering Joe, to think about the consequences of her actions, since Joe didn't actually rape or attempt to kill her.

Joe attempts to fabricate a story that he had a one-night stand with Marjorie at a party some time ago which her roommates almost believe. Marjorie calls him a liar and attacks him, finding the sheath knife he used on her in the first attack, proving her story to Patty and Terry.

Marjorie forces Joe to admit his guilt by torturing him with the blade, and at one point, she threatens to castrate him if he does not tell the truth. Defeated, a sobbing Joe confesses that he watched the house and stole letters to find out details of the women's lives, and that he intended to rape and kill Marjorie and her roommates that day. He also confesses to the rapes and presumed murders of three other women.

Finally at peace, Marjorie allows Patty and Terry to get the police.

Cast[edit | edit source]

  • Farrah Fawcett as Marjorie
  • James Russo as Joe
  • Alfre Woodard as Pat
  • Diana Scarwid as Terry
  • Sandy Martin as Officer Sudow
  • Eddie Velez as Officer #1
  • Tom Everett as Officer #2
  • Donna Lynn Leavy as Woman on Phone (voice)
  • Enid Kent as Mother at Police Station
  • Michael Hennessy as Pizza Man
  • Danika Hendrickson as Joe's Daughter
  • Clare Wren as Racquetball Player
  • James Avery as Security Guard

Production[edit | edit source]

Prior to the film, Farrah Fawcett and James Russo portrayed their respective roles in the off-Broadway play.

According to interviews with Farrah Fawcett, she stated that during filming, they really slapped each other just like they did on stage for realness. Also in the stage production, they had to have guards on hand because the violence would be so real, they would try to jump up on stage and help Farrah.

Reception[edit | edit source]

Box Office[edit | edit source]

"Extremities" debuted at #9 at the box office, grossing $2,429,075 during its opening weekend. Domestically, it made $13,418,091.

Critical Reception[edit | edit source]

The movie was given a 50% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 8 reviews with an average rating of 5.8\10. It was also given a 66% audience score.

Walter Goodman from the New York Times said, "The smashing, crashing, thrashing battle between Farrah Fawcett and James Russo that takes up about half of Extremities leaves the contestants in a state of exhaustion -and the movie along with them".

Sheila Benson from the Los Angeles Times said, "Although director Robert M. Young does not sensationalize either encounter, he is absolutely successful at making us share her [Farrah Fawcett] feeling of brutalization and humiliation".

TV Guide gave the movie three stars, saying the film "projects the powerful rancor of the play, but the film also retains some deadening theatricality that doesn't work on screen".

Accolades[edit | edit source]

1986 Jupiter Awards

  • Best International Actress: Farrah Fawcett (won)

1987 Golden Globes Awards

  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture- Drama: Farrah Fawcett (nominated)

Theatrical Trailer[edit | edit source]


Extremities (1986) Trailer

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