The 10 Best Split Personality Performances In Movies


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While psychologists are still trying to figure out the causes of multiple personality disorder, screenwriters have been using it as a plot device since the dawn of cinema. In this feature, we’ll put the ten greatest examples in movie history on the couch to see what makes them tick.

10. High Tension

This French slasher flick is relentless in its brutality, as a mysterious psychopath brutally murders a girl’s family. The culprit turns out to be her best friend, who has a split personality that’s insanely jealous and will do anything to get her alone.

9. The Three Faces Of Eve

Joanne Woodward won an Oscar for her exceptional take on split personalities in this 1957 drama based on a real case. Eve White is a suburban mother who suffers from painful headaches and blackouts. When she’s unconscious, the extroverted Eve Black comes out to play. Filling out the triad is Jane, a stable personality who manages to unite her multiple identities.

8. Shutter Island

Leonardo DiCaprio shines as Teddy Daniels, a U.S. Marshal sent to an isolated mental hospital to investigate a bizarre disappearance. As his quest continues, he starts to have strange dreams and it’s soon revealed that he’s actually a patient there himself, caught up in a bizarre delusion as a way to find closure after he murdered his wife.

7. Session 9

Brad Anderson’s cult horror flick has a terrifying premise: a work crew removing asbestos from a run-down hospital discovers a box of tape recordings from a patient with multiple personality disorder, and against all logic listens to them. As they do, they start being picked off one by one, as the evil personality “Simon” from the tapes makes the jump to a new mind.

6. The LEGO Movie

Sure, it’s a bit of a curveball, but the “Bad Cop” / “Good Cop” character in The LEGO Movie, voiced by Liam Neeson, could change personality with a simple 180 degree rotation of the head. Double-sided heads were first introduced in the 1990s to show different emotions, but different personalities are an equally valid reading.

5. Identity

When ten strangers check into a Nevada motel and start getting killed off one by one, Identity seems like a fairly standard murder mystery. Then weird coincidences sprout up – the bodies disappear, they all have the same birthday – and you realize you’re really watching a story about a multiple personality patient having his “selves” integrated to try and remove his homicidal impulses.

4. A Tale Of Two Sisters

South Korean filmmakers have a real knack for unsettling psychological horror, and this 2003 flick, inspired by a folktale, is no exception. When a young girl named Su-mi is released from a mental hospital, both her and her sister start acting very strangely, as does their psychotic stepmother. Of course, all three women are the same girl, but that doesn’t stop the body count from rising.

3. Sibyl

This 1976 TV movie helped define dissociative identity disorder for a generation of Americans, and Sally Field’s performance as the titular schoolteacher with a baker’s dozen personae living inside her was widely acclaimed, winning her an Emmy.

2. Fight Club

The twist in David Fincher’s cult classic – that the Edward Norton-played narrator and Brad Pitt’s feral Tyler Durden are the same person – comes pretty late in the game, but it throws the film’s conceit into stark contrast. Fincher littered the movie with clues that make themselves obvious on multiple viewings.

1. Me, Myself and Irene

The Farrelly Brothers’ 2000 farce stars Jim Carrey – a dude whose brain contains multitudes anyways – as Charlie, a good-humored state trooper who gets pushed over the line and develops an abusive personality named Hank who goes on to ruin his life. The thing is, his life was already ruined before the split personality (his wife cheated on him with a dwarf limousine driver), so Hank actually helps Charlie get his act together in a bizarre way.

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Documentary Now! Robert Evans Mansion

The Reel Deal

Everything You Need To Know About “Mr. Runner Up” Inspiration Robert Evans

Watch the two-part finale of Documentary Now! this Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

In its upcoming two-part finale, Documentary Now! spoofs the crown jewel of docs: The Kid Stays In The Picture. It’s the autobiographical documentary about Robert Evans, the unlikely Hollywood mogul whose mix of self-aggrandizing bravado, classic good looks and extremely circumstantial good luck took him from being a salesman to an actor to the head of Paramount Pictures.

If you’ve never seen the film, it’s totally worth it. Rotten Tomatoes agrees, with a staggeringly-high approval rating. Watch it before, or watch it after — doesn’t matter. You’ll appreciate it whenever.

In the meantime, here’s a bit of background that will come in handy…

Robert Loves Robert

Robert Evans desk

USA Films/Everett Collection

Robert Evans is the ultimate Robert Evans fan. The movie was narrated by Robert Evans and based on his memoir of the same name. It is totally unbiased.

He’s Kind Of A Big Deal

Robert Evans, Chinatown
Paramount Pictures

Evans produced some of Hollywood’s true classics: Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, The Godfather, Love Story…the list goes on. Totally legit and amazing movies.

He’s Also Kind Of A Joke

Wag The Dog
New Line Cinema

Evans has been parodied in TV shows and movies like Entourage and Wag The Dog. He is the quintessential “producer” you already have in your head.

So Wrong He’s Right

Robert Evans Slap
20th Century Film Corp

Robert Evans is a notorious narcissist whose love of self is so blind and sincere that it’s actually adorable.

There’s Something Missing

via Giphy

Entire sections of Robert Evans’ life are left out of the documentary. Maybe it’s because of timing. Maybe it’s because real life isn’t a tidy narrative. Who knows.

He Blew It

Spider coke

Evans had a pretty spectacular fall from grace. He was convicted of cocaine trafficking in the early 80’s, and was connected to a contract killing during the production of The Cotton Club. Oops.

Losing Is For Losers

Everett Collection
Everett Collection

In the Robert Evans mythology, all tragedies are just triumphs in disguise, and every story has a happy ending…for Robert Evans.

Bill Hader Jerry Wallach

With these simple facts in hand you are now prepared to thoroughly enjoy the two-part finale of Documentary Now! starting this Wednesday at 10/9c on IFC.

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Weird Roles

Anthony Michael Hall’s Most Rotten Movies

Catch Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science on Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection

Anthony Michael Hall was the quintessential ’80s nerd. We love him in classics like The Breakfast Club and National Lampoon’s Vacation. But even the brainiest among us has his weak spots. In honor of Weird Science airing this Rotten Friday, we analyze Hall’s worst movies.

Weird Science (1985) 56%

A low point for John Hughes, Weird Science is way too wacky for its own good. Anthony Michael Hall’s Gary and his pal Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) create the “perfect woman.” Supernatural chaos ensues. The film costars a young Bill Paxton, floppy disks, and a general disconnect from all reality.

The Caveman’s Valentine (2001) 46%

This ambitious drama starring Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t live up to its rich premise. Jackson plays Romulus, a Juilliard-educated, paranoid schizophrenic who lives in a cave. Hall co-stars as Bob, a rich man, who wants to see Romulus play the piano. The plot centers around Romulus investigating a murder, but with so much going on, the movie never quite finds its rhythm.

All About the Benjamins (2002) 30%

Ice Cube plays a bounty hunter who teams up with Mike Epps’ con man to catch diamond thieves. Hall plays Lil J, a small-time drug dealer. It’s definitely a role we’ve never seen Hall in, but overall the movie isn’t funny or original enough to justify its violence.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001) 11%

This showcase for Tom Green’s goofy gross-out comedy is often hailed as one of the worst films of all time. Green plays Gord, a 20-something slacker, who dreams of having his own animated series. Hall is Dave Davidson, a CEO of an animation studio who eventually helps Gord find success. Too bad Tom Green wasn’t so lucky.

Johnny Be Good (1988) 0%

Hall plays against type as Johnny Walker, a star quarterback. Robert Downey Jr. is his best friend and Uma Thurman plays his devoted girlfriend. Despite the support of a future A-list cast, the movie lacks central conflict and charm. Or, as TV Guide put it, “Johnny be worthless.” Ouch.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” Weird Science this Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Season 6: Episode 1: Pickathon

Binge Fest

Portlandia Season 6 Now Available On DVD

The perfect addition to your locally-sourced, artisanal DVD collection.

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End of summer got you feeling like:

Portlandia Toni Screaming GIF

Ease into fall with Portlandia‘s sixth season. Relive the latest exploits of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s cast of characters, including Doug and Claire’s poignant breakup, Lance’s foray into intellectual society, and the terrifying rampage of a tsukemen Noodle Monster! Plus, guest stars The Flaming Lips, Glenn Danzig, Louis C.K., Kevin Corrigan, Zoë Kravitz, and more stop by to experience what Portlandia is all about.

Pick up a copy of the DVD today, or watch full episodes and series extras now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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