Spanking the Monkey

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Spanking the Monkey
Spanking the monkey ver1.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid O. Russell
Produced byDean Silvers
Written byDavid O. Russell
Music byDavid Carbonara
CinematographyMichael Mayers
Edited byPamela Martin
Distributed byFine Line Features Axiom Films (UK and Ireland)
Release date
  • July 15, 1994 (1994-07-15)
Running time
99 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,359,736[2]

Spanking the Monkey is a 1994 American black comedy film[3] written and directed by David O. Russell. The title is a slang phrase for masturbation and is used in the film by one of the teenage characters. It was filmed in Pawling, New York.


Susan Aibelli, a married, lonely woman, suffers a leg injury at home just as her husband is about to leave on his job as a travelling salesman and her son, Raymond, is about to leave for the summer on a medical internship. Raymond is then forced to stay at home to take care of her as his father cannot. He eventually loses the internship. These troublesome events leave him emotionally confused as he and his mother are left alone together where they develop an incestuous relationship.



Select tracks from Morphine's album Cure for Pain are used throughout the film, including "In Spite of Me" which plays over the end credits.


Spanking the Monkey was a box office success, grossing $1,359,736 on a $200,000 budget.[2]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 91% based on reviews from 23 critics.[4] On Metacritic it has a score of 66% based on reviews from 15 critics.[5]

The film won the Audience Award at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival and the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Spanking the Monkey". British Board of Film Classification. 1995-08-03. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
  2. ^ a b c Spanking the Money at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ "Spanking the Monkey". AllMovie.
  4. ^
  5. ^

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