Suture (film)

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Theatrical poster
Directed by Scott McGehee
David Siegel
Produced by Scott McGehee
David Siegel
Written by Scott McGehee
David Siegel
Starring Dennis Haysbert
Mel Harris
Sab Shimono
Dina Merrill
David Graf
Music by Cary Berger
Cinematography Greg Gardiner
Edited by Lauren Zuckerman
Distributed by The Samuel Goldwyn Company
Release date
Running time
96 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $900,000

Suture is a 1993 neo-noir film directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel and starring Dennis Haysbert and Mel Harris. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival.[1]


After murdering his father, wealthy Vincent Towers decides to fake his own death. He plants a car bomb in an attempt to kill a nearly identical half-brother, Clay Arlington, after persuading Arlington to switch identities with him.

Arlington survives, but requires facial reconstruction and also has lost most of his memory. Dr. Renee Descartes is there during his recovery. Towers resurfaces and tries once more to eliminate him, but is killed himself. Arlington makes a decision to make his new identity a permanent one.



Scott McGehee and David Siegel had been working together since 1989.[2] They had made two short films: "Birds Past" and "Speak Then Persephone" in 1989 and 1990, respectively. Afterwards, they decided to make a feature-length film and "attempted to construct a story that was generally about identity".[2] McGehee has said that Suture was influenced by mid-1960s Japanese films and Hollywood films like North by Northwest.[3] Specifically, they were inspired by Hiroshi Teshigahara's The Face of Another and Yoshitaro Nomura's Tokyo Bay, which utilized widescreen black and white cinematography. They also wanted to give the film an early '60s sensibility and loved the widescreen black and white films from that period: The Manchurian Candidate and Seconds. Siegel said, "It's an absolutely gripping look that's used so rarely today, and it's a look from a time period that we wanted to evoke".[3]

McGehee and Siegel set up a limited partnership and borrowed money for the $1 million budget from family and friends.[3] They decided to shoot Suture in Phoenix, Arizona because McGehee felt that it was "almost like an abandoned city, it's so large and overbuilt and the streets are so dead it feels empty". They liked the city's "high modernist, very spare aesthetic".[2] After seeing an early rough cut of the film, Steven Soderbergh became fascinated with it and helped McGehee and Siegel find completion finances during post-production.[3]


Suture had its premiere at the 1993 Telluride Film Festival with screenings at the Sundance Film Festival and Toronto Festival of Festivals.[3] A 4K restoration was completed in 2016, and released on Blu-ray July 2016.[4]



  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Suture". Retrieved 2009-08-31. 
  2. ^ a b c Romney, Jonathan (February 1995). "How Did We Get Here?". Sight and Sound. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Altman, Mark A (June 1994). "Restitched Noir". Film Threat. 
  4. ^

External links[edit]