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Identity (2003)

John Cusack, Identity | SPIN CITY Cusack experiences an ''Identity'' crisis
Image credit: Identity: Suzanne Tenner
SPIN CITY Cusack experiences an ''Identity'' crisis

Details Release Date: Apr 25, 2003; Rated: R; Length: 90 Minutes; Genre: Mystery and Thriller; With: Jake Busey, John Cusack, Rebecca De Mornay, Clea DuVall and Ray Liotta...; Distributor: Columbia Pictures

It doesn't get any more neo-noir than this: On a dark and stormy night, 10 seemingly unconnected strangers -- including a limo driver (John Cusack), a Vegas call girl (Amanda Peet), and a corrections officer (Ray Liotta) -- find themselves drawn to a desolate desert motel, where they are slowly preyed upon, one by one. ''This is one of those stories where it's all in the unraveling,'' says director James Mangold (''Cop Land,'' ''Kate & Leopold''), who was inspired by such slow-burn suspensers as Agatha Christie's ''Ten Little Indians'' and John Carpenter's 1982 remake of ''The Thing.'' ''It was a great Hitchcockian experience in old-school, controlled moviemaking.'' To that end, the director constructed a set on the Sony lot equipped to unleash tons of water on his shivering actors. ''They showed up every day at 7 in the morning, walked into a pitch-black soundstage, and lived for 12 hours in the rain,'' he notes. All of which made for a workplace that reeked of more than just intrigue. ''There was this terrible odor,'' notes Peet. ''I think we all acclimated to it, [but] when people visited us, they were like, 'Why is the entire set mildewed?''' (April 25)

Originally posted Feb 05, 2003 Published in issue #695 Feb 14, 2003 Order article reprints