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D.O.A. Details


"They didn't kill me; I was dead already," is the statement uttered by Dexter Cornell (Dennis Quaid), an English professor at the University of Texas at Austin who has been poisoned by a slow-acting toxin and who has twenty-four hours to track down his killers before he ceases to exist. Remade from the 1949 Rudolph Mate thriller by Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton, the co-directors jazz up the old luridness with slap-up doggishness that boosts the intensity-level higher than it deserves to go. Cornell is a burned-out novelist trying to hold on to tenure at the university while seeing his marriage collapse around him. As if that weren't enough, he is receiving amorous come-ons from smart, young student Sydney Fuller (Meg Ryan) and being badgered by another student, Nick Lang (Robert Knepper), to read his brilliant first novel. Not long after Dex demurs to Nick to read his novel, Nick is killed in a fall. Only then does Dex find out that Nick has been having an affair with his wife. Things keep going from bad to worse when, after an all-night drinking binge, Dex discovers that he has been slipped a poison that will kill him within 24 hours. Teaming up with the adoring Sydney, Dex tries to track down the person who poisoned him while dodging the cops, since he happens to be a prime murder suspect. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

  • Release date:March 18, 1988


Dennis Quaid
as Dexter Cornell
Meg Ryan
as Syndey Fuller
Charlotte Rampling
as Mrs. Fitzwaring
Daniel Stern
as Hal Petersham
Jane Kaczmarek
as Gail Cornell
Robert Knepper
as Nicholas Lang
Jay Patterson
as Graham Corey
Brion James
as Detective Ulmer
Jack Kehoe
as Detective Brockton
Elizabeth Arlen
as Elaine Wells
Karen Radcliffe
as Jane Corey
William Forward
as Chief Resident
Lee Gideon
as Mr. Fitzwaring
Bill Bolender
as Nick Lang Sr.
Hillary Hoffman
as Corey's Daughter
John Hawkes
as Sloane
Michael Costello
as College President
Marco Perella
as Cab Driver
Gabriel Folse
as Frat Jock #1
Matthew Thompson
as Frat Jock #2
Marco Perella
as Cab Driver
Michael Costello
as College President
Gabriel Folse
as Frat Jock #1


Rocky Morton
Annabel Jankel
Laura Ziskin
Ian Sander
Clarence Greene
Russell Rouse
Screen Story
Stefan Czapsky
Yuri Neyman
Chaz Jankel
Composer (Music Score)
Raja Gosnell
Michael R. Miller
Laura Ziskin
Ian Sander
Andrew Kuehn
Cathleen Summers
Steven Saxton
Associate Producer
Thomas Brandau
Sound/Sound Designer
Louis D'Esposito
First Assistant Director
Nancy Foy
Kevin Bartnof
Foley Artist