Desperately Seeking Susan movie poster

Desperately Seeking Susan is a 1985 film directed by Susan Seidelman and starring Rosanna Arquette and Madonna.


Roberta (Arquette) is a frustrated housewife living in suburban New Jersey and is fascinated by a woman known only by the personals section of a New York newspaper. This fascination reaches a limit when an ad entitled "Desperately Seeking Susan" proposed a meeting in Battery Park between this woman and a man who regularly looking for. Roberta also goes to Battery Park and sees the woman (Madonna) whose life is fascinated by both. In a series of events including mistaken identity, amnesia and other absurdities, Roberta involved in a story to Alice style in Wonderland, motivated by the search for a pair of earrings stolen Egyptians.


This film was the debut commercial cinema of the singer Madonna, who had previously only recorded an experimental film: A Certain Sacrifice. When the film was shot, Madonna was not well known and was preparing his second album, Like a Virgin. The success of this album catapulted to fame Madonna and the film benefited from it, as had been hired for a modest salary; in fact the whole film was shot on a budget. According to sources of the time, if the shooting had been only six months later, Madonna would not have participated in it, because its price rose so much that they could not have afford it.

The selection of Madonna upset Rossanna costar Arquette, who supposedly felt that Madonna was just a singer and lacked training as an actress. Other sources believe that Arquette was aware of the appeal of Madonna and feared being overshadowed by it.

The film incorporated as "Into the Groove" theme song sung by Madonna, who achieved huge success and was added to a reissue of the album Like a Virgin.


  • Rosanna Arquette as Roberta Glass
  • Madonna as Susan Thomas
  • Aidan Quinn as Dez
  • Mark Blum as Gary Glass, Roberta's husband
  • Robert Joy as Jim, Susan's boyfriend
  • Laurie Metcalf as Leslie Glass, Roberta's sister-in law
  • Anna Levine as Crystal
  • Will Patton as Wayne Nolan
  • Peter Maloney as Ian the magician
  • Steven Wright as Larry Stillman D.D.S.
  • John Turturro as Ray, the master of ceremonies at the Magic Club
  • Anne Carlisle as Victoria
  • Jose Santana as Boutique Owner
  • Giancarlo Esposito as Street Vendor
  • Richard Hell as Bruce Meeker
  • Rockets Redglare as Taxi Driver
  • Annie Golden as Band Singer
  • Richard Edson as Man with Newspapers
  • Ann Magnuson as Cigarette Girl
  • John Lurie as Neighbor Saxophonist
  • Victor Argo as Sgt. Taskal
  • Shirley Stoler as Jail Matron
  • Arto Lindsay as Newspaper Clerk
  • Kim Chan as Park Bum
  • Michael Badalucco as Guy from Brooklyn
  • Carol Leifer as Party Guest
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