Patty Hearst (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

Patty Hearst (1988)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Patty Hearst Photos

Movie Info

In this docudrama, Natasha Richardson plays Patty Hearst, the heiress to her family newspaper fortune who was kidnapped and allegedly brainwashed by members of the radical Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). She is blindfolded and stuffed into a closet for 57 days and subjected to the philosophies of her SLA captors. She is later offered her freedom but elects to join the group, and Hearst and the gang proceed to go on a rampage of well-publicized bank robberies. Since the story is told from the point of view of the victim -- from her book -- the feature attempts to portray her plight sympathetically. Was she the victim of ruthless political extremists or a spoiled rich girl playing out her counterculture fantasies? The truth probably lies somewhere in between. Twenty years after the kidnapping, her SLA counterparts were still in jail while Hearst, married with children, made the rounds of television talk shows. She is perceived as someone whose incredible financial resources kept her from prison, and her stories of being the terrorized victim are unconvincing at best.


Natasha Richardson
as Patricia Hearst
Jodi Long
as Wendy Yoshimura
Tom O'Rourke
as Jim Browning
Scott Kraft
as Steven Weed
Ermal Williamson
as Randolph A. Hearst
Anne Marie Gillis
as Juror Wentz
Jeff Imada
as Neighbor
Hawthorne James
as Tall Muslim
Mayah McCoy
as Girl #3
Carey Fox
as Hippie
James Bershad
as 2nd Male
Marta Kober
as 2nd Female
Moss Porter
as FBI Man #1
Ron Boyd
as FBI Man #2
John Petievich
as Policeman
Jeanne McGuire
as Booking Officer
Gerald Gordon
as F. Lee Bailey
John Achorn
as Al Johnson
Jeff Allin
as Assistant D.A.
Jack Slater
as Psychiatrist #1
Byron Clark
as Psychiatrist #2
Nora Meerbaum
as Psychiatrist #3
Thomas Wagner
as Juror Wright
Marc Siegler
as Charles Gould
Steven Anderson
as Psychiatrist #5
Maurice Hill
as Judge Carter
View All

Critic Reviews for Patty Hearst

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (2)

This stylized movie of ideas is a lean, impressive piece of work.

January 2, 2018 | Full Review…

The entire film centers on the remarkable performance by Natasha Richardson as Hearst. She convinces us she is Hearst, not by pressing the point, but by taking it for granted.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

It's a portrayal both sympathetic and grotesquely funny at times.

May 30, 2018 | Full Review…

Schrader's low-key approach to the tabloid story is refreshing. Richarson is magnificent.

November 29, 2002 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for Patty Hearst


Strange true story of the kidanpping of an American Princess as I believe what happened to her.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

Patty Hearst Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features