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Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

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A New York City doctor, who is married to an art curator, pushes himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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247 ( 12)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 8 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Dr. William Harford
... Alice Harford
Madison Eginton ... Helena Harford
Jackie Sawiris ... Roz
... Victor Ziegler
Leslie Lowe ... Illona
... Bandleader
... Nick Nightingale
... Ziegler's Secretary
... Sandor Szavost (as Sky Dumont)
Louise J. Taylor ... Gayle (as Louise Taylor)
Stewart Thorndike ... Nuala
Randall Paul ... Harris
... Mandy
Lisa Leone ... Lisa
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Storyline

After his wife, Alice, tells him about her sexual fantasies, William Harford sets out for a night of sexual adventure. After several less than successful encounters, he meets an old friend, Nick Nightingale - now a musician - who tells him of strange sex parties when he is required to play the piano blindfolded. All the men at the party are costumed and wear masks while the women are all young and beautiful. Harford manages to find an appropriate costume and heads out to the party. Once there, however, he is warned by someone who recognizes him, despite the mask, that he is in great danger. He manages to extricate himself but the threats prove to be quite real and sinister. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Cruise. Kidman. Kubrick.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug-related material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

16 July 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

EWS  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,706,163, 18 July 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$55,691,208

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$162,091,208
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film contains subliminal references to almost all of Stanley Kubrick's films, including his first feature Fear and Desire (1953). At one point, we see a scene from Blume in Love (1973) on a television set. "Blume" was directed by Paul Mazursky, who made his acting debut in Fear and Desire (1953). See more »

Goofs

When Bill and Alice discuss her near-infidelity, the ashtray they were using when smoking the joint appears and disappears from the bed, the tapes and CDs are in different positions, and Bill's hand jumps off Alice's hip. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. Bill Harford: Honey, have you seen my wallet?
Alice Harford: Isn't it on the bedside table?
Dr. Bill Harford: Now listen, you know we're running a little late.
Alice Harford: I know. How do I look?
Dr. Bill Harford: Perfect.
Alice Harford: Is my hair okay?
Dr. Bill Harford: It's great.
Alice Harford: You're not even looking at it.
Dr. Bill Harford: It's beautiful. You always look beautiful.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to the staff of Hamleys of London. See more »

Connections

Featured in Renegade Cut: Eyes Wide Shut (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Musica Ricercata II: Mesto, Rigido e Cerimonale
(1950)
Performed by Dominic Harlan, piano
Written by György Ligeti
Published by Schott Musik International GmbH & Co. KG
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An impressive film with a bad marketing campaign
17 July 1999 | by See all my reviews

Eyes Wide Shut is ill-suited for the summer movie corridor. It has no explosions, no running, shouting, or a single gunshot. What it has are long scenes in which characters talk to one another. Slowly and carefully. The problem is that the film is marketed as having white-hot sex scenes and plenty of gratuitous nudity, while it has neither. There is plenty of naked flesh, don't get me wrong, but in exactly the opposite way that the ads make it appear. This is not a movie about being sexy and naked -- it's a movie about how flesh is just another part of being human, so what is all the fuss about? The marketing campaign is misleading, and led to disappointment in the audience that I saw the movie with, who were just looking for some skin.

The tension in the plot and the issues that the film discusses aren't telegraphed to the audience, they're hinted at in the dialog. There is no neat resolution at the end, life simply goes on. You may watch the whole film and think "that wasn't about anything!" Then think about what you've seen and realize it has a great deal to say.

The film is a meditation on sexuality and how it relates to marriage, death, and money. It's a fascinating commentary on modern life, and a rare movie that dares to examine sex as impassionately as any other issue.

The directing and cinematography alone would be worth the price of admission without the social commentary. The sets are an integral part of the movie; they breathe and glow and live. Kubrick was a master director, and he uses long shots and dissolves to great effect. Cruise and Kidman are at their best, and the supporting cast is also strong. It's Kubrick's magic work with the camera that holds the film together.

All in all, definitely worth seeing for the un-uptight. It's possible to watch this film and actually think about it for hours afterward. That's something you won't get with the Wild, Wild West.


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