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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.

Director:

Stanley Kubrick

Writers:

Stanley Kubrick (screenplay), Frederic Raphael (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
704 ( 257)

Director's Trademarks: A Guide to Stanley Kubrick's Films

2001: A Space Odyssey and Eyes Wide Shut are just the beginning of Stanley Kubrick's legacy. Are you up to speed on the film icon's style?

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 9 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Cruise ... Dr. William Harford
Nicole Kidman ... Alice Harford
Madison Eginton Madison Eginton ... Helena Harford
Jackie Sawiris Jackie Sawiris ... Roz
Sydney Pollack ... Victor Ziegler
Leslie Lowe Leslie Lowe ... Illona
Peter Benson ... Bandleader
Todd Field ... Nick Nightingale
Michael Doven ... Ziegler's Secretary
Sky du Mont ... Sandor Szavost (as Sky Dumont)
Louise J. Taylor Louise J. Taylor ... Gayle (as Louise Taylor)
Stewart Thorndike Stewart Thorndike ... Nuala
Randall Paul Randall Paul ... Harris
Julienne Davis ... Mandy
Lisa Leone 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 July 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

EWS See more »

Filming Locations:

UK See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The identity of the masked couple is never explained. It is implied that the masked man with the three-cornered hat might be Victor Ziegler, and the masked woman with him might be another one of his mistresses or escorts greeting the new arrival to the gathering; both of them unaware of who it really is until Bill is forced to take off his mask for the red-cloaked cult leader. There is another theory that it may be Sandor Szavost with a mistress. However, it essentially doesn't really matter who the couple are; what is important is that they have spotted Bill. Of course, when they acknowledge him from the balcony they wouldn't know that it is Bill. It is likely that these masked balls are regular events and that each guest has a specific mask that they always wear. The couple on the balcony almost certainly did not recognize the mask that Bill is wearing and are therefore curious about him. When Bill senses that he is being watched and looks up, the masked man nods at him as if greeting him and Bill nods in return. After the opening ceremony is over, the masked man would probably then check on who this newcomer is which leads to Bill being tracked down and ultimately being led before the cult leader. Also of note, the masked man with the three-cornered hat is briefly seen again in another room of the house, where he appears with the now-nude masked woman in which he whispers something to her to approach Bill while he leaves the room. See more »

Goofs

When Bill walks into the mansion, the satyr-head door knocker vanishes when the camera cuts to the interior. 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

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.20 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Blame It on My Youth
(1934)
Performed by Brad Mehldau
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
Music by Oscar Levant
Lyrics Edward Heyman
Published by Polygram International Publishing Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Compelling, complex observation of fidelities and fantasies
19 July 1999 | by pooch-8See all my reviews

With the exception of a late-occurring scene of deadening over-explanation wholly unnecessary to the film on every level (and rather unusual for Kubrick), Eyes Wide Shut is utterly sensational, and represents another gleaming jewel in the master filmmaker's already studded crown. Cruise and Kidman surpass all of their previous work, turning in spectacular performances infused with nuances only hinted at prior to this outing. Their real-life union appears to bring every bit of unique tension Kubrick intended, as the movie wholly depends on the verisimilitude of the central couple's relationship. Kubrick's tone fulfills all the promise of the title, consistently delivering an elevated texture of almost uncanny imagination perpetually hovering between fantasy and reality. The director additionally mines many of his familiar thematic concerns, including deceit, paranoia, and blinding frustration. Eyes Wide Shut is certain to be as closely scrutinized as many of Kubrick's other films (particularly because it is his final work), and its thoughtful and challenging treatment of such lightning-rod topics as marital honesty, sexual jealousy, and the perceived risks of disclosing one's fantasies (even to the single person you trust more than any other) is sure to draw some people in while pushing others away.


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