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Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Starring: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Madison Eginton, Jackie Sawiris, Sydney Pollack, Leslie Lowe, Peter Benson, Todd Field, Michael Doven, Sky Dumont, Louise J. Taylor, Stewart Thorndike, Randall Paul
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Release Date: July 16th 1999 (wide).
Runtime: 103 minutes
MPAA Rating: G for strong sexual content, nudity, language, some drug-related material.
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
"No dream is ever just a dream." – Dr. Bill Harford (Tom Cruise)
Dr. William Harford (Tom Cruise) plunges into an erotic foray that threatens his marriage - and may even ensnare him in a lurid murder mystery - after is wife's (Nicole Kidman) admission of sexual longings.
Eyes Wide Shut is based on the 1926 novel Traumnovelle by the great Viennese playwright and novelist Arthur Schnitzler, who also wrote La Ronde, the basis for the play The Blue Room, in which Nicole Kidman starred in London and on Broadway.
Principal photography on the film took place from November 1996 through March 1998, with breaks for holidays.
Harvey Keitel was originally cast to play Victor Ziegler, but was forced to bow out due to scheduling problems and was replaced by Sydney Pollack.
Jennifer Jason Leigh originally played Marion, but was unavailable to return to England for some re-shoots, so Kubrick recast the role with Marie Richardson.
Although the story takes place in New York, virtually the entire film was shot in England. Elaborate street sets built at Pinewood Studios were used for all the scenes showing Tom Cruise walking around the city.
The password "fidelio" that Cruise’s character uses to gain entrance to the orgy comes from the Latin word "fidelis," meaning "faithful."
Stanley Kubrick’s daring last film is many things. It is a compelling psychosexual journey. A haunting dreamscape. A riveting tale of suspense. A major milestone in the careers of stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. And "a worthy final chapter to a great director’s career" (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times).
Cruise plays Dr. William Harford, who plunges into an erotic foray that threatens his marriage — and may even ensnare him in a lurid murder mystery — after his wife’s (Kidman) admission of sexual longings. As the story sweeps from doubt and fear to self-discovery and reconciliation, Kubrick orchestrates it with masterful flourishes. Graceful tracking shots, controlled pacing, rich colors, startling images: bravura traits that make Kubrick a filmmaker for the ages are here to keep everyone’s eyes wide open.
At his best Stanley Kubrick was one of cinema’s masters – his filmic sense utterly dwarfed that of all but a handful of his contemporaries – and his reputation can’t be made to sink or swim on the basis of a single picture. His overall contribution wouldn’t be diminished even if his final work turned out to be nothing but humbug, and it would be nearly impossible to improve on his legendary reputation for iconoclastic filmmaking. Still one hoped, if for no reason other than old time’s sake, that Kubrick would, in his last at-bat, yank one out of the park.