Eyes Wide Shut
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Eyes Wide Shut is 183 on the JustWatch Daily Streaming Charts today. The movie has moved up the charts by 127 places since yesterday. In the United States, it is currently more popular than Panic Room but less popular than The Nun II.
After Dr. Bill Harford's wife, Alice, admits to having sexual fantasies about a man she met, Bill becomes obsessed with having a sexual encounter. He discovers an underground sexual group and attends one of their meetings -- and quickly discovers that he is in over his head.
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Streaming Charts The JustWatch Daily Streaming Charts are calculated by user activity within the last 24 hours. This includes clicking on a streaming offer, adding a title to a watchlist, and marking a title as 'seen'. This includes data from ~1.3 million movie & TV show fans per day.
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Eyes Wide Shut
1999, Drama, 2h 39m
What to know
Kubrick's intense study of the human psyche yields an impressive cinematic work. Read critic reviews
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Eyes wide shut photos.
After Dr. Bill Hartford's (Tom Cruise) wife, Alice (Nicole Kidman), admits to having sexual fantasies about a man she met, Bill becomes obsessed with having a sexual encounter. He discovers an underground sexual group and attends one of their meetings -- and quickly discovers that he is in over his head.
Rating: R (Nudity|Language|Some Drug Related Material|Strong Sexual Content)
Original Language: English
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Producer: Stanley Kubrick
Writer: Stanley Kubrick , Frederic Raphael , Arthur Schnitzer
Release Date (Theaters): Jul 16, 1999 wide
Release Date (Streaming): Jan 4, 2010
Box Office (Gross USA): $55.7M
Runtime: 2h 39m
Distributor: Argentina Video Home, Warner Sogefilms S.A. [es], Warner Bros. Pictures
Production Co: Warner Brothers, Hobby Films, Pole Star
Sound Mix: Dolby Stereo, Dolby A, SDDS, DTS, Surround, Dolby Digital, Dolby SR
Aspect Ratio: Flat (1.85:1)
Cast & Crew
Dr. William Harford
Hotel Desk Clerk
Sky du Mont
Louise J. Taylor
Waitress at Gillespie's
Coffee Shop Manager (uncredited)
Brian W. Cook
News & Interviews for Eyes Wide Shut
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Critic Reviews for Eyes Wide Shut
Audience reviews for eyes wide shut.
It's a headscratcher. That's part of why it's a masterwork. Dream-like and filled with clues of deep meanings Stanley Kubrick's last film is a must-see. Multiple times. Keep digging for meaning. But, do it with eyes wide open.
I should not have watched this with my mom
Kubrick's last and massively underrated motion picture reaps tiny seeds of its climax from the get go. Eyes Wide Shut explores sex, infidelity, marriage, humilation, deviance and other topics; personally I think the main theme of the film is want - the want to wear a mask and the want to take off one's mask. Nicole Kidman is great in a supporting role whilst Tom Cruise is good, but comletely overshadowed by Kubrick's artistry at play and Cruise seems like he's straggling slightly in performance at times. It's definitely Kubrick's most NSFW picture in my opinion even more severe in its images than A Clockwork Orange. The music ranges from reversed chanting to Chris Isaak and meanders in sync with the tone of the film. It channels, studies and explores every element of the psychology of sex ranging from the stark, desperate and horrifying to the playfully mischevious fantasy. Often, Eyes Wide Shut even borders on Lynchian weirdness and unsettling dream-like sequences. It is my favourite film of Kubrick's.
Eyes Wide Shut has a good story for a psychological thriller. Overall, it is a good film (better than most films) but a low four stars, not at the level of the Shining or 2001. The film lacked in style and vibe, especially when I am reminded of American Beauty. Eyes Wide Shut may have been great if it were shorter and had an eerie, melancholy, wandering/lost vibe and camera style to match. But, again, it is a good story for a thriller, so give it a view if you in the mood.
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- "For adult audiences, it creates a mesmerizing daydream of sexual fantasy (…) Rating: ★★★½ (out of 4)" Roger Ebert : rogerebert.com
- "[It] turns into a series of haphazard revelations that come to very little." Owen Gleiberman : Entertainment Weekly
- "You experience this 159-minute movie at his deliberate pace and from his oddly distanced perspective. The effect is disorienting but mesmerizing." Desson Thomson : The Washington Post
- "Every shot and camera angle was selected with great care (...) For those who view cinema as something more substantive than an evening's diversion, the release of 'Eyes Wide Shut' is an event (…) Rating: ★★★½ (out of 4)" James Berardinelli : ReelViews
- "It's empty of ideas, which is fine, but it's also empty of heat. Stephen Hunter : The Washington Post
- "This is personal filmmaking as well as dream poetry of the kind most movie commerce has ground underfoot, and if a better studio release comes along this year I'll be flabbergasted (…) Rating: ★★★★ (out of 4)" Jonathan Rosenbaum : Chicago Reader
- "A film that is better at mood than substance, that has its strongest hold on you when it's making the least amount of sense." Kenneth Turan : Los Angeles Times
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All copyrighted material (movie posters, DVD covers, stills, trailers) and trademarks belong to their respective producers and/or distributors.
Eyes Wide Shut
Cast & crew.
Dr. William Harford
Disturbing and completely inappropriate for kids.
- Average 7.5
- Reviews 160
© 1999 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.
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The Ending Of Eyes Wide Shut Explained
1999 was a busy year for a lot of reasons. Facing the centennial, there was a lot to look forward to, and a lot to leave behind. For director Stanley Kubrick, there was one film idea that he just had to finish before the year was over, and that was "Eyes Wide Shut." The movie is based on a German novella from 1926 called "Traumnovelle," or "Dream Story," which focuses on a man in Vienna who finds out his wife has fantasies of other men, and goes on a two-day journey dealing with personal realizations about sex, individualism, and morality.
For Kubrick's film, he transferred the story from early 20th century Vienna to New York City, Greenwich Village specifically, in the 1990s. The director cast Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman , husband and wife at the time, as the main couple in the story named Bill and Alice. The movie began filming in November 1996 and ended in June 1998, holding the Guinness World Records for longest constant movie shoot at over 15 months, with 46 weeks of unbroken shooting.
The film is a confounding story, and even two decades later, fans and critics alike continue to debate the meaning behind "Eyes Wide Shut" and whether the final cut was what Kubrick really wanted.
The themes and meaning of Eyes Wide Shut
While Kubrick's other films explore topics like free will, conformity, and class privilege, "Eyes Wide Shut" takes on society's dehumanization of sex. For Bill and Alice, sex and temptation is all around them, but they only have eyes for each other. But one night Alice admits that she considered having an affair with a handsome naval officer a year earlier, and Bill's whole world is turned upside down. He then begins a night-long journey to explore and possibly give in to his own temptations, stumbling upon a secret society participating in a masked orgy.
The story is strange and winding, adding to the dreamlike quality of filmmaking that takes influence from the original "Dream Story." Throughout the night, Bill meets various strangers who attempt to engage him in sex. While he almost gives in a few times, he makes it through the encounters unscathed until he gets to the main event, the secret society's weird orgy. With this film, Kubrick is taking on "the causes and effects of depersonalized sex." One early review of the film describes the orgy scene as "the fulcrum" of "Eyes Wide Shut," saying, "sex is normally the most intimate means of human interaction, yet here it is reduced to a ritualistic, almost creepy form of gratification ... There is freedom in anonymity, but also isolation and a complete dearth of emotion" ( Reel Views ).
After this encounter, Bill finally realizes the dark side of this world of sex and anonymity, returning to his wife Alice's side. She is still open with him about her past sexual fantasies, but in the end they stay loyal to each other, happy that their marriage and mutual sexual attraction have survived this long.
The crazy process to make Kubrick's last movie
It's safe to say that Kubrick had a reputation for being quite the demanding and unusual filmmaker. Although many people are familiar with his abuse of Shelley Duvall on the set of "The Shining," some might not know just how crazy it was to make "Eyes Wide Shut," the director's last film.
Along with how long it took to film the movie, Kubrick put his main two actors through a lot of intense experiences. The director took take after take of the same scene, but not because he had a detailed vision in mind. According to a Vanity Fair article detailing the film's production, his "theory was that once his actors bottomed-out in exhaustion and forgot about the cameras, they could rebuild and discover something that neither he nor they expected." Kubrick also never let his actors see any daily footage, and this inability to track his own performance across the film gave Cruise an ulcer, which he hid from Kubrick.
The director also thoroughly blended fact and fiction, creating a feeling of distrust between Cruise and Kidman by choosing to "direct each actor separately and forbid them to share notes. In one painful example, for just one minute of final footage where Alice makes love to a handsome naval officer—an imaginary affair that haunts Bill over the course of the film—Kubrick demanded that Kidman shoot six days of naked sex scenes with a male model ... He banned Cruise from the set and forbade Kidman to assuage her husband's tension by telling him what happened during the shoot." The emotional abuse he put his actors through was apparently worth it for them, but it's up to debate whether or not it improved the final product.
Debate and censorship for Eyes Wide Shut
"Eyes Wide Shut" is Kubrick's final film before his death. According to the documentary "Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures," Kubrick was in the middle of post-production when he showed what Warner Bros. executives claim was a relatively final cut of the film on March 1, 1999. The director died six days later, on March 7, 1999, at the age of 70. "Eyes Wide Shut" opened on July 16, 1999, and did well at the box office and with critics. It currently holds a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes . But that doesn't mean that there isn't any controversy attached to the film's release.
Firstly, the movie had to be censored to hit the R-rating, with the orgy scene taking a large hit. According to a 1999 New York Times article, "65 seconds of the movie were digitally altered. Essentially, shrouded digital figures were placed in front of couples engaged in sex, partly blocking the audience's view." At the same time, some people argued that "Eyes Wide Shut" was an unfinished film, and the final product was not the one Kubrick intended to release. A frequent collaborator of Kubrick, writer Michael Herr, revealed in a Vanity Fair piece that Kubrick called him shortly before he had to show the Warner Bros. executives a cut the film, saying that "there was looping to be done and the music wasn't finished, lots of small technical fixes on color and sound; would I show work that wasn't finished?" He was forced to show the executives due to contractual reasons but didn't want to, and this was likely the cut that later became the final product.
While there's a lot of interesting history and questions revolving around "Eyes Wide Shut," unfortunately Kubrick isn't around to clarify anything. Still, the director's final film impresses as an unforgettable story about morality and sexuality, no matter what way you look at it.
- Make the Case: ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ Is Actually a Comedy, and the Best Film of 1999
Throughout the week, The Ringer will celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of the best years in movie history and argue why some films deserve to be called the best of ’99. Here, two of our writers make the case for Stanley Kubrick’s psychosexual portrait of a marriage.
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Share All sharing options for: Make the Case: ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ Is Actually a Comedy, and the Best Film of 1999
Welcome to 1999 Movies Week, a celebration of one of the best years in film history. Throughout the week, The Ringer will highlight some of the year’s best, most interesting films, and in this series, make the case for why a specific movie deserves to be called that year’s best. Here, Manuela Lazic and Adam Nayman discuss the final film of Stanley Kubrick, Eyes Wide Shut.
Adam Nayman: In thinking about how we could make the case that Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut was—and remains—the best movie of 1999 (a very good year for movies, according to our Ringer colleagues and pretty much everybody else), I thought it’d be good to start somewhere a bit unexpected: with just how funny it is. I know that saying “[Weird Movie X] is actually a comedy” to make other people feel bad for not getting it is an annoying move. But Eyes Wide Shut is laugh-out-loud hilarious, on purpose. I was 18 years old when it came out, and I have vivid memories of it being treated as a pop-cultural punch line—as something to make fun of.
I understand why this happened: it’s a strange, arty, deliberately stylized movie that uses dream logic to address challenging themes of love, commitment, male vanity, and the fear of death; it speaks the language of symbolism and metaphor; Kubrick’s death earlier that year meant it carried a lot of pressure as his last will and testament; it has a lot of topless women. And, for the only time in Kubrick’s career, he worked with movie stars who were more famous than he was. The media scrutiny on Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s troubled marriage, and whether spending a grueling 400 days on a movie set shooting a drama about jealousy and infidelity damaged it further, predictably reframed the conversation about the film around celebrity, instead of cinema. Even more predictable was the way that critics of all kinds acted like horny teenagers—or accused Kubrick of being a horny teenager—when the movie premiered.
“Now we get the fucking laughing fit, right?” snaps Cruise’s Bill Harford during an early, pot-fueled argument with Kidman’s Alice, and I wish I could just play that clip every time I read or hear somebody say that Eyes Wide Shut is a movie to laugh at. It’s a movie to laugh with , and the scene where Cruise and Kidman get tetchy with each other in their underwear is Exhibit A. Alice’s case of the giggles is in response to her husband’s statement that she would “never be unfaithful to him,” an idea that she goes on to demolish over the course of an amazing, five-minute monologue that serves as the true beginning of the movie’s story and that sets “Dr. Bill” off on a series of nighttime adventures fueled by paranoid jealousy.
The comedy starts with the opening shot, which holds on Alice’s naked, statuesque body just long enough for us to get an eyeful before cutting away. Right off the top, Kubrick establishes a comic rhythm of interruption. (Another example: The stately Shostakovich waltz that plays over the credits is revealed as emanating from the Harfords’ own stereo—I don’t know why, but the shot of Cruise turning the music off strikes me as something out of Mel Brooks). These are little, witty touches; for a more spectacular example, check out the way that Kubrick and cinematographer Larry Smith turn the argument between Bill and Alice into a sophisticated sight gag. By the end, Alice is doubled over with laughter, at which point the film’s elegant Steadicam perspective gets supplanted by a bobbing, handheld camera—the image becoming destabilized right along with our (anti?)hero’s self-confidence as a husband, lover, and master-of-the-universe alpha male. After all, the larger joke about Eyes Wide Shut is that it’s a two-and-a-half-hour movie in which Tom Cruise can’t get laid (Maverick and Jerry Maguire didn’t have that problem). We’re going to have to talk at some point about whether or not Eyes Wide Shut is a movie about men—Stanley Kubrick included—gawking at women, but can we start by discussing how it is also, in a very serious way, a movie about women laughing at men? Or are you going to make fun of me for even suggesting such a thing?
Manuela Lazic: I will, in fact, laugh at you for suggesting this, but not because I disagree, and not with a full-hearted laugh. Imagine I’m doing something a little sadder—a little like Alice’s own laugh at her husband, perhaps—because of course women have to laugh at men in Eyes Wide Shut. But that’s never all they do. Alice has to get stoned before she can laugh in her husband’s face with so much frame-shattering, camera-disorienting abandon. Because if Eyes Wide Shut really is about men, it is also, more specifically and as you said, about how men perceive women—and there’s nothing really funny about that. Rewatching that pot-smoking scene, I was struck by how angry, sad, and exposed Alice gets when she starts to giggle.
While the pot helps her to open up, laughter functions here (as it often does) like a self-defense mechanism for Alice to protect herself from feeling as upset as she should. Earlier in the film, she has a similar interaction with the suave Hungarian stranger who tries to get her into bed at Victor Ziegler’s Christmas party. Here again, she is wasted (this time on champagne). Alcohol and drugs get Alice to both reveal herself and peel away at the arrogance of the men around her, which perplexes both Bill and the stranger. She may remain silent during most of the Hungarian’s talk, but she is smiling at his terrible double entendres the entire time, and ultimately leaves him hanging.
As a woman who has suffered through such eye-roll-inducing talk from men, I was astonished by Alice’s decision to take this attempted seduction with a smile. But Alice’s approach isn’t testimony to Kubrick writing this character through a male misogynistic lens. On the contrary, it is the presentation of one of the few options that women have when confronted with the ludicrous vanity of men (my reaction would have been overt anger, disdain, and immediate flight).
When Alice is faced with this behavior again, this time from her husband, the smile she offered the Hungarian turns into full-blown laughter, before she explains with literally sobering seriousness what lies behind the smile. It’s a simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking moment because Alice really wishes Bill could understand that she, too, has desires.
For me, the funniest sections of Eyes Wide Shut are those when Bill is seen reflecting on his discovery of female desire, often when he’s in his car and Kubrick’s camera zooms in on his terrified eyes. In this alone time, he finally gets to explore his interiority and use his imagination (in other words, he gets to think!) instead of “acting” in and on the world. He is clearly disturbed by this new exercise. Alice, by contrast, is used to questioning her thoughts (like when she developed an intense crush on a naval officer during a family holiday, and couldn’t decide whether she wanted him to leave their hotel or take her away) and exploring the world through dreams. In fact, Bill’s deep dive into an underworld of performative sex, and life-threatening curiosity on the streets of New York and outside the city, is clearly paralleled by Alice’s abstract but not so unintelligible dreams: Unlike her husband, who has to physically move through space to find himself in situations that challenge his beliefs, Alice uses her brains to confront the truth about her perfect-seeming marriage.
I love this idea, and I love how Kubrick deploys it through this masterpiece. He manages to show how women’s need to rely on their interiority to live in the world is at once a blessing and a terrible example of inequality between the sexes. Right after Alice tells him about her longing for that naval officer, Dr. Bill receives a call and has to go to the bedside of a patient who just died. There, he meets the man’s daughter, Marion, who suddenly tells Bill that she loves him and that she doesn’t want to move to Chicago with her soon-to-be husband. Bill has been the love of her life all along. The moment is both hilarious and terrifying, thanks in great part to Marie Richardson’s explosively emotional performance as Marion, but also because of how this scene has been contextualized by Alice’s monologue (and because Richardson has been styled to look a bit like Kidman).
Kubrick, in his usual ironic, on-the-nose way, has followed Alice’s tale of overwhelming desire with an example of that very feeling in the person of Marion, for Bill to directly experience it himself. Here, he is the naval officer, and Marion is Alice: With her thoughts alone (“Marion, we barely know each other,” says Bill, needlessly), Marion has already built a relationship with the object of her desire. The scene becomes simultaneously funnier and more heartbreaking when Marion’s fiancé shows up and Bill says goodbye, leaving Marion to her fate as a wife and a misunderstood and desirous person—just like Alice has become.
Another undeniably funny thing about Eyes Wide Shut is its style. Each crossfade feels a little off but in a Kubrickian way—they have a calculated tonal significance, meant (I think!) to highlight the artificiality of the world Bill evolves in. The camera’s fluidity recalls The Shining ’s long tracking shots in the deserted hotel of Jack Torrance’s mind. Yet Eyes Wide Shut is much weirder than The Shining (yes, such a thing seems possible to me): The obviously fake New York streets! The Wu-Tang Clan reference! The Chris Isaak song! Do you agree that this film is strangely clunky? And do you think it is clunky for good reason, beyond the difficult shoot? What makes this stiffness compelling? And do you think this film’s style has been influential?
Nayman: I’m going to have to go to the judges on those Wu-Tang references; according to the internet, Eyes Wide Shut is actually Illuminati propaganda filled with subliminal imagery. I would, of course, happily watch a Room 237 –style essay about Eyes Wide Shut ’s hidden messages, except that there probably isn’t quite enough ambiguity in the film to support it. I like that you called Kubrick’s irony “on-the-nose,” because it is, which doesn’t mean that it isn’t also suggestive and complicated (as you have already described in the scene with Marion, although you left out the part about Marion’s fiancé being a visual doppelgänger for Bill, played by Thomas Gibson, which means there’s one degree of separation between one of the best American films of the ’90s and Dharma & Greg ).
As for style, I think it’s more that Eyes Wide Shut extends and refines techniques and motifs dating back to its director’s earliest work; it’s almost like a greatest hits album. For instance, that late shot of Alice, fast asleep with the mask on the pillow beside her, is a direct reference to a shot from Kubrick’s (excellent) sophomore feature, Killer’s Kiss . That movie is also evoked by the presence of those creepy mannequins in the sex shop where Leelee Sobieski appears as a 21st-century version of Lolita , right before Bill goes to the mansion that looks like the Overlook Hotel ... but I’d better stop before this turns into Room 237 II after all.
I’d agree that Eyes Wide Shut is aggressively artificial, and that the phoniness of its Manhattan setting is crucial: to quote that other modern deconstructed-rom-com masterpiece They Came Together , it’s like New York City is a character in the movie—a weirdly untrustworthy one. Kubrick’s carefully color-coded version of the world’s most photographed city—all of those blue filters and all the Klimt-style gold at the edge of the frame—is not just a case of aesthetic flexing but a cue to understand that we’re somewhere between the literal and the figurative. Eyes Wide Shut is not interested in building up a sense of everyday reality; its architecture is the rickety constructions of the subconscious.
The German title of Arthur Schnitzler’s 1926 novella Traumnovelle , on which Eyes Wide Shut is based, translates to “A Dream Story,” and it’s that slightly tranced-out quality—of events experienced with “eyes wide shut”—that I think Kubrick finally perfected here after deploying it more sparingly in his earlier movies. The tracking shots in The Shining (and Full Metal Jacket ) are hypnotic, but in Eyes Wide Shut , the effect of all that serene, gliding camera movement is to submerge the viewer in layers of aspirational fantasy. Bill and Alice’s high-rolling life is a dream, and then, as we discover, there are even deeper layers underneath, both in terms of what the characters desire and also the topography of their New York. One hint to what the movie is doing as far as dreaming goes, lies in the—again, quite hilarious—way that Bill, for all his wealth and social status, moves through the movie as an almost completely passive figure, especially after the revelation of Alice’s imagined infidelity. In almost every scene, he ends up repeating or parroting the dialogue of other characters, as if he has no ideas of his own.
I truly love Cruise’s performance, and I think that it makes for an interesting contrast with his Oscar-nominated work the same year in Magnolia. There, as Frank “T.J.” Mackey, Cruise weaponized his clean-cut, sex-symbol status to play a guy peddling penis worship (“ respect the cock ”) to a millennial-incel audience. As Magnolia went on, we saw the scared, grieving little boy inside the persona. In Eyes Wide Shut , Cruise’s characterization is less sentimental, because Bill isn’t psychologically damaged or in need of redemption. He’s a cipher, and considering the significance of masks in the movie’s design—with the selection of Venetian masks in particular evoking a long history of literary and theatrical eroticism—the way that Kubrick uses Cruise’s flawless visage as a mask for Bill’s insecurity and lack of imagination is ingenious.
Obviously, in a movie filled with double entendres and body doubles, the infamous secret-society sequence with the guests all decked out in masks is meant to parallel Victor Ziegler’s Christmas party, with the difference being that Bill goes to the latter alone, as a bachelor. I don’t know if you want to talk about what goes on the mansion, but if Eyes Wide Shut is a “dream story” what does it mean that a 20-minute sequence set at an orgy plays out like such an absurd and embarrassing nightmare?
Lazic: One cannot talk about Tom Cruise without bringing up the idea of masks and disguise—and, tangentially, the realm of dreams. As you say, Kubrick uses Cruise’s perfect face as a veil in and of itself, and therefore a signifier of falseness: There’s nothing perfect lying beneath his perfect features. This is similar to how the actor’s visage was employed three years prior by Brian De Palma, the master of the body double himself, in the first Mission: Impossible film. There, Cruise used masks to deceive his traitors and alter reality. But of course, the most existentially disturbing mask that Cruise ever wore was the facial prosthetic his character David Aames was offered after his accident in Cameron Crowe’s 2001 psychological epic Vanilla Sky —or was he? “It’s only a mask if you treat it that way,” says one of the doctors, but David can no longer pretend that this smooth, consistent, standard face is his.
Just as this disappointing substitute for a face takes David into a nightmarish version of his life in which he is not handsome and doesn’t get the girl, Dr. Bill’s Venetian mask transports him to a dark place where other people, as you say, keep their protective camouflage and force him to show his real face, humiliating him.
This scene in the mansion is so deliciously cringe-worthy because it is such an overblown, tongue-in-cheek yet disturbing abstraction of what Bill is experiencing out in the world, after he finds out about female desire. His experience at this sordid party is a grotesque, dreamlike copy of his aborted adventure with Domino (also the name of a type of Venetian mask, of course!), a sex worker played by Vinessa Shaw who picks him up, takes him to her place, has to decide herself what she will do for him, and eventually can’t even get to it because he soon chickens out. She even feels too sorry for Bill to want his money. Just like he stands on the outside looking in at orgies at the secret gathering, Bill can’t participate in this superficial sexual masquerade with Domino. He’s too aware of his own pretense and of this woman’s selfhood. Kubrick makes Bill’s discomfort in Domino’s tiny room just as crushing as his shame when the cloaked cult unmasks him, because they are essentially the same sensations.
After his wild—or anti-climactic, considering he only got to have a look at things—night at the mansion, Bill searches for answers in Ziegler, his boss, played by Sydney Pollack. Their small talk when Bill enters his superior’s expensive office is as absurd as it gets, until Ziegler snaps: He comes clean to Bill, explaining that he too was at the secret meeting, but also, and more importantly, that the shaming ceremony that Bill was subjected to, including the suggested sacrifice of a woman for his sake, was “all staged to scare the shit out of [him].”
At last, the masks finally come down, and casting Pollack as Ziegler proves perfect. With his hyper-naturalistic acting style and gregarious manner, the legendary actor-director is the polar opposite of Cruise’s ideal looks—it is no coincidence that, from very early on in the film, Ziegler reveals his drug-fueled sexual activities to Bill. In this film, Pollack’s down-to-earth appearance is aligned with Ziegler’s bone-chilling honesty. Again, Kubrick parallels this scene with another one, set out in the world: Bill goes looking for Domino, but instead of finding her at her apartment, he meets her roommate, who kills the explicit sexual tension between them by announcing that Domino has been diagnosed with HIV. Did Domino really have the virus? Did she even exist? Although Bill didn’t end up having sex with her, he shivers when he learns how close he came to danger, and the entire chapter feels like a Fatal Attraction –esque cautionary tale about what men do to prove their masculine prowess to themselves. With Ziegler and Domino, Bill is twice denounced for trying to keep on the mask of male sexual vanity and control.
I love that scene with Pollack because it feels like Kubrick revealing his tricks in the clearest, most direct way he ever has. What follows is one of the most astounding, delectable, and moving displays of discomfiting a man I’ve ever seen in cinema (in the same category, see Phantom Thread and most other Paul Thomas Anderson movies). That’s what is truly funny to me: how weepy Bill gets when he sees the mask on his pillow, and how Cruise says “I’ll tell you everythiiiiiiing”!
How do you think this character arc fits in Kubrick’s filmography? Do you think Bill has really gotten the message by the end, or is Kubrick again being sarcastic about Bill’s newfound willingness to understand his wife? I find that the Barbie doll that their daughter Helena picks up at the toy store in the last scene, interrupting their conversation, may be a sign of things to come for her, and for women in general …
Nayman: I think “I’ll tell you everything” is funny too, although the hard cut to Kidman’s face the morning after—with those dreamy blue filters swapped out for some harsh natural light—is probably the most emotional moment in the movie for me, the one where the script, the actors, and the filmmaking combine to allow for authentic fragility amid the satire and sarcasm, and to address the “real” transgressions that have been coded into Bill’s adventures. I refuse to offer a definitive interpretation of whether or not Bill did a “bad, bad thing” either during Eyes Wide Shut ’s duration or at some other point in his marriage to Alice; the point is how we see him given every opportunity to do so and failing mostly because of external circumstances rather than any moral imperative (again, this is a movie in which Tom Cruise definitively fails to get laid).
The scene where Bill visits the morgue and sees the corpse of the woman who “saved” him during Ziegler’s orgy—gazing at her as she lies naked on the slab, her body exposed and her eyes wide shut—anticipates the morbid cruelty of Pollack’s monologue, which is all about concealing the truth, about the seduction of repression. It’s also, quite literally, about staring death in the face. That’s why when we see Bill reading a copy of the New York Post with the big-type headline “LUCKY TO BE ALIVE” (an image that used to be my Twitter avatar), it plays, like so much of Kubrick at his best, two ways: it’s a grim sight gag that also hints at the mind-set Bill is about to bring home with him as a husband and father.
Dr. Bill’s newfound willingness to communicate with his wife is sincere, and as a result, it’s funny: the two things don’t cancel each other out but instead are heightened in tandem. In the scene in the Macy’s, he insists on using a very particular “F-word” to suggest a solution to their marital impasse—“forever.” This is a significant idea given the context of Kubrick’s career: a lusting for immortality (for some kind of “forever”) is always tied to male protagonists in his films, whether it’s Barry Lyndon yearning for an aristocratic title that he can pass on to his son, or Jack Torrance in The Shining telling his son he wants to stay at the Overlook “forever and ever and ever” (presumably all by himself, after he’s done butchering his wife and son). In sharp contrast to his attitude in the early scenes, where he took both Alice and her fidelity for granted, Bill now clings to the renewed promise of enduring domestic bliss. Alice, though, counters with an F-word of her own, offering a more provisional solution to the problem at hand—and getting the last dirty word in Kubrick’s entire career. In the end, Alice wants exactly the same thing as her husband, and in giving him a piece of her mind, she rescues Eyes Wide Shut from the kind of bleak, ambiguous ending that was typically Kubrick’s stock in trade. It’s a happy ending, right?
Lazic: It’s funny that you should ask me that because the last time you did, it was about Phantom Thread —and I think these two endings are comparable. Plus, I’m pretty sure Phantom Thread will go down as the best movie of 2018 the same way that Eyes Wide Shut is obviously no. 1 for 1999.
Nayman: Yes, that was the thing that we were setting out to prove several thousand words ago, I think we did it. Anyway, go on.
Lazic: There is a sense of mutual delusion at the end of PTA’s film, as the couple finds a perverse system to repeat ad infinitum in order to stay satisfied with each other. But of course, who’s to say that neither of them will ever get tired of mushroom omelettes? The ending of Eyes Wide Shut is more down to earth, thanks to Alice’s pragmatism. Even though there’s a similar sense of Alice wanting Bill “flat on [his] back, helpless, tender, open, with only [her] to help,” the difference is that she wants him in that position not to overpower him, but to have sex with him, and “as soon as possible” rather than regularly. Her ambitions aren’t as big as Alma’s in Phantom Thread , perhaps because she refuses to work that hard at saving her marriage: She won’t be having crazy dreams and laughing in his face every time he needs to settle down a little just to remind him that she, too, is a person with desires and not just a perfect spouse. “Now we’re awake, forever” is a line that could have been uttered by PTA’s hopeful, mad couple, even as they begin a dreamlike (or nightmarish?) existence together. Alice, with her sense of reality in check, now has her eyes wide open. She has no patience for mindfucks.
In This Stream
1999 movies week: a celebration of the best year in film.
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Boomers vs. gen z, plus vegan living with pinky cole, ‘the marvels’ is here. is it too late for the mcu.
13 facts you may not know about stanley kubrick's 'eyes wide shut'.
Senior Entertainment Reporter, HuffPost
Fifteen years ago, on July 16, 1999, Stanley Kubrick's final film, "Eyes Wide Shut," opened nationwide. Setting records for the longest shoot in movie history, it was an excruciating labor of love for lead stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman -- one that would often be traced back to the alleged start of their marriage's decline. Throughout the process, cryptic reports implied that Kubrick's obsessive perfectionism had reached peak levels, which was especially eyebrow-raising given the film's sexual explicitness. The director, who won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects for "2001: A Space Odyssey," died of a heart attack in March 1999, days after screening the final cut. Had he lived, perhaps we'd have more perspective on the movie's production -- or perhaps not, as Kubrick was notoriously reclusive.
An excerpt from Amy Nicholson's book, "Tom Cruise: Anatomy of an Actor," printed in Vanity Fair , offers details about the project's goings-on. Coupled with a 1999 Entertainment Weekly article pegged to the film's release and a Los Angeles Times report about its box-office expectations, the passage reveals some things you may not know about "Eyes Wide Shut."
1. Kubrick always intended to cast an actual married couple as the movie's leads, but Cruise and Kidman weren't who he had in mind . The initial pair he thought of was Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger.
2. Sidney Pollack's role first went to Harvey Keitel , who dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
3. Jennifer Jason Leigh was originally tapped to play Marion Nathanson but left mid-production due to scheduling conflicts. Marie Richardson wound up playing that part.
4. When Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise arrived in London in the fall of 1996 to shoot the movie, they expected to be wrapped and back in Los Angeles by the following spring. Instead, the production didn't conclude until January 1998, making it the Guinness World Record's longest-running film shoot in history . (Kidman and Cruise reportedly signed open-ended contracts that stated they'd stick with the project no matter how long it took to complete.)
5. To say Kubrick is a perfectionist is an understatement: His intent was to film scenes so many times that it would wear down his actors and they'd forget the cameras existed. During the course of shooting "Eyes Wide Shut," the director filmed 95 takes of Cruise walking through a door.
6. Cruise was so anxious about giving the legendary director what he wanted that he developed an ulcer . He never told Kubrick.
7. Frenzied tabloids ran reports that Cruise and Kidman's marriage was crumbling in late '90s. If anything, that notion was only enhanced by their "Eyes Wide Shut" dynamic. Kubrick coaxed the couple into sharing their personal reservations about the marriage with him, in turn transferring those troubles onto their characters, Bill and Alice. Kidman called it a kind of "brutally honest" anti-therapy , as no one asked how they felt about each other's criticisms.
8. Director Todd Field ("Little Children," "In the Bedroom"), who starred in the movie as piano player Nick Nightingale, said of Kidman and Cruise : “You’ve never seen two actors more completely subservient and prostrate themselves at the feet of a director.”
9. Kubrick was terrified of flying, so instead of traveling to New York City to shoot in Greenwich Village, he built a top-secret replica of the neighborhood at England's Pinewood Studios. A set designer was sent to measure the exact width of the streets and distance between newspaper stands.
10. Kubrick allowed only a skeleton crew to remain on the set throughout filming. One rare outsider permitted to watch the action unfold was "Boogie Nights" director Paul Thomas Anderson. Cruise was in talks for the lead role in Anderson's "Magnolia" and had to sneak him past security. ''I asked [Kubrick], 'Do you always work with so few people?' Anderson recalled . "He gave me this look and said, 'Why? How many people do you need?' I felt like such a Hollywood asshole.''
11. Cruise isn't the only actor who filmed dozens of takes. Vinessa Shaw, who played the prostitute Domino, recalled having shot about 90 takes for a single scene.
12. Had Kubrick not died before the movie opened, he may still be making adjustments to it today, like he did with "The Shining" after its release. "I think Stanley would have been tinkering with it for the next 20 years," Kidman said . "He was still tinkering with movies he made decades ago. He was never finished. It was never perfect enough."
13. Warner Bros. wanted a $20 million opening weekend to consider the movie a success. It surpassed that, grossing $21.7 million across 2,400 screens. Marketing tracking studies for the film showed it had an awareness level of 78 but lacked the first-choice status among moviegoers that other summer fare like "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" and "Big Daddy" saw.
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Tom Cruise rewatch: Weird at the millennium with Eyes Wide Shut and Mission: Impossible 2
In his strangest and silliest roles, the star at his apex explored the outer limits of his image.
Darren is a TV Critic. Follow him on Twitter @DarrenFranich for opinions and recommendations.
Celebrating today's release of Top Gun: Maverick , our writers return to their favorite Tom Cruise movies, in appreciation of an on-screen persona that's evolved over decades.
Something was seriously wrong with Tom Cruise's face. That's either the main plot or one key visual idea in so many Cruise movies from the middle of his career. Vanilla Sky and Valkyrie left him mutilated, minus one eye or plus a few scars. Minority Report body-morphed jowls onto his cheekbones, after an eye transplant. Tropic Thunder swamped him in prosthetic paunch. Did this very famous man want to hide in plain sight — or was he defacing himself as an act of self-reclamation? Would the world still love him if he wasn't beautiful anymore? Or would he wind up wandering, alone, the one guy at the orgy not getting any?
Eyes Wide Shut came out in July 1999. Mission: Impossible 2 landed one summer later. They are not similar movies in any obvious way. One is Stanley Kubrick 's last, least explicable movie, a dreamlike erotic thriller about marital maintenance. The other is Cruise's loopiest Mission , a longhair fantasia about why viruses are great for stock options. I love both movies, but neither was adored upon release. Cruise was at his pinnacle as an audience draw, so Eyes was Kubrick's highest grossing movie and M:I 2 topped the 2000 box office. Don't interpret those numbers as positive feedback, though. Casual moviegoers were still going to the theater on autopilot, seeing "the new Tom Cruise movie" without knowing what they were in for. I recall general bafflement at Eyes , and a slow-boil resentment at M:I 2 's rap-rock silliness.
Eyes Wide Shut 's reputation has improved considerably; M:I 2 is so generally loathed that its defenders (hello!) have gotten louder. And the two films rhyme. In Eyes , Cruise plays Bill Harford, a doctor living well in Manhattan. One night, a casual stoned chat with his awesome wife (Kidman) takes a strange turn. He tells her he never worries about her cheating; she tells him maybe he should. The mere possibility of infidelity sends him on a whole-movie spiral, mulling sexy temptation to get back at his wife for having any urges whatsoever. M:I 2 has its own zigzag-of-jealousy plot, imported directly from Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious with zero shame. When superspy Ethan Hunt meets superthief Nyah Nordhoff-Hall ( Thandiwe Newton ), they fall for each other mid-car chase. But Ethan's IMF superiors have a mission for Nyah. They need her to go undercover with a former boyfriend, Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott), a rogue agent with global-plague plans.
Bill and Ethan are both romantically tormented, cut off from their loves by physical distance and the possibility of another man. Credit this as a vague comparison — Bill does not rescue Alice from a murderous motorcycle ex, Ethan does not go undercover in any spite orgies — except for the fact that both films also have their own strange strategies for approaching Cruise's famous face.
Watching Eyes Wide Shut , it's clear that Kubrick was sparking more to Kidman as a pure performer, whose scenes combust with crackling undercurrents of domestic ennui, seductiveness, and genuine love. Cruise feels more stunt-cast, like Ryan O'Neal in Barry Lyndon : a famous handsome star who serves as the audience surrogate. He's the watcher, never the most interesting person in the room, variously fascinated and appalled by the strangeness of his odyssey. In the movie's most famous and misunderstood scene, he wanders the halls of an aristocratic sex party, full of occult gyrations and full-frontal decadence. Hidden behind a mask and a cowl, he could be just anyone. When costumed courtiers demand that he reveal himself and remove his clothes, it's an upside-down vision of celebrity: Bill didn't want to be the center of attention. Now everyone won't stop looking at him.
Masks are also a key part of M:I 2 . The franchise loves its surprise identities, a latex face torn off to reveal whoever was really someone else. But John Woo 's entry in the series has the least intricate plot, and seems vividly uninterested in the espionage part of Ethan Hunt's job. This film was the real invention of Daredevil Maniac Tom Cruise, the very famous actor who is actually dangling off a cliff in Utah in the pointless-for-any-obvious-plot-reason mountain-climbing prologue. The actor had just spent half a decade playing somewhat regular humans in Jerry Maguire , Eyes Wide Shut , and Magnolia . So I think this second Mission was meant as a soft comeback, or maybe just an expression of pent-up action-guy frustration: Damn it, I just wanna be freaking awesome . Now Ethan Hunt knows martial arts, and drives a mean motorcycle, and can bungee-jump off a helicopter through an entire skyscraper.
It's ridiculous, but there's an intriguing twist thrown in: M:I 2 is the one Mission that keeps turning the signature mask gag back on its hero. The first time we see Cruise, he's actually Ambrose pretending to be Ethan. "He doubled you, what — two or three times?" asks the IMF Commander (Anthony Hopkins). An interesting window into IMF procedure here: When their top guy is unavailable, they slap an Ethan face onto a lesser agent and hope for the best. This is a quietly mind-boggling revelation, the kind of thing that drives vast fan theories in other franchises. (Do different movies feature different Ethans? Is that why he seems so dour in Ghost Protocol ?) And M:I 2 honors Woo's fascination with parallel good-and-evil identities. Ambrose pretends to be Ethan again later, fooling Nyah away from her moonlight escape. Toward the end of the movie, Ambrose captures Ethan and fires nine or ten bullets into his enemy's body. Of course, it's not Ethan, but the upside-mood lingers.
Malicious Neck-Snapping Cruise, Bad Boyfriend Cruise, Simpering Tortured Dead Cruise: You feel the actor exploring the outer range of his comfort zone, doing all the stuff his characters never really can do. Call these very different movies a linked set of nightmares. M:I 2 turns Cruise into a face anyone can wear. Eyes Wide Shut takes that face away entirely, reducing him to impotence and terror. Was that dwindling too much for Cruise to bear? The future was full of Mission s, hyperbolizing Cruise into the stratospheric "living manifestation of destiny." Whereas who knows with the Harfords, but some marriages just don't last.
- Tom Cruise rewatch: Cruise shines from the sidelines in Magnolia and Tropic Thunder
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Your Guide to Movies
Eyes Wide Shut (1999) | The Definitive Explanation
Welcome to our Colossus Movie Guide for Eyes Wide Shut . This guide contains everything you need to understand the film. Dive into our detailed library of content, covering key aspects of the movie. We encourage your comments to help us create the best possible guide. Thank you!
What is Eyes Wide Shut about?
Eyes Wide Shut is about the rehabilitation of a marriage, and the mentality required to do so. Bill thinks he completely understands his relationship with his wife Alice, and believes is just as faithfully obedient as himself. But as he learns, neither he nor Alice are strong enough to push away every urge. After Alice confesses she once dreamt of sleeping with a naval office, Bill embarks on an Odyssean journey through New York City. Out of jealousy, he is desperate to live out what Alice only dreamed of.
This is a key in-road to understanding Eyes Wide Shut : it’s all a dream . Well, maybe not literally a dream. But in the symbolic movie sense, Bill’s entire adventure is laden with outrageous, otherworldly moments that force him to pretend to be someone he isn’t. As somebody who held an absurd illusion about his marriage, he understandably employs a radical approach in the opposite direction. Instead of being eternally faithful to his wife, he intends to cheat. But much like his idyllic view of marriage, his cynical one is full of lies and mirages.
Going from one extreme to the other, Bill must understand how empty these radically opposing ends are. He must experience a sort of personal hell upon hearing his wife’s story, as he must understand that his wife is more complicated than the cookie-cutter mold he’s envisioned; and he must experience an outwardly hell in the form of secret societies that hold orgies, as he must see how people like Ziegler have no passion for sex. Bill must come back to the middle where his wife is waiting, desperate to form a deeper connection that allows them to see one another for who they truly are.
Movie Guide table of contents
The ending of eyes wide shut explained, the themes and meaning of eyes wide shut.
- Why is the movie called Eyes Wide Shut?
Important motifs in Eyes Wide Shut
- Questions & answers about Eyes Wide Shut
- Tom Cruise – Dr. William “Bill” Harford
- Nicole Kidman – Alice Harford
- Sydney Pollack – Victor Ziegler
- Todd Field – Nick Nightingale
- Marie Richardson – Marion Nathanson
- Sky du Mont – Sandor Szavost
- Rade Šerbedžija – Mr. Milich
- Thomas Gibson – Carl
- Vinessa Shaw – Domino
- Fay Masterson – Sally
- Alan Cumming – Hotel Desk Clerk
- Leelee Sobieski – Milich’s daughter
- Leon Vitali – Red Cloak
- Julienne Davis – Amanda “Mandy” Curran
- Madison Eginton – Helena Harford
- Abigail Good – Mysterious Woman
- Gary Goba – Naval Officer
Eyes Wide Shut was famously Stanley Kubrick’s last film, as he died weeks before the film’s release—which was a strange pill to swallow for many. Critics trashed the film as indulgent and passive, while casual moviegoers found the movie’s dream-like style and apathetic tone elusive. Even fans who were used to seeming impersonality of Kubrick’s films may have been taken aback by the movie’s cold, almost observational approach to Bill Harford’s mental torture. Film critic James Naremore put it perfectly when he said that Kubrick’s unique style gives “a sense of authorial understanding without immersion, as if volcanic, almost infantile feelings were being observed in a lucid, rational manner.” This approach reached its apex in Eyes Wide Shut .
Especially through the final word of the film—a truly jarring moment that leaves you wondering what the movie’s about. The movie ends with Bill and Alice walking through a department store with their daughter Helena while Christmas shopping. They are fresh from a night of no sleep, during which Bill confessed all his transgressions—from the orgy to the hooker to his potential involvement with a woman’s murder. The energy is awkward between them, as they force smiles while Helena excitedly runs around picking up toys. Finally, Bill stops them to ask what they should do next, what Alice is thinking about everything that happened.
Here’s the conversation that follows:
Alice: “Maybe, I think, we should be grateful. Grateful that we’ve managed to survive through all of our adventures, whether they were real or only a dream.” Bill: “Are you sure of that?” Alice: “Am I sure? Only as sure as I am that the reality of one night, let alone that of a whole lifetime, can ever be the whole truth.” Bill: “And no dream is ever just a dream.” Alice: The important thing is, we’re awake now. And hopefully…for a long time to come. Bill: Forever. Alice: Forever? Bill: Forever! Alice: Let’s not use that word, you know? It frightens me. But I do love you. And, you know, there’s something very important that we need to do as soon as possible. Bill: What’s that? Alice: Fuck.
There’s a lot to unpack in that dialogue. But as we go through it line by line, we can understand what exactly the ending of Eyes Wide Shut is trying to say, and how it brings clarity and catharsis to the movie’s themes and motifs .
Notice how Bill isn’t the one to begin the conversation—this lines up with everything we’ve learned about him. After everything he has laid upon Alice the previous night, he finds himself in a comatose state. Alice may have confessed her desire to commit infidelity, but it was only a fantasy and never acted upon. Bill, on the other hand, very much desired to commit adultery and went through the steps of doing so. But his impotence is key here. Bill asserts authority at every turn, flashing his doctor’s license, believing he should have access to anything (say, information about where Nick Nightingale is staying) or anyone (say, hookers at a mass orgy). But Bill is repeatedly thwarted and denied sex. He is constantly at the expense of others; a pawn in powerful men’s elaborate game. When brought before the man in the red cloak, Bill isn’t heroic, but frozen. He is, through and through, a passive person who lives a privileged life. He believes his is important because he’s a wealthy doctor—he isn’t. And he believes his marriage is thriving because both he and his wife are eternally devoted to one another—they aren’t.
Alice is truly the strong foundation of the relationship. She loves Bill for his tenderness, but she also feels sad about Bill’s undying adoration. He is not someone, as we see in the movie, who commands or dictates or influences. He is, sadly, a small man surrounded by powerful ones, a husband who views his marriage as black and white unlike his wife. Perhaps the one act that would assuredly give Bill some machismo is sleeping with another woman, and even there he fails and is emasculated.
So, it makes sense that Alice must start this conversation. She’s able to make sense of their dramatic situation, to put all their feelings into words in a manner Bill could not. And she’s able to recognize something very simple and truthful about Bill’s sins: sex never came to fruition. Bill wanted to have sex, and perhaps would have been able to do it if he were a stronger man. But, in the end, his adventure had the same air as Alice’s fantasies: it was nothing more than a dream.
This explains the ghostly tone throughout the film: the dead air, the long pauses, the parrot-like repetition of thoughts; the washes of red and blues, the masks concealing people’s faces, the constant lack of understanding. This feeling is most unmistakable during the scene where the man in the red cloak demands that Bill strip down. Bill’s reaction is one of utter bewilderment, and his face constantly suggests, “What the hell have I gotten myself into? Who are these people?” Yet, like a dream, he’s pulled right back into the world, compelled to decipher its every element.
In this sense, you can view Bill’s Odyssean adventure as just that: a dream. Movies often serve as allegories for the universal truths of life, with the situations serving as the infrastructure for life’s most common dilemmas, with the characters accentuating certain fears and desires, with the aesthetic adding color and commentary to it all. So, we can think of Bill’s crazy journey as a purely internal one that reflects his desire to gain a sense of authority, to even the playing field with his wife. It’s all very childish and not very well thought out—a knee-jerk reaction that sends him down an absurd road with dire consequences.
Perhaps Alice is able to recognize this. Perhaps she’s able to look past the reality of her husband’s sins and look deeper to his imperfections, to the pure sadness within.
Her sexual fantasy sent Bill into a pit of despair—much further than she ever dreamed. She knew she needed to express her sexual desires to wake Bill up, to open his eyes, to make him see her for who she truly is. As we discussed in the themes section, marriages thrive on honesty and understanding. This means being accepting of your partner’s flaws and their susceptibility to change. And she knew that Bill’s idyllic vision of her and their marriage wasn’t an honest one—it was a facade. An idea. A dream of a better life.
And what else would a disillusioned man do but radically push his disillusion in the opposite direction? To deal with the destruction of his idyllic marriage, he went on an adulterous voyage out of pure jealousy. It’s exactly what a broken man would do. He is nothing without Alice, and it seems she recognizes that in these moments.
In this light, that first line makes a lot of sense: “Maybe, I think, we should be grateful. Grateful that we’ve managed to survive through all of our adventures, whether they were real or only a dream.” Is she sure of that? Sort of. “Only as sure as I am that the reality of one night, let alone that of a whole lifetime, can ever be the whole truth.”
Here, we see Alice respecting the mystery of life. She was ready to have sex with the naval officer, even if it meant ending her marriage and losing her daughter. It would have been completely self-destructive and stupid—yet, she was ready to do it. Bill’s adventure was every bit as self-destructive and stupid. But Alice recognizes the undeniable allure that pulled him in. Is it OK that he tried to cheat on her? Maybe that’s the wrong question. Maybe it’s better to recognize that this awkward feeling grips us all, that it’s really fucking hard to be faithful in a marriage, that making a relationship work for years on end requires you to accept that some wishes and desires just don’t really make much sense.
Alice stands as a heroic figure alongside Ziegler, who tries to explain away Bill’s odyssey with simple facts: Mandy wasn’t murdered, and in fact “got her brains fucked out” after Bill left; and Nick wasn’t killed, but instead put on a plane to Seattle where he is currently “banging Mrs. Nick.” Ziegler wishes to remove all mystery and wonder from sex; to open Bill’s eyes to the reality of his sad situation, to reveal that he was never in control.
But Alice says just the opposite. In a movie where sex is both the most desired thing in the world and painstakingly absent and barren, she gives sex the intensity it deserves. These thoughts, these fantasies consume men and women who are trying to make marriages work, and it’s upon them to draw distinctions. Bill may have tried to cheat on Alice, but he didn’t necessarily want to cheat on Alice. He was compelled by a force greater than himself, drawn into a farcical night that very well could have played out as a comedy of errors in any other film. (A note here: Kubrick did envision Eyes Wide Shut as a comedy for many years, envisioning someone like Steve Martin or Bill Murray in the lead role.)
This helps us understand Bill’s next line: “And no dream is ever just a dream.” This isn’t a question, but a realization. Ziegler may have opened Bill’s eyes to his small status, but Alice opened his eyes—opened his mind—to the beauties and complexities of marriage. Where Ziegler wishes to simplify, Alice strives to rebuild; to bring clarity to their relationship, to their shared love. In this moment, as we discussed in the title section, Bill’s eyes are wide open .
And it’s important that his eyes stay open. There’s no talk about “forever,” because forever isn’t realistic. But it is realistic to try as hard as you can, to recognize and accept the flaws in your partner, to form an undeniable connection with your partner that cannot be replicated with anyone else. And what better way to do that than to…well.
Stanley Kubrick’s personal connection to Eyes Wide Shut
For all of the wild and fantastical places that Kubrick’s movies go, Eyes Wide Shut is his most ordinary in its depiction of married life. While at times the colors and speech patterns feel dream-like, the story at the film’s core is a very personal one that Kubrick had envisioned telling for years. Understanding some of these facts about his life will aid our analysis of the film.
Kubrick first read the movie’s source material, “Dream Story” (the German translation was “Traumnovelle”) by Arthur Schnitzler, back in the early 1960s. The novella focuses on a couple, Fridolin and Albertine, with a young daughter in 20th-century Vienna. The couple exchanges stories about their sexual fantasies, which strikes Fridolin with jealousy. In rebellion, he makes it his mission to have sex with a younger woman. Much like the movie, he repeatedly fails in doing so: after a number of near-sexual encounters, including a visit to a masked orgy, he returns home from this “senseless night with its stupid unresolved adventures.” The book ends with Fridolin apologetically confessing his crazy night to Albertine. Just as the couple reaffirms their love in the wee hours of the morning, they hear their daughter’s laughter as she wakes up in the next room.
This material sparked both interest and fear in Kubrick, who struggled for several years to find the right partner. Kubrick was married three times, and his marriage to his second wife, Ruth Sobotka, was especially troubling and trying—which undoubtedly drove his interest in the film. His third, however, to Christiane Harlan, was lovely and brought catharsis to his life—which is what likely kept him from making the movie for so many years. Back in 1962 when Kubrick wanted to make “Dream Story” after Lolita , Kubrick said (this is according to Tom Cruise) Christiane begged him not to. “Don’t…oh, please don’t…not now. We’re so young. Let’s not go through this right now.”
Over the years, Kubrick wanted to make the movie several more times, but never found the right moment. Towards the end of his life, however (Kubrick would die mere weeks before Eyes Wide Shut ‘s release), he must have felt confident enough in his marriage, in he and Christiane’s love, to finally find the humanism within the darkness that is Eyes Wide Shut ‘s story. We see that humanity, the promise of a better future, in the final moments of the film .
But in order to achieve the ending’s beautiful life-affirming catharsis, Kubrick first had to explore the complications of marriage that haunted him for years through Bill’s Odyssean journey in Eyes Wide Shut . It helps that he enlisted a real-life celebrity couple—Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, who themselves were overexposed and experienced turmoil at the hands of the press—to play Bill and Alice.
As Kubrick often did, he psychologically evaluated his actors—but much more so than he ever had before. He became incredibly intimate with Cruise and Kidman over the course of Eyes Wide Shut ‘s insanely long 16-month shooting schedule. “[Kubrick] knew us and our relationship as no one else does,” said Kidman, and that, he got to know her “better even than [my] parents.”
This connection between director and actors was crucial, as Eyes Wide Shut became intimately attached to Kubrick’s personal life. As David Mikics wrote in the biography “ Stanley Kubrick: American Filmmaker “:
This intensity declares the crucial role that Eyes Wide Shut played in Kubrick’s psyche, as if the movie were the enfolded meaning of his life. Kubrick’s identification of himself with Bill was clear. Young Stanley had imagined becoming a doctor like his father. Like Bill, Kubrick was polite rather than flirtatious with women, but driven to sexual fantasy. The Harfords’ apartment was modeled on the Kubricks’ own on the Upper West Side in the early sixties, when Kubrick first wanted to make Dream Story. Eyes Wide Shut, a slow ritual of a movie, was designed to free Kubrick from the obsession with control that it also embodies, to provide a release into renewed relationship with the wife who had been at his side for four decades, with Tom and Nicole standing in for Stanley and Christiane. David Mikics, “Stanley Kubrick: American Filmmaker”
The strength required to make marriage flourish
The result of Kubrick’s obsession with the themes of “Dream Work” and his close relationship with Kidman and Cruise is a film that takes a deep look into the troubles people face in marriage—and the resulting beauty that’s found on the other side of such trauma. Take Bill, who is completely naive about his wife’s sexual inclinations and unwavering faith. When Alice asks Bill if he had sex with the two models at Ziegler’s party, Bill is indignant and defensive, claiming he is eternally loyal to his wife. And then he makes the mistake of stating that women are not ruled by desire like men, who which she responds with “If you men only knew…”
She then tells, in excruciating detail, of her fantasy with the naval officer. “I thought that if he wanted me, even if it was for only one night, I was ready to give up everything. You, Helena, my whole fucking future.” Bill has envisioned a cookie-cutter version of his life where faithfulness is never questioned. But, as anyone who has experience with long-term relationships would know, that is simply not a reality. on set, Kubrick even toyed with Cruise by shooting Kidman’s sex scenes with the naval officer on days when Cruise was absent, firmly placing the actor in Bill’s shoes. The entire dynamic between director and his actors informs the film’s entire mood, feel, aesthetic.
Alice, on the other hand, only purports strength regarding her sexual urges and condescension towards Bill’s naivete. When recounting her fantasy with the naval officer, she sounds so sure of herself and her sexual inclinations. However, it becomes clear she is troubled by her flirtation with martial destruction, which causes her to cry in Bill’s arms after she wakes up from a vivid dream about an orgy.
As Mikics notes, “Kidman’s acting here is full of expert grace notes that conceal as much as they reveal. She is by turns absorbed, defiant, charged with mockery, and, as she puts it, tender and sad.” Alice pushes Bill to recognize her as a complicated human being with flaws and jagged edges, and not simply as the idyllic, eternally faithful wife. Yet, as we learn in the end, she finds immense power in lifelong love and friendship.
This pushes Bill to live out the sexual encounter that Alice only dreamed about, which in turn gives Eyes Wide Shut an ethereal feel. He descends into unknown territory; a realm that attempts to become a realized version of Alice’s mere fantasies. Yet, despite his efforts, Bill never actually has sex with anyone else—it all remains a dream; a vision of what turmoil could potentially befall this married couple. Their fantasies about extramarital affairs present dire consequences, such as the cloaked men who about to strip Bill bare and possibly kill him, or the dozens of men who cause Alice’s fit of laughter during a dream.
It’s a symbolic representation of Bill and Alice’s disconnect, or their inability to communicate and deepen their love this far into their marriage. With Christmas around the corner, with their daughter growing older, the pressure to form a deeper connection is palpable. This tension reaches its breaking point when Bill confesses his transgressions to Alice, which triggers the movie’s cathartic end when Alice makes a commitment to improving their marriage.
Viewing Eyes Wide Shut as a comedy
There is a famous trope in Hollywood called “the comedy of remarriage,” which usually focuses on a couple whose relationship is on the rocks. It was a classic formula used in such movies as The Philadelphia Story and The Awful Truth , and is even utilized these days by films like It’s Complicated . Outrageous, slapstick scenarios consume couples who are trying to fix (or end) their relationship. Witty, rapid-fire dialogue consumes their hectic lives as they march away from each other, only to find each other in the end and realize why they got married in the first place. Believe it or not, Kubrick had a version of this sub-genre in mind when considering actors back in the 1980s, as he heavily sought out comedians like Steve Martin.
As you can see, Eyes Wide Shut became something very different. The movie very much uses the structure of a comedy of remarriage, but carries an entirely different tone. The situations Bill finds himself in are just as crazy, but the energy practically zapped away. There is a cold, dense atmosphere to the chilling settings that surround Bill and Alice as they go through a rough patch in their marriage. In truth, you could very well view Eyes Wide Shut as a comedy—a much more biting, tenacious one than either Howard Hawks or Preston Sturges would ever muster.
So how does this help us understand the meaning of the film? Well, think of it more as a way to watch the movie. Pretend everything you see is supposed to be…funny. It’s black comedy, sure. But it’s funny. Perhaps even funny in the way that Dr. Strangelove is funny, as it’s supposed to serve as commentary for a grander societal problem. Where Dr. Strangelove tacked the stupidity of war, Eyes Wide Shut is much more humanistic in its depiction of the human struggle in marriage. None of this is supposed to be funny…but it is pretty funny in movies like His Girl Friday or The Palm Beach Story . Through the lens of “comedy,” we can view Bill’s night out as a ridiculous cavalcade of nonsense that forces him to understand the importance of connecting with his wife.
Why is the movie called Eyes Wide Shut ?
Frederic Raphael, who helped Kubrick write the screenplay for Eyes Wide Shut , did not like the title of the film. In his memoir about working with Kubrick, he revealed he had pitched the “much better” title The Female Subject —which, when you consider the enigmatic and visuals-focused Kubrick, who was first and foremost concerned with poetically capturing the human condition, this on-the-nose title likely did not appeal to him.
Kubrick instead opted for metaphorical title that’s a play on words. The common phrase is “eyes wide open,” meaning you are aware of your surroundings. But adding “shut” implies that you couldn’t be more unaware of your surroundings. The “eyes wide” part implies you are very confident in your views, but the irony is that you don’t understand anything at all.
This echoes the scene when Bill implies that women are not ruled by their desire like men are—which causes Alice to have a laughing fit. “If you men only knew…” she start before telling Bill of her sexual fantasies about the naval officer. Bill believes that his marriage is sound, that he and Alice are unflinchingly devoted to one another. But Alice was ready to give up her entire life—her marriage, her financial security, her daughter—for a one night stand.
And as Bill will soon find out, he’s more that willing to become adulterous purely out of jealousy. His wife never even cheated on him, but the fact that she thought about it is enough for him to go against his seeming virtues. Bill thought he saw he and his wife a certain way—until Alice forced his eyes open. And in a way, Bill has opened Alice’s eyes as well, as she sees how her candidness about her sexual fantasies drives Bill to horrifying lengths.
As David Mikics notes in his biography “ Stanley Kubrick: American Filmmaker, ” the director likely sought to echo Ben Franklin’s famous quote with the title Eyes Wide Shut : “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.” This statement implies that people are always changing. You, of course, want to be sure about the person you’re marrying; you want to see them for who they are and what they can add to your life. But you must also understand that everybody goes both minimal and monumental changes. Humans are complicated creatures, and our path towards fulfillment and catharsis is ever-changing. To make a marriage last, to extract as much as you can from your partner, you need to be accepting of your partner’s ebbs and flows—all their whims, all their flaws.
After Bill’s eyes have been opened to the emptiness of sexual escapades, and after Alice’s eyes have been open to what pain she caused her husband, they’re able to see one another for who they truly are. Bill, a successful and rich doctor who thinks of himself as an important figure, is emasculated by both his wife and the people in power, destroying his perception of both his personal life and the larger world around him; and Alice is able to recognize that Bill’s tenderness brings comfort that a one-night stand could never fulfill, that his undying devotion can become fragile without love in return. After they open their eyes and see themselves in a new light, they’re able to recognize the next step their relationship desperately require to move forward, to gain new meaning and clarity after years of marriage.
Bill Harford is a man who thinks he’s much bigger than he is. A large part of this movie deals with his emasculation, at the hands of both his wife and the powerful men at the orgy. Bill, who flashes his doctor’s license like it’s a police badge, constantly tries to prop his ego and imply importance. But it’s all a facade. He might as well be wearing a costume, a mask—which is exactly what he wears at the orgy to convey that he belongs with this crowd.
As we’ve discussed throughout this guide, much of Bill’s Odyssean adventure has a dream-like feel. And that’s because the movie explores the fantasies and desires we often reflect upon during a marriage, but rarely ever act upon. In this strange world, Bill is never himself. He’s trying to be someone he’s not—someone vengeful, someone commanding. But the powerful men at the orgy hold the true power when they threaten to strip him naked. And Alice holds the true power when she reveals herself after Bill casts an idyllic obedient-wife persona upon her. In both cases, Bill is trying to cast a specific image, to be in control of his surroundings. But, sadly, that isn’t him. He’s merely posing as someone else( which helps explain the symbolic shot of Bill’s mask resting on the pillow next to Alice). And the entire movie serves to unveil his mask and open his eyes— wide open .
An important theme in Eyes Wide Shut is the futility of rebellion. A common trope in Kubrick’s movies, including A Clockwork Orange , Dr. Strangelove , and Lolita , a character’s “master plan” almost always fails, or is sidetracked by the greater powers that be. An inverse of the typical hero’s journey, Kubrick’s films aim to reveal the cold, stark reality of living. We often feel like we’re in control, would like to believe we’re in control, but deep down know that we have no control over what happens to us. The universe is too random, too cruel to allow for a carefree existence.
In Eyes Wide Shut , Bill learns this the hard way through the powerful men who run an orgy. Bill, who believes himself to be a rich and important man, shows up to the orgy with the password “fidelio” like he belongs there. But he is instantly spotted. He showed up in a taxi while everyone else came in a limo. His energy is awkward, and his responses are forced. Immediately, these powerful men—who are much more rich and important than Bill will probably every be—can suss him out.
Essentially, these powerful men, who for the most part remain nameless and hidden, serve as powerful forces in the universe. Bill’s night has dream-like qualities and never quite feels like reality. He wants to believe he’s part of this crowd…but really, he doesn’t belong here at all. These are the men who make decisions, who decide your fate. They are pulling the strings behind the curtain. And you’re just a pawn in their game.
Questions & answers about Eyes Wide Shut
Who is the man in the red cloak?
Seemingly, the answer to this one lies in the credits: the actor Leon Vitali is listed as the man in the read cloak. This is somebody we never see in the movie. Which means we never know who the man in the red cloak actually is.
As Rob Ager points out in his video , we see Vitali’s name in the newspaper article about the prostitute that died of a drug overdose that Zeigler shows to Bill at his mansion. At the end of the article about the dead hooker, it details that the hooker had an affair with a London fashion designed named Leon Vitali. So, essentially, Vitali—who was Kubrick’s personal assistant for years—is playing a much more powerful version of himself (this could be viewed as a bit of an inside joke on Kubrick’s part). This implies that the woman who saved Bill had an intimate relationship with the man in the red cloak, which may have been why Bill was singled out in the first place.
So, question answered. Right?
Well, as with any Kubrick film, the answer may not be that simple. Vitali the actor may have very well been the physical presence underneath the cloak, which is why he’d get the credit. But that doesn’t mean his character was underneath the cloak. Many believe that all signs, in fact, point to Ziegler.
One point in this theory’s favor is Mandy, the woman who almost overdosed in the bathroom at Ziegler’s house. While this woman is played by a different actress (Julienne Davis) than the one credited to the masked prostitute (Abigail Good), the woman in the mask who saves Bill, that doesn’t necessarily mean—as would have been the case with Ziegler/Vitali—that it’s the same character . But, in my opinion, that requires you to do too much stretching to make this theory work.
The other points of this theory are in this vein. For instance, people believe Ziegler’s red pool table is meant to convey he’s the man in the read cloak—which, if you ask me, feels too simplistic for someone like Kubrick. The man in the red cloak had an English accent, while Ziegler does not. Perhaps he was concealing his voice, but once again, this requires you to invent reasons to make a theory work.
Basically, I think Leon Vitali is the fashion designer. Ziegler tells Bill that if he “knew half the people who were there, he wouldn’t sleep so good,” which means these are powerful men with intense connections. Give how famous Vitali is as a fashion designer in the world of Eyes Wide Shut , it signals that this society of men is very powerful and well established. It would be in Kubrick’s best interest to just let us know Vitali was the man in the red cloak because it helps clarify the themes and motifs of the movie. To me, it’s that simple.
Who is the masked girl that saved Bill?
Many people theorize that Mandy, the prostitute who almost overdosed in Ziegler’s bathroom, is actually the woman in the mask. This is conflicting, because the actress credited as the woman in the mask, Abigail Good, is different than the actress who played Mandy, Julienne Davis. As we discussed in the red cloak section , this theory requires us to believe that different actresses could be playing the same woman just to throw us off.
I personally don’t buy this theory. It’s fun to play detective with Eyes Wide Shut , a movie that has so much going on. People do the same thing with movies like The Shining . But as a big Kubrick fan who’s read a lot about him, he’s never struck me as someone who hides a bunch of clues and misleads an audience. His movies are more visual-heavy, yes, and don’t rely upon dialogue to convey ideas. So I don’t think it’s much worth reading into this one.
I think it’s more prudent to consider the masked woman’s symbolic presence, as she represents Bill’s inner-conscious during his night out. Out of spite and jealousy, Bill is desperate to turn his wife’s fantasy about the naval officer into a reality. Bill weasels his way into the orgy and pretends that he belongs here—but we all know he doesn’t. He is a small man trying to re-masculate himself after hearing his wife’s fantasy. The masked woman only temporarily satisfies his ego, only to once again emasculate him and send Bill back home where the real work needs to be done.
What does Milich’s daughter whisper to Bill?
If you turn the subtitles on, you can actually find the answer to this question. At the Rainbow costume shop, Milich’s daughter whispers, “You should have a cloak lined with ermine.” Ermine fur comes from a weasel, and that statement has a double meaning.
On a literal plot level, it’s a fancy material for coats, which would help Bill blend in at the orgy scene filled with powerful men (since he himself is not a very powerful man). But on a symbolic level, this labels Bill as a weasel—an impostor who sly sneaks into an event in order to prop up his ego.
Well done, Kubrick. Well done.
Now it’s your turn
Have more unanswered questions about Eyes Wide Shut ? Are there themes or motifs we missed? Is there more to explain about the ending? Please post your questions and thoughts in the comments section! We’ll do our best to address every one of them. If we like what you have to say, you could become part of our movie guide!
Travis is co-founder of Colossus. He writes about the impact of art on his life and the world around us.
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August 18, 2023
I have always thought “Eyes Wide Shut” has a structure similar to that of “A Clockwork Orange”. Both movies have a first part that shows the main character interacting with other characters – then a transformative event – then a second part where the main character meets all the same characters under different circumstances.
In the former, Bill meets Mandy, Ziegler, a female patient who tries to seduce him, a street hooker, Milich and his daughter, and his old friend, the piano player. Then he goes through the trauma of the orgy. After that, he tries to relocate the piano player (but can’t), tries to revisit the street hooker (but finds out that she now has AIDS), revisits Milich and his daughter (but it’s now apparent that Milich is pimping her out) revisits the female patient (who treats him differently because her husband is now present), revisits Ziegler (who reveals himself to be one of the powerful men at the orgy), and possibly revisits Mandy (who may be the dead girl at the morgue).
In the latter, Alex already knows his droogs, who beat up an old bum, fight a rival gang, and rape a writer’s wife. Then goes through the trauma of prison and the experimental mind control treatment. After being released, he encounters the same bum (who now beats him up), a pair of cops (who are one of his old droogs and one of the rival gang members) and the writer (who’s wife died from the rape and is now out for revenge).
Did you ever notice this structural similarity?
August 23, 2023
Great point! The more and more I read and write about Kubrick, the more I see these kinds of similarities across his work. He seems obsessed with demystifying the human experience–breaking us simple humans down to our fragile, mortal core. The structure you’ve noted speaks to that, I believe. Our characters experience something surreal, otherworldly. They feel big and powerful. And then reality comes crashing back.
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Here's Looking at Some of Tom Cruise's Movies That Have Earned Over $100 Million at the Box Office
Posted: November 14, 2023 | Last updated: November 14, 2023
Approximately 30 of Tom Cruise's Films Have Grossed Over $100 million
Tom Cruise is one of the most famous actors of our time, and he has set a box office record that is very unlikely to be broken. After establishing himself as a charismatic leading man in the 1983 film Risky Business, Cruise has gone on to star in some of the most successful science fiction films of all time and became the face of the Mission: Impossible series. According to Screen Rant, the American actor has featured in 30 films that have grossed over $100 million (£72 million as of July 2021). Here is a list of a few of his biggest money-makers of all time.
1. Days Of Thunder
Days of Thunder is a fun iteration of the 'Tom Cruise' formula, which recycles similar plot lines and characters as his previous successes, including Top Gun, The Colour of Money, and Cocktail. Some of the story's elements have become tiresome, but the fundamentals are still strong. The movie also stars other A-listers like Nicole Kidman and John C. Reilly. As reported by Insider, it is one of the greatest auto racing movies of all time, and it is the largest dramatic film ever centered on NASCAR. Its worldwide box office collection was $157,670,733.
2. Vanilla Sky
Blending elements from the genres of science fiction, psychological thriller, and romance, Vanilla Sky is a really unique film. It's also worth noting that the psychological thrillers, which Christopher Nolan had practically perfected with 1999's Memento, enjoyed a renaissance in the early 2000s. After the critical triumph of Nolan's mind-bending film, every studio wanted a piece of the action. As reported by ScreenRant, the Spanish film Open Your Eyes (Abre Los Ojos) from 1997 served as inspiration for Vanilla Sky. After seeing the film's debut at Sundance and being impressed, Cruise bought the rights and recruited Cameron Crowe to direct. Its worldwide box office collection was $202,726,605.
3. Jack Reacher
Fans of suspenseful action movies have likely heard of the Jack Reacher franchise. This series, based on the novels of Lee Child, has captivated viewers all over the world with its gripping plots and stellar acting. More than 20 books chronicle the ventures of the titular Jack Reacher, a mysterious ex-military police major, as he solves puzzling cases and risks his life in a wide variety of exciting escapades. In 2012, Cruise brought the character of Jack Reacher to the big screen in his own namesake film. The movie, which explores the compelling case of a sniper suspected of an unthinkable deed, introduced audiences to Reacher, a gruff investigator with a strong moral compass, played by Cruise. Its worldwide collection was $217,370,736 in total.
4. Knight and Day
The unrelenting action in Knight and Day holds it back from achieving the breezy appeal of a romantic action comedy like Charade, but that in and of itself may not be a bad thing. In Knight and Day, Tom Cruise plays Roy Miller, a charming and daring secret agent who, together with June Havens (Cameron Diaz), is forced to go on the run. Although the two meet because of a staged meet-cute at the airport, there's no denying that Cruise's and Diaz's characters have a chemistry that is worth remembering. Moreover, as reported by Looper, the film's $117 million production cost was much outpaced by its $258.7 million in ticket sales.
5. Jerry Maguire
The film, which was inspired by sports agent Leigh Steinberg, was a smashing success and was even nominated for four Oscars. Cuba Gooding Jr. also won the award for Best Supporting Actor as he plays the disgruntled wide receiver, Rod Tidwell. The film entered the canon of pop cultural landmarks because of its brilliant script and outstanding performances. However, Jerry Maguire is ultimately about a man's strength of character, making it an ideal platform for Cruise to display a certain vulnerability while winning millions of hearts around the world. Jerry Maguire's worldwide box office collection is around $273,552,592.
6. Top Gun: Maverick
Top Gun: Maverick saw Cruise reprise his role as US military aviator Pete "Maverick" Mitchell from the original 1986 picture. An estimated $124 million (£98m) in ticket sales was made in the first three days of the sequel's release in North American theaters. Fans of Top Gun know and respect the actor much because of his unabashed enthusiasm for aviation and the sky. As reported by Screen Rant, the fact that Cruise flew his own P51 Mustang in Top Gun: Maverick was a major selling point for the film, and Paramount was well aware of this; in 2022, Paramount produced a documentary on YouTube titled Tom's P51 Mustang as well. Anyway, coming back to the Top Gun sequel, its worldwide box office collection was $357,463,748.
7. Edge of Tomorrow
Doug Liman's Edge of Tomorrow offers subtle commentary on the action film genre as a whole, as well as on fate, free will, and the value of sacrifice. But it's also a movie whose plot relies heavily on a time loop, aliens, and war, making it a fairly unique movie in the science fiction genre despite using many of its most popular tropes. Without detracting from what is already a fascinating and thrilling picture, Cruise's presence in Edge of Tomorrow also adds an additional spark to the film. Its worldwide box office collection is approximately $367,028,980.
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Eyes Wide Open
A married, Orthodox, Jerusalem butcher and Jewish father of four falls in love with his handsome, 22-year-old male apprentice, triggering the suspicions of his wife and the disapproval of hi... Read all A married, Orthodox, Jerusalem butcher and Jewish father of four falls in love with his handsome, 22-year-old male apprentice, triggering the suspicions of his wife and the disapproval of his Orthodox community. A married, Orthodox, Jerusalem butcher and Jewish father of four falls in love with his handsome, 22-year-old male apprentice, triggering the suspicions of his wife and the disapproval of his Orthodox community.
- Haim Tabakman
- Merav Doster
- Zohar Strauss
- Ran Khalil Danker
- 33 User reviews
- 87 Critic reviews
- 70 Metascore
- See production info at IMDbPro
- 3 wins & 9 nominations
- Aaron Fleischman
- Rivka Fleischman
- Rabbi Vaisben
- Israel Fischer
- (as Avi Grayinik)
- Ultraourthodox Weirdo
- (as Haim Znati)
- Ex-boy Friend
- Head of Yeshiva Student in the Butchery
- (as Iftach Ofir)
- Fischer's Mother
- (as Shafrira Zakai)
- Child Voice #2
- All cast & crew
- Production, box office & more at IMDbPro
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Did you know
Aaron Fleischman : [translated] Restrain yourself. Restrain yourself. We have an opportunity to rise, to overcome, to fulfill our destiny in this world. This challenge wouldn't have come to us if we couldn't face it.
- Connections Featured in Sharon Amrani: Remember His Name (2010)
User reviews 33
- Jan 28, 2019
- How long is Eyes Wide Open? Powered by Alexa
- September 2, 2009 (France)
- Edition Salzgeber (Germany)
- Riva Filmproduktion (Germany)
- Oci dosiroka otvorené
- Sideways Bar Heleni ha-Malka St 5, Jerusalem, Israel
- Pimpa Film Productions
- Riva Filmproduktion
- See more company credits at IMDbPro
- Feb 7, 2010
- Runtime 1 hour 31 minutes
- Dolby Digital
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