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Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)

A sexually repressed woman's husband is having an affair with her sister. The arrival of a visitor with a rather unusual fetish changes everything.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Alexandra Root ...
Earl T. Taylor ...
Landlord
David Foil ...
John's Colleague
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Storyline

Ann is married to John, who is having an affair with her sister Cynthia. Ann's a quiet type and unwilling to let herself go. When John's old friend, Graham, shows up, all their lives change. Graham likes to videotape interviews with women. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 September 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sex, Lies...  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£59,372 (UK) (10 September 1989)

Gross:

$24,741,700 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steven Soderbergh deliberately chose video as a metaphor for distance. "Video is a way of distancing ourselves from people and events," Soderbergh explained to Film Comment. "We tend to think that we can experience things because we watched them on tape. For Graham, this was an aspect of myself taken to an extreme measure. He needs the distance to feel free to react without anybody watching, which, I guess, is the definition of voyeurism, even though I think voyeurism has mostly negative connotations." See more »

Goofs

When John bursts into Graham's apartment, he finds Cynthia's and Ann's tapes in the boxes on the table. Both tapes have the same date on them, even though it is clearly implied that several days have past since Cynthia made her tape. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ann: Garbage. All I've been thinking about all week is garbage. I mean, I just can't stop thinking about it.
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Crazy Credits

This film is dedicated to Ann Dollard 1956-1988 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sex, Lies and Aliens (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Garbage
Written by Mark A. Mangini
Performed by Mark A. Mangini
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User Reviews

 
Calling All Proclivities
18 August 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A classic case of where the mechanics of marriage become the insidious culprit to sexual indiscretion...John Millaney is the overly mortgaged white collar malcontent who is callous with his regard toward marital fidelity...He has an affair with his wife's sister, Cynthia Bishop, she is a morally bankrupt loner who resents her sister's relatively structured existence...Gram Dalton is the voyeuristic creep who preys on the dissatisfaction of married women with the seven year itch syndrome, and other disgruntled and socially misplaced women as well!! He perceives vulnerability in women to be sexually stimulating!! His ultimate undoing is his creative resolution to boredom, and this basically backfires in an absolutely horrendous way!!! Ann Millaney (John's wife) is torn between a perfect marriage and an emotional millennium.. She is convinced that not only does doing things her way work, IT MUST!!. It is not necessary to have all the missing pieces to the puzzle in her marriage because she realizes the ramifications of such a heinous plight!! What presses everyone's buttons? Is it kink, is it bi, or bi for the night, is it emotional nurturing?...James Spader's character (Gram Dalton) has a life that is based on comparative stability, everybody (mostly women) can expose their lewd nuances while he keeps his a secret, once someone has tampered with his quirkiness which is close to the vest, he has no ability to cope, thus, he exaggerates his mistakes!!!All of the characters in this film are hit with the grim reality that not accepting responsibility accomplishes nothing....They all engage in a form of permanent self destruction!! Being flippant about immorality has a definite rude awakening!! What seems complicated is really very simple, and the depraved intrigue of perversion merely brings out all of their most dreaded skeletons in the closet!!!! Seldom in a film is there such a precise poignancy about things that bother people that really should not bother them at all...This is what gets them into so much trouble!! Steven Soderbergh's production efforts in this film were merely a harbinger of things to come, as he has gone on to produce and direct fabulous movies ("Good Night and Good Luck", "Syrianna", and "Traffic", to name but a few!!) This film effectuates a noteworthy devotion to an unintentional and sordid sexual authenticity!! Sundance is a network for the non-conventional.."Sex Lies and Videotape" is testament to the fact that what appears gray flannel is not always the panacea people would like to believe it to be!! Marital upheaval is all about emotional affliction in this movie. Latent reactions are a manifestation of psychological insecurity. You are never going to get what you want out of a relationship because you don't know what that is!! This was the summon substance of what the film "Sex Lies and Videotape" was all about!! This film had a personal dedication to it as well!!

A very well made film, I give it 5 stars!!!


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