7.1/10
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117 user 89 critic

Safe (1995)

R | | Drama | 30 June 1995 (USA)
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1:15 | Trailer
An affluent and unexceptional homemaker in the suburbs develops multiple chemical sensitivity.

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4 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Greg White
...
Mover
Julie Burgess ...
Aerobics Instructor
Ronnie Farer ...
Barbara
...
Anita
Susan Norman ...
Linda
Martha Velez ...
Fulvia (as Martha Velez-Johnson)
...
Rory
Saachiko ...
Dry Cleaners Manager
Tim Gardner ...
Department Store Dispatcher
Wendy Haynes ...
Waitress
...
Client (as Alan Wasserman)
...
Client's Wife (as Jean Pflieger)
...
Dr. Hubbard
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Storyline

"Safe" has been described as a horror movie of the soul, a description that director Todd Haynes relishes. California housewife Carol White seems to have it all in life: a wealthy husband, a beautiful house, servants, beauty, and a lot of friends. The only thing she lacks is a strong personality: Carol seems timid and empty during all of her interactions with the world around her. At the beginning of the film, one would consider her to be more safe in life than just about anyone. That doesn't turn out to be the case. Starting with headaches and leading to a grandmal seizure, Carol becomes more and more sick, claiming that she's become sensitive to the common toxins in today's world: exhaust, fumes, aerosol spray, etc. She pulls back from the sexual advances of her husband and spends her nights alone by the TV or wandering around the outside of her well-protected home like an animal in a cage. Her physician examines her and can find nothing wrong. An allergist finds that she has an ... Written by David Eschatfische <esch@fische.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the 21st century nobody will be...Safe.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a sex scene and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

30 June 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chemical Syndrome  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$512,245 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last scene filmed was the aerobics class. See more »

Goofs

Although this film was explicitly set in 1987, while Carol is driving on the highway, she passes a burgundy 1992 Cadillac de Ville. See more »

Quotes

Carol White: I don't take drugs or drink or... I don't even like coffee very much. I'm just a total milk-o-holic.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Decade Under the Influence (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Lucky Star
Performed by Madonna
Written by Madonna (as Madonna Ciccone)
Published by WB Music Corp. obo Itself, Webo Girl Publishing Inc. & Bleu Disque Music Co.,
Inc., ASCAP
Courtesy of Sire Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Genuinely eerie near-masterpiece...
12 October 2005 | by (Seattle, WA. USA) – See all my reviews

I went into this film knowing little about it, except the basic subject matter (which I'd read up on in the past). In the first five minutes, I knew I was going to like it... the atmosphere, camera angles, saturated colors, acting, everything. The director seems to have really learned something from Stanley Kubrick here, and I can't help but wondering what the film would have been like if Kubrick had directed it. Many "Kubrickian" long shots and tilted overhead camera angles are used (perhaps a bit too often).

This is one of Roger Ebert's "how it's about it" films (if you get the reference). There's a lot more depth to the film than what seems to exist on the surface. It's definitely not for those under-30 folks who seem to be lacking in attention span. No explosions or fires, and Schwarzenegger doesn't waltz onto the screen. Instead, it's a fascinating study of "environmental illness," and it provides no real answers to the questions it raises. Some have noted the film as "subversive," but it's also very entertaining (at least for those who appreciate cinema as an art form rather than simply a mindless escape). Demands a fair amount from the viewer, and is very rewarding for those willing to put something into the viewing experience. "Safe" has become one of my new favorites, and I wish I had seen it in the theater... some of the cinematography clearly demands large-screen viewing for the best possible experience.

Sometimes I think the word "safe" should be written as "reaf" -- a rearrangement of the letters in the word "fear." If you understand why I think this, you're likely to enjoy this film. 9/10.


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