7.1/10
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118 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:

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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

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. 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

Peter Dunning: We are one with the power that created us. We're safe and all is well in our world.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Slow Water
Performed by Brian Eno and Robert Fripp (uncredited)
Written by Brian Eno
Published by EG Music c/o BMG Songs, Inc., ASCAP
Courtesy of Virgin EG Records Ltd./Caroline Records Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Fascinating, important film.
21 June 1999 | by (New York, U.S.) – See all my reviews

I call this an important film because it deals with a very topical social issue in an original and subtle manner. It is also ambiguous (as the previous reviewer pointed out), which is something American audiences and critics often can't handle. Carol, an affluent suburban housewife played by Julianne Moore, is becoming increasingly disturbed and unable to cope with the alleged pollution and impurities in the environment. What could have been a "disease of the week" TV movie, however, is handled with surprising depth by director Todd Haynes. Carol ends up in a new agey community dedicated to healing people like herself. What is fascinating is that Safe, while exploring the pressures and toxicity of modern life, is also a brilliant look at the pathology of fleeing from life and seeking an environment of "purity." For Carol ends up, instead of recovering, more and more alienated and withdrawn. Safe does not provide answers to this dilemma, but it sure makes us look at some difficult questions.


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