7.2/10
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120 user 89 critic

Safe (1995)

R | | Drama | 30 June 1995 (USA)
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
...
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

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Release Date:

30 June 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chemical Syndrome  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$512,245 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Editor James Lyons has a cameo as a cab driver. 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: [about her declining health] I'm sorry. I know it's not normal but I can't help it.
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Connections

References The Stepford Wives (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Whenever I Call You Friend
Performed by Kenny Loggins and Stevie Nicks (uncredited)
Written by Kenny Loggins and Melissa Manchester
Published by Milk Money Music, ASCAP
Rumanian Pickleworks Music, BMI
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

 
Deadly accurate
3 July 2001 | by (Wichita, Kansas, USA) – See all my reviews

"Safe" is a deadly accurate portrayal of a few of the perils of environmental illness and some of the responses to it by those experiencing it and by those around them. It allows the viewer to feel vividly the vague nothingness felt by the main character, Carol, as her health spirals downward.

I was moved to tears by many of the scenes in the first half of the movie, as I identified strongly with her growing indecisiveness, unfinished sentences, and stumbling about. I find it sad that many people still do not yet recognize environmental illness when it occurs, and sadder still that many choose to believe it is "all in a person's head" as portrayed by some of the characters in the movie. This movie shows all too well the dangers of our convenient society. Unfortunately, I wish other alternatives had also been shown as possible treatments.

Julianne Moore gave a stunning performance, with the one exception of the dry, somewhat unreal-sounding cough. Her actions and movements perfectly mimic many of those of someone experiencing an overly toxic load. I would encourage anyone who is interested in discovering what it's like to be afraid to walk down a public hallway to watch this movie. Demons often lurk in unexpected places, insidiously creeping into our lives as we unknowingly invite them in.

Anyone who is unfamiliar with environmental illness or denies its existence may find this movie to be tedious and slow. I would encourage these people to take a more careful second look at what this is all about.

"Safe" is a brief encapsulation of many facets dealing with environmental illness. It deliberately leaves many questions unanswered, inviting discussion on many topics.


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