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Sliding Doors (1998)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Fantasy  |  24 April 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 50,519 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 276 user | 86 critic | 23 from

A London woman's love life and career both hinge, unknown to her, on whether or not she catches a train. We see it both ways, in parallel.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Zara Turner ...
Douglas McFerran ...
Paul Brightwell ...
James's Mother
Terry English ...
Kind Cabbie
Paul Stacey ...
Man on Tube
Cheeky Bloke
Joanna Roth ...
Suspicious Girl
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In London, the public relation Helen is fired from her position in a PR company. While returning home, she does not catch the train in the subway. But in another possibility of her life, she catches the train in the subway. The story shows two parallel lives of Helen: in one life, she stays with her boyfriend Gerry, and in the other life, she finds that Gerry cheats her with Lydia and falls in love with James Hammerton. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What if one split second sent your life in two completely different directions?. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

24 April 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dos vidas en un instante  »

Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$834,817 (USA) (24 April 1998)


$11,883,495 (USA) (28 August 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Rowers from London Rowing club, Cygnet, were chosen to be John Hannah's crew mates in the film. The casting director initially went to Imperial College, but when it was noted that they were "all over two meters with flat stomachs" it was decided that lesser rowers than the elite set of internationals would be cast. This is deliberate in order to make Hannah look like the tall athletic one in the boat. See more »


When Helen is meeting James on the tube after catching the train, her hair alternately tucked behind her ear/down along her face. See more »


Gerry: [looking in the mirror] Are you some peculiar, thus far undefined breed of dickhead. You have two head problems. One, that was close, very close. Put in layman's terms, she nearly caught you. Two, and this is far more worrying than the first one, you're talking to yourself in the mirror again. Really bad sign.
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User Reviews

What a difference a few seconds can make?
28 April 2004 | by (Hamilton, Australia) – See all my reviews

The romantic comedy, 'Sliding Doors', is a great look at how quickly a person's life can change in a matter of moments. By taking one path instead of another, forming a tantalizing 'what if?' In fact this movie gives the impression that some things are meant to be known, while some things are not.

London publicists Helen, is effortlessly sliding between parallel storylines that show what happens if she does or does not catch a morning train back to her apartment. Love. Romantic entanglements. Deception. Trust. Friendship. Comedy. All come into focus back and forth, overlap, then surprisingly converge in one of the great romantic comedy films in years.

Sliding doors is one of the best films that Gwyneth Paltrow has done. It has it all, humour, anger, sadness, love, compassion and a lot of lying. This movie is most special for the way the two storylines overlap, making this a very original movie. Paltrow's performance is grand as the 'hurt Helen' or the very 'naïve Helen', depending on which parts of the film you are watching. Some of her lines are priceless. Paltrow has had a very celebrated career in acting and of late singing and deserves all the accolades she gets. It was also refreshing to watch her in the murder thriller 'The perfect murder', along with screen legend Michael Douglas.

Yet there are some other great performances in this film. John Hannah was exceptional as the sensitive and understanding 'James', who is helping the 'hurt Helen' back to being her 'old self'. Then you have the cheating boy 'Jerry' played by John Lynch, who was using the 'naïve Helen' to live out a very adulterous and selfish lifestyle. It was very funny to see the way he handled the situation with Helen actually. Then to top it all off, we get a great performance from Jeanne Tripplehorn, who was Jerry's girlfriend on the side, who gives Jerry a very difficult time in both parts of the story.

This film also has an impressive soundtrack. With acts like Blair, the Brand New Heavies, Dodgy, Jamiroquai and the Space Monkeys. Yet there are two very famous parts to this soundtrack. One is Elton John, who is given a bad mention in the movie, when Jerry is caught in a most precarious of positions while playing the Elton John song, 'Honky Cat'. However the best song on the whole soundtrack comes from the band Aqua, with the tune 'Turn Back Time', which suited the film perfectly. The film clip to this song is also very good.

Sliding doors is one of those feel good movies, which can also make you feel sad as well. It shows how difficult life can be in a relationship and how important relationships can be as well. It also proves that relationships are extremely hard work and you need to find someone who you trust and love and that you get the same feelings back in return. If you want to see the good and bad sides of love take a look at this romantic classic.

CMRS gives 'Sliding Doors': 4.5 (Very Good- Brilliant Film)

66 of 76 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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