Eyes Wide Shut (1999) Poster


Harvey Keitel and Jennifer Jason Leigh originally played Victor Ziegler and Marion Nathanson. After Keitel and Leigh had shot some scenes, Keitel left the production due to his obligations to another project. His scenes needed to be reshot, but Leigh was not available to reshoot them (due to a scheduling conflict with eXistenZ (1999)). Consequently, Sydney Pollack and Marie Richardson were brought in to play the respective roles.
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Though often referred to as Stanley Kubrick's "unfinished masterpiece", the final edit of the film was actually presented to Warner Bros. (by Kubrick) a full four days before his death, though the score and other aspects were not finalized.
Stanley Kubrick died just four days after presenting Warner Bros. with what was reported to be a final cut of the film, after a legendarily long shoot. His friends and family, as well as the cast and crew of the film, all claimed that Kubrick's death was completely unexpected and that he never seemed in poor health while making the film.
Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman signed open-ended contracts. They agreed to work on this project until Stanley Kubrick released them from it, however long that turned out to be.
Director Stanley Kubrick reportedly watched movies like Showgirls (1995), Basic Instinct (1992) and Fatal Attraction (1987) during the editing phase, to get the idea of how explicit the sex scenes in the movie could be and still retain the R-rated movie he had contractually agreed to deliver.
This movie spent almost a year in postproduction.
Stanley Kubrick once again made good on his reputation of infamous perfectionist after shooting a scene with an actor tapping a window. Kubrick liked the scene but was not satisfied with the tapping sound that was recorded. Rather than simply rerecording the sound with a stand-in, he had the same actor flown back to the set to reproduce the sound.
The password "fidelio" (from the Latin root "fidelis" meaning "faithful") is the title of Ludwig van Beethoven's only opera. In the opera, Fidelio is a woman who disguises herself as a man to save her lover.
When it was announced that Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman would be making the film with Stanley Kubrick, Vincent D'Onofrio (who played Leonard "Private Pyle" Lawrence in Kubrick's film Full Metal Jacket (1987)) had this open advice for them: "Rent a house or apartment, because you're going to be in England for a while."
The mirror scene lasted up to ninety seconds in the trailers. Audiences were surprised when only twenty seconds of it made it into the film.
Appeared in the Guinness Book of Records with the record for "The Longest Constant Movie Shoot", at four hundred days.
The film is notoriously known for its secrecy during production and the secrecy even divided the two main stars, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. To exaggerate the distrust between their fictional husband and wife, director Stanley Kubrick would direct each actor separately and forbid them to share notes. In one painful example, for just one minute of final footage where Alice makes love to a handsome naval officer-an imaginary affair that haunts Bill over the course of the film-Kubrick demanded that Kidman shoot six days of naked sex scenes with a male model. Not only did he ask the pair to pose in over 50 erotic positions, he banned Cruise from the set and forbade Kidman to assuage her husband's tension by telling him what happened during the shoot.
Due to Stanley Kubrick's fear of travel virtually the entire film was shot in and near London (despite the movie's New York setting). Elaborate street sets built at Pinewood Studios were used for all the scenes showing Tom Cruise walking around the city.
The Jocelyn Pook composition playing during the ceremony at the masked ball is a fragment of an Orthodox mass played backwards; the voices are singing in Romanian.
According to writer Frederic Raphael a few of the proposed titles for the film were "You and Me" and "The Female Subject". Stanley Kubrick personally chose "Eyes Wide Shut".
In a few shots of Tom Cruise walking through the city, background plates of actual New York streets were projected behind the actor walking on a treadmill.
Stanley Kubrick and director of photography Larry Smith tested out different film stocks and finally settled on one that had been discontinued by Kodak. As a courtesy, Kodak offered to supply as many rolls of this film as would be needed for the project.
Stanley Kubrick's first film to open at #1 at the U.S. box office.
The letters and the newspaper read by Tom Cruise are written in Italian for the Italian version of this movie. Apparently, Stanley Kubrick shot those scenes with papers written in different languages, as he did for The Shining (1980).
This film contains subliminal references to almost all of Stanley Kubrick's films, including his first feature Fear and Desire (1953). At one point we see a scene from Blume in Love (1973) on a T.V. set. "Blume" was directed by Paul Mazursky, who made his acting debut in Fear and Desire (1953).
Stanley Kubrick had three assistants on the film. Their credits are "Assistant to the Director" (Leon Vitali), "Assistant to Stanley Kubrick" (Anthony Frewin) and "Assistant to Mr. Kubrick" (Emilio D'Alessandro).
Paul Thomas Anderson made a visit to the set, where he offered Tom Cruise the role of Frank T.J. Mackey in Magnolia (1999).
The Harfords' apartment is based on a New York apartment where Stanley Kubrick and family lived during the early 1960s before moving permanently to Great Britain.
Variety reported that Stanley Kubrick himself selected the movie's release date after analyzing scores of box-office data provided to him by Warner Bros.
In order for the film to be given an R rating in the U.S. (as opposed to N.C.-17), some scenes contain computer-generated people in the foreground obscuring some of the more explicit sexual action. Although some claimed this to be a perversion of Stanley Kubrick's work, Kubrick had already proposed the use of computer-generated imagery prior to his death, should the M.P.A.A. deny the movie its desired R rating.
Johnny Depp was considered for the role of Dr. William Harford.
One of the patients who Tom Cruise cancels is called Kaminsky, the name of one of the hibernating crew-members whom H.A.L. kills in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
The thirteen-and-a-half minute billiard room scene between Tom Cruise and Sydney Pollack took about three weeks of filming with nearly 200 takes. The greeting scene at the party early in the picture took only two hours with around 16 takes.
The film was "pushed" two stops in processing, enabling Stanley Kubrick to film using existing source lighting (table lamps, overhead lights et cetera) whenever possible. The light level remained low even when lighting had to be supplemented with Lowell or Chinese paper ball lamps as fill or key lights.
The mask that Bill Harford wears with his costume is modelled from the face of Ryan O'Neal, a reference to Barry Lyndon (1975).
Harrison Ford was considered for the role of Dr. William Harford.
Stanley Kubrick optioned the novella Traumnovelle by Arthur Schnitzler, twenty years before he made it into a film.
When Tom Cruise's character is interrogated before the attendants of the orgy, and when he returns to the mansion, the mysterious, sinister music that is heard was first used in the 1946 David Niven film, Stairway to Heaven (1946) when Niven's character is being judged in Heaven.
When Harford's secretary brings lunch to his desk, she stops directly between the camera and a painting that looks like him with his clothing removed.
Stanley Kubrick's daughter Katharina Kubrick and his grandson Alex Hobbs appear as the mother and the kid patient who had his face examined by Bill.
The only Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman film where they actually play a married couple, which they actually were.
The tremendous hype around the release of this film resulted in several rumors about the plot. The most widely circulated rumor was that Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman played married psychiatrists having love affairs with their patients.
When Bill Harford watches television in his living room apartment, an NFL game is on. The game is also on when he enters the Sonata Café. Stanley Kubrick was a huge NFL fan, as he reportedly received VHS recordings of matches taped by his friends back in the United States when he lived in England.
According to writer Frederic Raphael, the final form of Bill's family name (Harford, as opposed to Scheuer in the original story) was inspired by a debate about Bill's character. Raphael felt Bill should be Jewish as in the original, but Stanley Kubrick insisted Bill and Alice be "vanilla" Americans, without any details that would arouse any presumptions. Kubrick said that Bill should be a bit like Harrison Ford - hence the name Harford. Ironically, Ford himself is Jewish on his mother's side.
When guests at the party were nude dancing, Bert Kaempfert's Strangers In the Night music can be heard in the background, and the song's lyrics describe what is happening in the party.
While VHS and region 2 DVD editions sold in Great Britain, Germany and France have always been completely uncensored, the original region 1 DVD contained the U.S. theatrical cut which contained computer-generated people in the foreground obscuring some of the more explicit sexual action during the orgy sequence. However, the U.S. version of 2007 double DVD special edition (encoded, as now appears to be Warner Bros. standard practice, for regions 1, 2, 3 & 4) contains the full uncensored European theatrical print, making it the first time Stanley Kubrick's final cut has been made directly available in any form to customers in the U.S.
In the film, Todd Field plays a character who dropped out of medical school ten years earlier and now plays the piano. Ten years before this film was released, Field played a pianist who dropped out of medical school in Gross Anatomy (1989) which starred Matthew Modine who played "Joker" in Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket (1987).
Eva Herzigova was offered the role of Mandy by Stanley Kubrick, but she refused because there were too many nude scenes and Kubrick didn't want to modify them.
Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman's love scene was shot on a closed set.
Early on in production, Stanley Kubrick, a huge Woody Allen fan, considered casting him in the Victor Ziegler role eventually given to Sydney Pollack. He also considered casting Steve Martin as Bill Harford (Kubrick had greatly enjoyed The Jerk (1979)).
Sky du Mont dubbed his part himself in the German release.
The only one of Kubrick's movies to not have either narration or title cards used at some point during it.
Christiane Kubrick (Stanley's wife) and Katharina Kubrick (Kubrick's stepdaughter) contributed original paintings to the film.
British author David Icke described in a magazine interview the Freemasonic mansion sequence as being a "mild, mild version" of what really goes on in society.
According to the Screenplay published to tie in with the film, the girl at the Costume store whispers "You'll need an ermine lining for your cloak" to Dr Harford.
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A VHS copy of the movie Rain Man (1988) is seen in Alice and Bill's bedroom on top of their entertainment stand during their marijuana-enhanced argument.
Melissa Joan Hart auditioned for a role in this movie.
Rade Serbedzija dubbed himself in the Italian release.
Tom Cruise who plays Doctor Bill Harford and Sky du Mont who plays Sandor Szavost, have both played W.W.II German Resistance figure Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg. Sky Dumont played Stauffenberg in War and Remembrance (1988), and Tom Cruise played him in Valkyrie (2008).
Harford's wallet is quite full at the beginning of the film but later it's clear he's rather outmatched financially. When he arrives home and his wife is helping their daughter with her homework, they're working a math problem about two people who have different amounts of money.
Next to the Sonata Jazz club is a café called "Gillespie's", named after famous jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie.
Coincidentally, Tom Cruise and Thomas Gibson were both born on July third, 1962.
Although Frederic Raphael wrote the screenplay, he only ever met Stanley Kubrick four times during the entire production process. Three of those were script meetings.
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Kubrick was set to make 'Aryan Papers,' an adaptation of a novel called 'Wartime Lies' by Louis Begley. It was about a Jewish family in Poland trying to evade capture by the Nazis. But as he was ready to go into production, Steven Speilberg had began making 'Schindler's List'. Feeling the similarities were too great, Kubrick reluctantly shelved 'Aryan Papers'. This led to Kubrick's next project being 'Eyes Wide Shut'.
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This is the only posthumous Stanley Kubrick film, since he died in March 1999 and the film released July 1999.
While Bill is at the hooker's house, he receives a call from Alice. The television in the kitchen where Alice is sitting is airing To Forget Venice (1979).
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Victoria Eisermann shot some scenes, as Harvey Keitel's wife, but they were deleted when Keitel left the project.
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At Victor' s party, Bill Harford is being led away by two models. When he asks where they're going, one of them replies, "Where the rainbow ends. Don't you want to go where the rainbow ends?" Later, Bill rents a costume and mask from Rainbow Fashions.
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The man who leads the Mysterious Woman away is wearing a Medieval Plague Doctor's mask.
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Frank Ocean sampled one of Nicole Kidman's monologues from the film into his song "Love Crimes", released on his debut album "Nostalgia, Ultra" from 2011.
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This was one of Nicole Kidman's personal favorite experiences while working on a film, citing working with Stanley Kubrick being a kind to "attending film school". Kubrick also talked her out of her plans to retire from acting, when she considered dedicating more time to her family. He allegedly told her "You owe to your talent not to stop".
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Lisa Leone: the set decorator and second unit production manager is playing Lisa.
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Emilio D'Alessandro: Kubrick's assistant appears as the book vendor.
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Brian W. Cook: served as coproducer and first assistant director and played the tall butler.
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Director Cameo 

Stanley Kubrick: sitting in the booth across from Bill's table at the Sonata Café.

Director Trademark 

Stanley Kubrick: [114] The room in the morgue visited by Bill is in wing C, room 114 (C-Rm114, or CRM-114). CRM-114 was the name of the decoding machine in Kubrick's film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), as well as the number printed on the medicine that Alex is given in A Clockwork Orange (1971).
Stanley Kubrick: [Bathroom] Alice is seen using the toilet early in the movie. At the party, a girl overdoses in Victor's bathroom.
Stanley Kubrick: [The Glare] The scene in the taxi, when paranoid thoughts are going through Tom Cruise's mind.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

When Bill enters his apartment for the last time (right before he discovers the mask on his pillow) we can see a stack of Stanley Kubrick videos from on the long table under the painting. The one on the top is Full Metal Jacket (1987).
Abigail Good, a runway model who plays the mysterious woman who intervenes at the ceremony and is led away presumably to her death, spoke her lines during filming, but her voice was dubbed by another actress in final production.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem - a mass for the dead - plays on the soundtrack when Bill Harford learns of the Mysterious Woman's fatal overdose.
A real-estate agent's sign that appears briefly in shot at the end of a street carries the name Vitali. The newspaper article that Bill reads announcing the death of Mandy mentions that she was a model and that she had been involved with a designer named Leon Vitali: one of Stanley Kubrick's longest-serving colleagues who also plays Red Cloak.
The article Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) is reading in the café titled "Ex-beauty queen dies in hotel drugs overdose" is credited to Larry Celona, the journalistic advisor for the film.
In the scene where Dr Harford is being followed, a newspaper for sale at a kiosk has the headline "Lucky to be Alive".
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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