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Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)

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1:33 | Trailer
A sexually repressed woman's husband is having an affair with her sister. The arrival of a visitor with a rather unusual fetish changes everything.

Director:

Steven Soderbergh
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Popularity
3,425 ( 209)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Spader ... Graham
Andie MacDowell ... Ann
Peter Gallagher ... John
Laura San Giacomo ... Cynthia
Ron Vawter ... Therapist
Steven Brill ... Barfly
Alexandra Root Alexandra Root ... Girl on Tape
Earl T. Taylor Earl T. Taylor ... Landlord
David Foil David Foil ... John's Colleague
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Storyline

Ann is married to John, who is having an affair with her sister Cynthia. Ann's a quiet type and unwilling to let herself go. When John's old friend, Graham, shows up, all their lives change. Graham likes to videotape interviews with women. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 September 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sex, Lies... See more »

Filming Locations:

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$155,982, 6 August 1989

Gross USA:

$24,741,667

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$24,741,667
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One scene includes a videotaped confession by one of James Spader's character's past lovers. The director gave the script and a video camera to Jennifer Jason Leigh so she could tape the speech at home with the help of her boyfriend. They never got around to it; once filming began, a crew member was used in the brief role. See more »

Goofs

When Ann asks John if he is having an affair, Ann says "alright, alright you've made your point," but her lips move out of sync. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ann: Garbage. All I've been thinking about all week is garbage. I mean, I just can't stop thinking about it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film is dedicated to Ann Dollard 1956-1988 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dirty 30: Sex, Lies, & Digital Love (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Garbage
Written by Mark A. Mangini
Performed by Mark A. Mangini
See more »

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User Reviews

Slow And Talky
21 September 2010 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

Throughout, I felt like a fly on the wall at a psychiatrist's private session with a client. One character asks another an intimate question; the second character responds. Then someone asks another question, to which a low-key response is given, and on and on. I don't recall a movie wherein characters ask each other so many nosy, intimate questions. With its voyeuristic theme, this film gets just a tad too personal for my taste.

Four attractive, thirty-something yuppies, two males and two females, with nothing on their minds but sex, ask, probe, inquire, explore, and poke around each others' psyche, spurred on by one of the male characters (James Spader) who likes to videotape sex interviews with women. Fortunately, Spader gives a convincing performance, one that renders the story credible, if the viewer is interested in this sort of thing.

It's a modern story, similar in some ways to "Carnal Knowledge" (1971), but more up-to-date with the video technology. Scenes are filmed mostly in interiors, which gives the story a claustrophobic feel and a sense of intimacy. We get to know the four characters, maybe a little more than I would have liked. All of them are flawed and therefore very human. The Peter Gallagher character is a scoundrel and easy to dislike. The two women are sisters and very unlike, one an uptight introvert, the other a rather salacious extrovert.

The plot is slow, with long camera "takes". The script is talky. Dialogue trends too on-the-nose at times. The camera is rather static and unobtrusive. I didn't like the grainy visuals of the taped interviews.

Low-budget and very low-key, "Sex, Lies, And Videotape" will appeal to viewers who like films wherein characters talk a lot about sex. There's not much "action". But all that erotic talk substitutes for action. Which is really the whole point of the film.


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