6.3/10
48,637
128 user 51 critic

Sleeping with the Enemy (1991)

A young woman fakes her own death in an attempt to escape her nightmarish marriage, but discovers it is impossible to elude her controlling husband.

Director:

Joseph Ruben

Writers:

Nancy Price (novel), Ronald Bass (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
2,685 ( 928)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Julia Roberts ... Laura Burney
Patrick Bergin ... Martin Burney
Kevin Anderson ... Ben Woodward
Elizabeth Lawrence ... Chloe Williams
Kyle Secor ... Fleishman
Claudette Nevins ... Dr. Rissner
Tony Abatemarco ... Locke
Marita Geraghty ... Julie
Harley Venton Harley Venton ... Garber
Nancy Fish ... Woman on Bus
Sandi Shackelford Sandi Shackelford ... Edna
Bonnie Johnson ... Mrs. Nepper (as Bonnie Cook)
Graham Harrington Graham Harrington ... Minister
John Ward ... Theater Student (as John David Ward)
Sharon J. Robinson Sharon J. Robinson ... Sharon (the Nurse)
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Storyline

Laura and Martin have been married for four years. They seem to be the perfect, happiest and most successful couple. The reality of their house- hold, however, is very different. Martin is an abusive and brutally obsessed husband. Laura is living her life in constant fear and waits for a chance to escape. She finally stages her own death, and flees to a new town and new identity. But when Martin finds out that his wife is not dead he will stop at nothing to find and kill her. Written by Sami Al-Taher <staher2000@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She is a stranger in a small town. She changed her name. Her looks. Her life. All to escape the most dangerous man she's ever met. Her husband. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for wife abuse terror and a sex scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The stars that were originally attached to the film's lead roles were Kim Basinger, Sean Connery and Aidan Quinn. See more »

Goofs

When Martin is walking on the beach boardwalk, he cuts his foot on the glass that was broken by Laura earlier when she broke the lights that were mounted on a light pole. He then looks up at the light pole and sees the shattered bulbs from which the broken glass came from. But this makes no sense, because when Laura broke the lights earlier, it can be clearly seen that the boardwalk ENDS before the light pole where she breaks the lights, and the glass lands on the sand under it, not on the boardwalk several yards away. See more »

Quotes

Martin: I can't live without you. And I won't let you live without me.
See more »

Alternate Versions

To receive a 15 rating for UK cinema in 1991, the BBFC removed a minute of footage from the opening sex scene, which brought the film in line with the US theatrical version. This same cut version was passed for release on VHS later in 1991. The uncut version, with the longer sex scene intact, was passed for video release in 1992 with an 18 rating, before the film was re-rated for DVD in 2001 in its uncut form with a 15 rating. However the Blu-Ray release features the cut US theatrical print. See more »

Connections

References West Side Story (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Close to You
Written by Gary Benson, Winston Sela and Maxi Priest
Performed by Maxi Priest
Courtesy of Ten Records Ltd.
See more »

User Reviews

 
Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique will never sound the same again!.
4 March 2008 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

Laura marries Martin Burney who appears to be the perfect man, he is handsome and successful, yet the dream of the perfect man becomes a nightmare as Martin is a control freak who abuses her both physically and mentally. Once she decides enough is enough she plots her escape by way of faking her own death by drowning, a new life beckons, but she will always be looking over her shoulder to see if Martin finds out the truth and tracks her down.

Thus the vehicle for Julia Roberts pans out as your just above average thriller. It has some decent moments that keep it from drifting into tedium, the set up perfectly portrays the double life that some people lead, on the social circuit it appears the couple are happy and at one with each other, yet behind their own walls there is violence and the crushing of the spirit. The final third of the film is also well worthy of the word thriller, for the tension is nigh on unbearable as we slowly come to the conclusion, whilst Julia Roberts as Laura does a very tidy job as this sort of modern day princess escaping the evil clutches of her keeper. Must mention the great use of Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, it's eerie and impacts hard for the scenes it is used for.

Patrick Bergin plays his role well enough, it's just that his villainy is never fully realised, we see enough to know that what he does is wrong, yet it feels a bit too polished. Whilst a sequence that sees Laura dress up as a man is clearly the low point of the film, it really does stretch the viewers patience, and sadly insults their respective intelligence. It's a mixed bag that isn't quite a waste of time, it just doesn't leave you with anything other than a feeling of being semi fulfilled, shame as it could have been brilliant with a bit more bravery and brains in the script, 6/10.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 February 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sleeping with the Enemy See more »

Filming Locations:

Abbeville, South Carolina, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,777,943, 10 February 1991

Gross USA:

$101,599,005

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$174,999,005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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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