Sleeping with the Enemy

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Sleeping with the Enemy
Sleeping With The Enemy.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJoseph Ruben[1]
Produced byLeonard Goldberg
Screenplay byRonald Bass
Bruce Joel Rubin (uncredited)
Based onSleeping with the Enemy 
by Nancy Price [2]
StarringJulia Roberts
Patrick Bergin
Kevin Anderson
Music byJerry Goldsmith
CinematographyJohn Lindley
Editing byGeorge Bowers
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date(s)
  • February 8, 1991 (1991-02-08)
Running time97 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$19 million[3]
Box office$174,999,005[3]
 
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Sleeping with the Enemy
Sleeping With The Enemy.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJoseph Ruben[1]
Produced byLeonard Goldberg
Screenplay byRonald Bass
Bruce Joel Rubin (uncredited)
Based onSleeping with the Enemy 
by Nancy Price [2]
StarringJulia Roberts
Patrick Bergin
Kevin Anderson
Music byJerry Goldsmith
CinematographyJohn Lindley
Editing byGeorge Bowers
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date(s)
  • February 8, 1991 (1991-02-08)
Running time97 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$19 million[3]
Box office$174,999,005[3]

Sleeping with the Enemy is a 1991 psychological thriller film directed by Joseph Ruben and starring Julia Roberts. The film is based on Nancy Price's [4] 1987 novel of the same name. Roberts plays a woman who escapes from her abusive, obsessive husband from Cape Cod to Cedar Falls, Iowa, where she captures the attention of a kindly college drama teacher. The movie was adapted from 1980 Malayalam movie "Manjil Virinja Pookkal" .

Plot[edit source | edit]

Laura Burney (Julia Roberts) lives in a beautiful home by the beach on Cape Cod with her husband, Martin (Patrick Bergin), a charmingly handsome and wealthy investment counselor who is also possessive, abusive, and controlling. It becomes clear that he has OCPD (obsessive-compulsive personality disorder), and while she tries to abide by his needs, she seems to suffer under the strain. Martin believes Laura has been flirting with an attractive neighbor, and he physically assaults her as punishment. The abuse is an ongoing routine, which began immediately after their wedding. To escape Martin, Laura plans and fakes her own death at sea in a storm while the couple are boating. Laura had deliberately led Martin to believe that she could not swim, so he believed she had died once she was lost overboard. However, having recently taken swimming lessons at the YWCA she was able to swim safely to shore. She secretly returns home, retrieves some clothing and cash she had hidden away in preparation, disguises herself, and leaves home after flushing her wedding ring down the toilet.

Laura moves to Cedar Falls, Iowa. In preparation, she has told Martin that her mother, Chloe Williams (Elizabeth Lawrence), died, and pretended to attend the funeral, but secretly she had moved her to a nursing home in Iowa. She rents a modest house and adopts the name Sara Waters. In Cedar Falls, she meets Ben Woodward (Kevin Anderson), who teaches drama at the local college. A relationship develops, but suffers a setback when Ben discovers that her real name is not Sara. After a date, Laura is unable to be physically intimate with Ben, and the next day, she confesses that she is on the run from an abusive husband.

Meanwhile, Martin receives a chance phone call from a friend of Laura's from the YWCA and learns of Laura's swimming lessons. His suspicions aroused, Martin heads home and finds Laura's wedding ring in the toilet bowl where it failed to flush. From the Cape Cod nursing home, he learns that Laura's mother is alive, and has her traced to the nursing home in Iowa. He visits Laura's mother without revealing his identity and learns from her that Laura is seeing a college drama teacher in Cedar Falls.

Martin finds Laura and Ben at a local fair, then follows her to her home. After leaving idiosyncratic clues around the house for Laura to find, Martin confronts Laura. Ben appears at the door and Martin, brandishing a gun, threatens to kill Ben if she doesn't make him leave. Laura talks to Ben and he appears to leave, but then breaks down the door and struggles with Martin, who knocks him unconscious. As he aims the gun at Ben, Laura distracts and attacks Martin, who drops the gun, and she manages to take control of it; she fires at Martin but misses.

Laura holds Martin at gunpoint while she calls the police. She then tells the police that she just killed an intruder, hangs up the phone and shoots Martin three times.

When Martin falls to the ground she drops the pistol and collapses, sobbing. Martin, not yet dead, picks up the gun and tries to shoot her but the gun only clicks empty. Then Martin dies. Ben is revived by Laura and they embrace as Martin's dead body lies on the ground with Laura's wedding ring inches from his hand.

Cast[edit source | edit]

Release[edit source | edit]

Critical reception[edit source | edit]

Sleeping with the Enemy received mixed to negative reviews; the film currently holds a 23% 'Rotten' rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[6]

Famed critic Roger Ebert gave the film 1.5 stars upon its release, calling it "a slasher movie in disguise, an up-market version of the old exploitation formula where the victim can run, but she can't hide."[7]

Box office[edit source | edit]

The film's opening ended Home Alone's 11-week #1 run at the box office.[8] By the end of its run, the film had grossed $101,599,005 in the domestic box office; with an international total of $73,400,000, the film's worldwide gross was $174,999,005; based on a $19 million budget, the film was a box office success.[9]

Home media[edit source | edit]

The film reached #1 in the rental charts.[10]

Awards[edit source | edit]

The score by Jerry Goldsmith won the BMI Film Music Award, 1992, and the film was nominated for the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Saturn Award for 1992 in four categories: Best Actress (Roberts), Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor (Bergin), Best Horror Film and Best Music (Goldsmith).

Remakes[edit source | edit]

YearFilmLanguageCastDirectorBox Office
1995YaraanaHindiRishi Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Raj BabbarDavid DhawanBelow Average
1996Agni SakshiHindiJackie Shroff, Nana Patekar, Manisha KoiralaPartho GhoshHit
1996DaraarHindiRishi Kapoor, Juhi Chawla, Arbaaz KhanAbbas-MustanFlop
1997PelliTeluguNaveen, Maheswari, Prudhvi RajKodi Ramakrishna
1997KhilonaUrduMeera, SaudSangeetaHit
1998Aval VaruvalaTamilAjith Kumar, SimranRaajkapoorAverage
2002Koi Mere Dil Se PoochheHindiAftab Shivdasani, Esha Deol, Sanjay KapoorVinay ShuklaFlop
2013KoreanIm Sang-soo
2013"Loobat Al Mawt"(series)Lebanese, Syrian & EgyptianCyrine Abdelnour, Abed Fahd, Majd el Masri

References[edit source | edit]

External links[edit source | edit]