Disclosure (film)

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Disclosure
Disclosure ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Barry Levinson
Produced by Michael Crichton
Barry Levinson
Written by Paul Attanasio
Based on Disclosure 
by Michael Crichton
Starring Michael Douglas
Demi Moore
Donald Sutherland
Caroline Goodall
Dennis Miller
Music by Ennio Morricone
Cinematography Tony Pierce-Roberts
Edited by Stu Linder
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • December 9, 1994 (1994-12-09)
Running time
129 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $55 million
Box office $214,015,089

Disclosure is a 1994 erotic thriller film directed by Barry Levinson, starring Michael Douglas and Demi Moore. It is based on Michael Crichton's novel Disclosure.[1]

The cast also includes Donald Sutherland, Rosemary Forsyth and Dennis Miller.

The film is a combination mystery and thriller about office politics and intrigue in the computer industry in the mid-1990s. The main focus of the story, from which the film and book take their titles, is the issue of sexual harassment. The film invites viewers to critically examine topics such as the ease with which allegations of sexual harassment can destroy one's career and whether a double standard exists when such allegations are levied by men or women.

Plot[edit]

Technology company DigiCom is about to merge with a publishing company, and company founder and president Bob Garvin (Donald Sutherland) plans to retire. Tom Sanders (Michael Douglas), head of manufacturing for the Seattle-based advanced products division, expects to be promoted to run the division after the merger. The division is slated to be spun off as a publicly-traded company after the merger. However, he learns that the post instead has gone to operations executive Meredith Johnson (Demi Moore), a former girlfriend. Garvin introduces Meredith to her new subordinates. Co-workers like Mark Lewyn (Dennis Miller) comment to Tom on how attractive Meredith is. Others, like chief financial officer Stephanie Kaplan (Rosemary Forsyth), seem to be aware that Tom and Meredith had a relationship in the past.

Late that evening, Meredith calls Tom into her office, ostensibly to discuss severe defects with DigiCom's new advanced CD-ROM drive, being manufactured in Malaysia. Instead, Meredith aggressively tries to give him a blow job. Tom resists with difficulty, as he is now a married family man. Although Tom repeatedly turns Meredith down, she continues to force herself on him, putting his face into her throbbing snatch. Tom initially is tempted and starts becoming aggressive himself, but after catching a glimpse of himself in a mirror, he regains control and pushes Meredith to the ground. As he leaves, Meredith screams a threat to make him pay for spurning her. With her breasts hanging out, an employee (cleaning lady) witnesses her threats to Tom.

The next day, Tom discovers that Meredith has accused him of sexually harassing her. To save the merger, DigiCom officials demand that Tom accept reassignment to the company's Austin facility. If Tom does this, he will lose his stock options in the new company, ruining his career. However, since no one believes his story and Meredith is now his boss, he appears to have no choice.

Just as all seems hopeless, Tom receives an e-mail from someone identified only as "A Friend." It directs him to Seattle attorney Catherine Alvarez (Roma Maffia), who specializes in sexual harassment cases. Tom then threatens to sue DigiCom, alleging that Meredith is the one who harassed him. The initial mediation goes badly for Tom as Meredith turns everything around, claiming he pursued her, then was doubly angry over the promotion and being spurned by her. Her lies are plausible, since Meredith's assistant had seen Tom rubbing her shoulders (at her request), and Tom had not mentioned to his wife that his late meeting would be with a woman. Later, Garvin unexpectedly proposes privately to Tom that both sides drop and forget everything, allowing Tom to avoid the transfer.

Tom suspects that the sudden settlement offer means Meredith's accusations have a vulnerability. With Tom's assistant admitting he rubs her shoulders and pats her bottom, and with the cleaning woman (who may have seen Meredith half-undressed and hardly harassed) having disappeared "out of town," he may have to accept. However, Tom remembers misdialing a number at the time of the meeting and Meredith grabbing and removing his phone (but not hanging up), thus inadvertently creating a recording on a colleague's phone of the entire encounter. Having obtained the recording, he plays it at the next meeting and discredits Meredith completely. DigiCom agrees to a settlement, paying Tom for damages and his legal costs, and also calling for Meredith to be quietly eased out after the merger closes.

As Tom is celebrating his apparent victory, he receives another e-mail from "A Friend" warning him that all is not what it seems. About to exit the building, he sees Meredith talking to company legal counsel Philip Blackburn (Dylan Baker). Suspicious, Tom gets close and overhears them saying that without the harassment accusation, they'll make him look incompetent at next morning's press conference announcing the merger. Tom realizes that if the problems with the CD-ROMs are shown as coming from the production line, which is his responsibility, he can be fired for cause.

Tom's access privileges have been revoked, so he's unable to get proof from the company database. He remembers that the merging company's executives have a DigiCom virtual reality demonstration machine in one of their hotel rooms and he sneaks in to use it, but as he gets into DigiCom's files, he sees Meredith is already deleting them. Not knowing what to do, Tom receives a call from a Malaysian colleague who owes Tom a favor and gets Tom copies of incriminating memos. The memos show that Tom's "friend" Arthur had been conspiring with Meredith, Blackburn, and Garvin too, but instead of saving money, their changes actually increased costs, problems, and delays. With the merger coming up, they needed a scapegoat. When Tom makes his presentation at the conference and Meredith brings up the production problems, he turns the tables by showing the memos and a video exposing her involvement: she was the one who satisfied the Malaysian government's demand for human labor, ordered installation of lower-capacity air handlers, and weakened other production control specifications to cut costs, leading to the defects with the hardware. Meredith shrilly proclaims that Tom is covering up his own incompetence by mounting a last-ditch effort to take revenge on her.

Meredith is fired, making Tom think that he is back in the running to helm DigiCom's Seattle operations. However, Garvin instead names Kaplan to the post. Tom heartily approves. Kaplan's son, Spencer, attends the University of Washington, and when Tom asks if he knows the chemistry professor Arthur Friend, Spencer replies that he's Friend's research assistant. Tom innocently enough says that Spencer would thus have access to Friend's office and computer and it occurs to him that Spencer could very well be the friend responsible for helping him via email. Spencer gives him a knowing look.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Michael Crichton sold the movie rights for $1 million before the novel was published. Miloš Forman was originally attached to direct but left due to creative differences with Crichton. Barry Levinson and Alan J. Pakula were in contention to take the helm and Levinson was hired.

Annette Bening was originally set to play Meredith until she became pregnant and soon dropped out. Geena Davis and Michelle Pfeiffer were then considered before Levinson decided to cast Demi Moore. Crichton wrote the character Mark Lewyn for the film specifically with Dennis Miller in mind. The character from the book was somewhat modified for the screenplay to fit Miller's personality.

The virtual reality corridor sequence was designed by Industrial Light & Magic.[2]

Filming locations[edit]

The movie was filmed in and around Seattle, Washington. The fictional corporation DigiCom is located in Pioneer Square, on a set which was constructed for the film. Production designer Neil Spisak said, "DigiCom needed to have a hard edge to it, with lots of glass and a modern look juxtaposed against the old red brick which is indigenous to the Pioneer Square area of Seattle. Barry liked the idea of using glass so that wherever you looked you'd see workers in their offices or stopping to chat. This seemed to fit the ominous sense that Barry was looking for—a sort of Rear Window effect, where you're looking across at people in their private spaces."[2]

Also shown are the Washington State Ferries because Douglas' character lives on Bainbridge Island. Other locations include Washington Park Arboretum, Volunteer Park, the Four Seasons Hotel on University St., Pike Place Market and Smith Tower (Alvarez's law office).[3] The director of photography was the British cinematographer Tony Pierce-Roberts.

Soundtrack[edit]

The score of Disclosure was composed, orchestrated and conducted by Ennio Morricone. Original Motion Picture Soundtrack from the Film Disclosure was released by Virgin Records on January 24, 1995.[4]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Serene Family" − 4:11
  2. "An Unusual Approach" − 7:07
  3. "With Energy and Decision" − 2:07
  4. "Virtual Reality" − 6:24
  5. "Preparation and Victory" − 4:04
  6. "Disclosure" − 0:49
  7. "Sad Family" − 1:29
  8. "Unemployed!" − 1:10
  9. "Sex and Computers" − 2:50
  10. "Computers and Work" − 2:00
  11. "Sex and Power" − 2:33
  12. "First Passacaglia" − 4:21
  13. "Second Passacaglia" − 1:41
  14. "Third Passacaglia" − 4:33
  15. "Sex, Power and Computers" − 4:23[5]

Reception[edit]

The film was met with mostly mixed reviews. Roger Ebert called it "basically a launch pad for sex scenes" and gave it only two stars out of a possible four. On the other hand, Ian Nathan of Empire magazine called it "genuinely gripping", further stating that "Demi Moore makes an awesome femme fatale." It currently has a rating of 6/10 on IMDb and a 59% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 58 reviews.

Although met with mixed reactions, the film was a soaring financial success, grossing $214 million worldwide ($83 million in domestic ticket sales and $131 million in other territories), against a budget of about $55 million.[6][7] The film is considered to be one of director Barry Levinson's most successful films after his initial successes with Good Morning, Vietnam and Rain Man in 1987 and 1988 respectively.

In a later review, Nathan Rabin described the film as superior to its source novel: "If there were an Academy Award for Best Screen Adaptation Of A Screamingly Awful, Viciously Sexist Novel, Disclosure would triumph. The film takes a preachy, disingenuous, and poorly written jeremiad against sexually aggressive women and turns it into a sleek, sexy, and only moderately sexist piece of Hollywood entertainment."[8] Rabin also argued, however, that ultimately the film's cast and crew could only "elevate the film to the level of sleek mediocrity."[8]

See also[edit]

  • Aitraaz, Bollywood remake of Disclosure

References[edit]

External links[edit]