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 Michael Crichton (novel)
Paul Attanasio
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 date(s)
  • 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 cyber thriller film directed by Barry Levinson, starring Michael Douglas and Demi Moore. It is based on Michael Crichton's novel of the same name.[1]

The cast also includes Donald Sutherland, Rosemary Forsyth and Dennis Miller. As in so many of Levinson's films from Diner (1982) to Liberty Heights (1999), Ralph Tabakin appears, this time as an elevator attendant.

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]

Seattle 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, expects to be promoted to run DigiCom 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 problems with DigiCom's new advanced CD-ROM drive, being manufactured in Malaysia. Instead, Meredith aggressively tries to resume her romantic relationship with him. Tom resists (with difficulty) as he is now a married family man. Although he repeatedly turns her down, Meredith ignores Tom, forcing herself on him. Tom initially is tempted, 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.

The next day, Tom discovers that Meredith has alleged sexual harassment against him to DigiCom. Colleagues refuse to believe his protestations of innocence and the company pressures him to accept reassignment to the company's Austin office. Tom does not want to do this, as he would lose his stock options, ruining his career and family. 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 counter-sues, alleging that Meredith is the one who harassed him. Evidence is produced that supports Tom's story and refutes Meredith's testimony before a court mediator.

The company backs down and reinstates him with a large pay raise. Tom is celebrating his apparent victory, but then receives another e-mail from "A Friend" warning him that all is not what it seems.

It turns out that Meredith and Garvin's assistant, Philip Blackburn (Dylan Baker), had weakened the quality control specifications at the Malaysian plant to cut costs. The changes resulted in severe defects in the drive, and Meredith and Phil are planning to make Tom the scapegoat. At a conference the next day announcing the merger, they will make Tom look incompetent, thereby giving them a valid reason to fire him.

Tom is unable to access the company computer to seek confirmation because Meredith has locked him out of the system. He spends a tense and frantic night before getting the information through a virtual reality demonstration machine left in the hotel room of executives from the merging company, with help from a colleague who owes him a favor. Armed with the incriminating memos, he manages to again turn the tables on Meredith, exposing her involvement and getting her fired instead. As she is escorted out, she shrilly proclaims that Tom is actually to blame and that the evidence is a last-ditch effort of revenge for trying to fire him.

Tom thinks this puts him back in the running to helm DigiCom, but Garvin instead names Stephanie Kaplan as his successor. Faced with the inevitable, Tom heartily approves. It occurs to him that her son Spencer, a research assistant to professor Arthur Friend—to whose computer Tom traced his 'Friend'—could very well be the "friend" responsible for helping him via e-mail. Spencer gives him a knowing look.

In the end, Tom is left in the same position he was in at the beginning of the film, but only after a very narrow escape. He is left musing over the fact that two women (his attorney and his new boss) were responsible for saving him.

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
  • Shrimathi, Kannda remake of Aitraaz
  • Inkaar, another Bollywood film about sexual harassment

References[edit]

External links[edit]