Exit to Eden (film)

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Exit To Eden
Exit to eden poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Garry Marshall
Produced by Garry Marshall
Edward K. Milkis
Written by Deborah Amelon
Bob Brunner
Based on Exit to Eden 
by Anne Rampling
Starring Dana Delany
Paul Mercurio
Rosie O'Donnell
Dan Aykroyd
Music by Patrick Doyle
Cinematography Theo van de Sande
Edited by David Finfer
Distributed by Savoy Pictures
Release dates
  • October 14, 1994 (1994-10-14)
Running time 114 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Box office $6,841,570[2]

Exit to Eden is a 1994 American comedy-thriller film directed by Garry Marshall and adapted to the screen by Deborah Amelon and Bob Brunner from Anne Rampling's novel of the same name. The original music score was composed by Patrick Doyle.

Dana Delany stars as Lisa Emerson (named Lisa Kelly in the book) and Paul Mercurio plays Elliot Slater. Half of the film consists of a new comedic detective story line written by the director. Several new characters were also created, including Dan Aykroyd and Rosie O'Donnell as police officers pursuing diamond thieves to the Eden resort.

Plot[edit]

Elliot Slater is a young, attractive, Australian professional photographer living in Southern California. Having always been uncomfortable with his sexual proclivities, which tend toward the BDSM realm, he signs up for a dominatrix-themed vacation on a private tropical island known as "Eden" in the hopes of working through his discomfort.

Unbeknownst to him, prior to embarking on his journey of sexual discovery, he has unwittingly photographed an international jewel thief of whom no other photos exist. The jewel thief Omar and his criminal partner Nina are intent on recovering the film in order to retain Omar's anonymity.

They follow the photographer to the island resort run by the dominatrix Mistress Lisa Emerson, posing as vacationers. Following a tip that Omar is on the island, undercover police officers Fred Lavery and Sheila Kingston also arrive, Sheila in the guise of a vacationer and Fred as a handyman.

Comedic antics ensue amid the activities of scantily clad guests and employees, acting out their dominant and submissive fantasies.

In the course of Elliot's experiences as Mistress Lisa's personal submissive, including a scene where she ties him up and fondles his naked body (especially, his bare buttocks), the two begin to fall in love. The action comes to a climax on a quick trip to New Orleans, where Lisa reluctantly admits her feelings for Elliot, all the while tailed by Omar, who attempts to kill them.

Fortunately, Fred and Sheila save the day, sending Omar and Nina to jail, and receive commendations for solving the case. Elliot returns to Eden and proposes to Lisa, who says yes.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The whips used and shown in detail were created by Janette Heartwood.[3] This was the last film produced by Edward K. Milkis before his death in 1996.

Reception[edit]

The film garnered attention during its release because of the BDSM themes, full frontal female nudity (including Delany), and because of the high profiles of the director, cast members, and the author. Promotional materials for the film included photos of Delany in dominatrix attire.

It was generally panned by critics, who expressed disappointment and confusion about the combination of the original story and the comedic elements.[4][5][6] The film maintains a 6% "rotten" rating at Rotten Tomatoes based on 16 reviews.[7] Roger Ebert gave the film 1/2 star out of four possible stars.[8]

One controversy occurred when it was initially banned by the Saskatchewan Film and Video Classification Board. Critics were puzzled by the banning, as Saskatchewan was the only jurisdiction known to have kept the film out of theaters. After a brief media flurry, the Board lifted the ban a week later.[9][10]

Awards and nominations[edit]

O'Donnell won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress for this film (also for The Flintstones and Car 54 Where Are You?) and Aykroyd earned nominations for Worst Supporting Actor (also for North) and both O'Donnell and Aykroyd as Worst Screen Couple.

Home media[edit]

The film was released on VHS tape (NTSC) in May 1995, on DVD (NTSC Region 1) in April 2002 and on (PAL Region 2) in 2003 (German Version "Undercover Cop" with German and English language sound). The U.S. DVD is currently out of print, and as of November 2012, neither HBO nor Focus Features, the latter of whom has begun to acquire some of Savoy's films, has announced any plans to release a new DVD of the film. For these reasons, copies of the original DVD can be found online being sold for very high prices.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "EXIT TO EDEN (18)". British Board of Film Classification. 1995-04-03. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  2. ^ Exit to Eden at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ see Phillip Miller, Molly Devon, William A. Granzig: Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns: The Romance and Sexual Sorcery of Sadomasochism. Mystic Rose Books 1995, ISBN 0-9645960-0-8
  4. ^ Exit to Eden Review. Movie Reviews - Film - Time Out London
  5. ^ Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes
  6. ^ "Related Pages". Movie-reviews.colossus.net. Retrieved 2012-09-01. 
  7. ^ "Exit to Eden". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-09-01. 
  8. ^ "Exit To Eden :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. Retrieved 2012-09-01. 
  9. ^ Salem, Rob (16 October 1994). "Maybe Saskatchewan had it right first time: Exit To Eden is painful". Toronto Star. p. B3. 
  10. ^ (CP) (14 October 1994). "Exit to Eden ban reversed". Toronto Star. p. 88. 

External links[edit]