Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Phillip Noyce|
|Produced by||Robert Evans|
|Screenplay by||Joe Eszterhas|
|Based on||Sliver by
|Music by||Howard Shore|
|Edited by||Richard Francis-Bruce|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|May 21, 1993|
Sliver is a 1993 erotic thriller film based on the Ira Levin novel of the same name about the mysterious occurrences in a privately owned New York high-rise apartment building. Phillip Noyce directed the film, from a screenplay by Joe Eszterhas. Because of a major battle with the MPAA (which originally gave the film an NC-17 rating), the filmmakers were forced to make extensive reshoots before release. These reshoots actually necessitated changing the killer's identity. The film stars Sharon Stone, William Baldwin and Tom Berenger.
According to the movie, the tall and narrow sliver building is located at 113 East 38th Street in Manhattan, placing it at 38th Street and Park Avenue. The actual building used in the film is known as Morgan Court, located at 211 Madison Avenue New York, one block west and two blocks south of the fictional address. The building has since become a condominium development. It was built in 1985 and has 32 floors. While the movie made use of the building's courtyard, the lobby was a Los Angeles film set.
When he signed on to direct the film, Phillip Noyce remarked "I liked the script a lot. Or at least, I liked the idea of jumping on the Joe Eszterhas bandwagon."
Carly Norris (Sharon Stone) moves into an exclusive New York residential building, not long after the previous tenant, Naomi Singer, falls to her death from her balcony. She immediately crosses paths with other tenants including the handsome Zeke (William Baldwin).
Carly and Zeke soon start meeting quite often; Carly eventually agrees to go to the gym with Zeke, who begins to turn her on by grabbing her hips while exercising, and they subsequently begin a sexual relationship. Carly is also being romantically pursued by Jack (Tom Berenger), a novelist who is another resident of her building.
Two of Carly's neighbors (Keene Curtis, Polly Walker) die under suspicious circumstances. As she discovers more about Zeke and Jack, she begins to distrust both and also uncovers shocking secrets about other people who live around her. Carly eventually finds out that Jack killed Naomi because of his jealousy of Zeke. It is revealed that Zeke knew that Jack was the killer, but chose to ignore it because it would expose his other secret: he has surveillance cameras allowing him to spy on every apartment, including hers.
Although she is both curious about and disturbed by the cameras, Carly eventually destroys Zeke's surveillance room and his video monitors, telling him to "get a life" before leaving him and the building.
- Sharon Stone as Carly Norris
- William Baldwin as Zeke Hawkins
- Tom Berenger as Jack Landsford
- Polly Walker as Vida Warren
- Colleen Camp as Judy Marks
- Amanda Foreman as Samantha Moore
- Martin Landau as Alex Parsons
- Nicholas Pryor as Peter Farrell
- C. C. H. Pounder as Lt. Victoria Hendrix
- Nina Foch as Evelyn McEvoy
- Keene Curtis as Gus Hale
- Anne Betancourt as Jackie Kinsella
- Tony Peck as Martin Kinsella
- Allison Mackie as Naomi Singer
In the film's original ending Sharon Stone and the killer fly over a volcano when the killer suddenly confesses his crimes. He then veers the aircraft into the volcano as the end credits roll and leaves the audience to decide whether they survive.
Preview audiences disliked the idea of the heroine turning immoral. All the film from the cameramen who actually crashed into a volcano in Hawaii and narrowly escaped death was removed.
MPAA ratings issues
According to a Showtime special about the film prior to the late-night premiere showing of the original NC-17 version, the debate over the NC-17 vs R rating was linked solely to the display of male frontal nudity. However, when Paramount released the unrated version to video there was no male frontal nudity included, though the sex scenes were considerably more graphic.
Home video releases
When originally released on VHS, the film was released in both an R-rated and an unrated version (the original NC-17 version). In March 2006, to coincide with the theatrical release of Basic Instinct 2, which starred Stone, Sliver was released on DVD, this time unrated only. There are no special features and although the film was presented theatrically in the 2.35 aspect ratio, the DVD features a matted, 2.10 aspect ratio transfer. The release also contained what some reviewers have noted as an unusual amount of dirt and scratches for a film print that is only a little over a dozen years old, though the casual viewer is unlikely to detect anything errant. In May 2006 an R-rated for-rent-only version was released to rental outlets. In 2013, the film was released on Blu-ray Disc, using the same matted 2.10 aspect ratio version of the R-rated theatrical cut.
The film was heavily panned by critics and scores only 12% on Rotten Tomatoes; the main criticisms were that the film provided little in the way of compelling thriller elements, that it diluted some of the plotlines of the novel, and that the actors were not on form. Many also singled out the editing and ending, calling the latter hasty and unconvincing. It was also nominated for seven Razzie Awards, including Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Actor (William Baldwin), Worst Actress (Sharon Stone), Worst Supporting Actor (Tom Berenger), Worst Supporting Actress (Colleen Camp) and Worst Screenplay, but failed to "win" any.
The movie debuted at No. 1 at the box office. By the second week the box office taking dropped to No. 6. Sliver eventually grossed $36.3 million domestically and $80 million around the world to a total of $116.3 million worldwide.
- "Sliver (1993) - Box Office Mojo". IMDb. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
- Dowd, Maureen (1993-05-30). "FILM; Bucks and Blondes: Joe Eszterhas Lives The Big Dream". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
- Dretzka, Gary (1997-10-26). "Beyond `Sliver': `Lies' Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas Takes On The Critics Of His Sexy Scripts". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
- "The Nerve Interview: Joe Eszterhas". Nerve.com. 2006-09-15. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
- Hicks, Chris (May 30, 1993). "WITHOUT `SLIVER' OF A CLUE, MYSTERY ENDS POORLY". Deseret News.
- Dowd, Maureen (May 30, 1993). "FILM; Bucks and Blondes: Joe Eszterhas Lives The Big Dream". The New York Times.
- Rainer, Peter (1993-05-22). "MOVIE REVIEW : Erotic Thriller 'Sliver' Leaves a Lot to Be Desired : This wrongheaded version of Ira Levin's pulp novel may be about voyeurism, but it doesn't provide much to watch.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
- Sliver (1993) at Rotten Tomatoes
- Fox, David J. (1993-05-24). "Stone Gets a 'Sliver' of Box Office but Not a Runaway Movies: 'Hot Shots!' also opens strongly but the blockbuster hopes are now on Memorial Day weekend.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
- Fox, David J. (1993-06-01). "Sly's Back in Peak Form at Box Office : Movies: 'Cliffhanger' grabs the largest opening for a non-sequel on any Memorial Day weekend. 'Made in America' opens in second place.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
- Sliver at the Internet Movie Database
- Sliver at Box Office Mojo
- Purtell, Tim (1993-06-04). "All About the Watchtower". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2013-03-07.