Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Phillip Noyce|
|Produced by||Robert Evans|
|Screenplay by||Joe Eszterhas|
|Based on||Sliver by
|Music by||Howard Shore|
|Editing by||Richard Francis-Bruce|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Release dates||May 21, 1993|
|Running time||107 minutes|
Sliver is a 1993 film based on the Ira Levin novel of the same name about the mysterious occurrences in a privately owned New York highrise 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.
Carly Norris (Sharon Stone), 35, a book editor, 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 a workout gym with Zeke, who begins to turn her on by grabbing her hips while doing exercise. They embark on a passionate affair, and Carly discovers Zeke's secret: he is the owner of the building. Carly is also being romantically pursued by Jack (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 due to his jealousy towards Zeke, whom she was dating. Zeke knew that Jack was the killer, but chose to ignore it because it would expose his other secret—that he has surveillance cameras allowing him to spy on every apartment, including hers.
Although she is both curious of and disturbed by the cameras at first, 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
MPAA ratings issues
According to a Showtime special about the film prior to the late-night premier 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 Sharon Stone's Basic Instinct sequel, 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.
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.
References in other media
- The film was referenced in The Simpsons episode "Burns' Heir", as Mr. Burns has cameras in everyone's home in Springfield, and he claims, "I got the idea from that movie Sliver; what a delightful romp!"
- The film is referenced in rapper Nas' song "Take It in Blood" from his album It Was Written: "I told the judge snakes Sliver like Sharon Stone, but like Capone I'm thrown."
- The film is also referenced in Das EFX's 1995 song "Real Hip Hop": "When I get stoned like Sharon from Sliver".
- This film was referenced in the show I Shouldn't Be Alive. In the episode "Crash in a Volcano", it is shown that two film crew members and their pilot nearly lost their lives shooting footage for the film which was ultimately never used. The footage was to be used during the opening credits and is reportedly referenced by the crystal volcano seen in Zeke's room.
- 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.
- 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.