Disclosure (film)

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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
Music by Ennio Morricone
Cinematography Tony Pierce-Roberts
Edited by Stu Linder
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • December 9, 1994 (1994-12-09)
Running time
128 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $55 million[1]
Box office $214 million[1]

Disclosure is a 1994 American erotic thriller film directed by Barry Levinson, starring Michael Douglas and Demi Moore. It is based on Michael Crichton's novel of the same name.[2] The cast also includes Donald Sutherland, Rosemary Forsyth and Dennis Miller. The film is a combination thriller and slight mystery in an office setting within 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 and its power structure.

Plot summary[edit]

Bob Garvin, a Seattle technology company founder, plans to retire when his company merges with a larger company. Production line manager Tom Sanders expects to be promoted to run the CD-ROM division. Instead, Meredith Johnson, a former girlfriend, is promoted to the post.

Meredith calls Tom into her office to discuss some operations, and forces herself onto him. He initially reciprocates, but then rebuffs her. Meredith screams a threat that he would pay for spurning her.

The next day, Tom discovers that Meredith has filed a sexual harassment complaint against him with legal counsel Philip Blackburn. To save the merger from a scandal, DigiCom officials subtly demand that Tom accept reassignment from Seattle to Austin, Texas. If Tom does this, he will lose his stock options in the new company. Furthermore, the reassignment will ruin his career and leave him jobless, as the other location is scheduled for sale after the merger.

Tom then receives an e-mail from someone identified only as "A Friend." It directs him to Seattle attorney Catherine Alvarez, who specializes in sexual harassment cases. Tom decides to sue DigiCom, alleging that Meredith is the one who harassed him. The initial mediation goes badly for Tom as Meredith blames him.

Garvin, fearing bad press and concerned that Tom's claims may have merit, proposes that if Tom drops the matter, the matter will be forgotten. This causes Tom to suspect that Meredith's accusations have a vulnerability. Tom remembers misdialing a number on his cell phone at the time of his meeting and Meredith throwing his phone (but not hanging up), thus inadvertently creating a recording on a colleague's voicemail of the entire encounter. Tom plays the recording at the next meeting and discredits Meredith. DigiCom agrees to a settlement 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 that all is not what it seems. Tom overhears Meredith talking to Blackburn that even if Tom prevailed on the harassment accusation, they'll make him look incompetent at the next morning's merger conference. The CD-ROMs Tom managed, along with an associated operating system, were having issues; if shown to be coming from the production line, which is under Tom's responsibility, he can be fired for cause.

Tom attempts to look for clues in the company database regarding the talk he overheard. But his access privileges have been revoked. He remembers that the merging company's executives have a DigiCom virtual reality demonstration machine in a hotel room with access to company databases. He breaks in to use it, but as he gets into DigiCom's files, he sees Meredith is already deleting them. Unexpectedly, Tom receives a call from a Malaysian colleague who can fax copies of incriminating memos and he gets them. They show that Meredith was conspiring with the head of operations in Malaysia, to change the plant and product specifications Tom has implemented for sabotaging Tom's career.

When Tom makes his presentation at the conference and Meredith brings up the production problems, he shows the memos and a video exposing her direct involvement in causing defects with the hardware. Meredith says that Tom is mounting a last-ditch effort to take revenge on her. However, later Meredith discloses to Tom that she is a victim of Garvin and Blackburn's office politics.

Garvin fires incompetent Meredith and declares Stephanie Kaplan as the new vice president. Despite wishing for the position himself, Tom is pleased that his colleague has been promoted. Tom knows through Stephanie's son, Spencer, that they sent the mails as "A Friend" or Arthur Friend from a professor's account to support him through the ordeal. Satisfied, Tom returns to his old technical position.



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.[3]

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."[3]

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).[4] The director of photography was British cinematographer Tony Pierce-Roberts.


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.[5]

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[6]


Critic Roger Ebert called the film "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 59% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 58 reviews.

Disclosure was a soaring financial success, grossing $214 million worldwide ($83 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales and $131 million in other territories), against a budget of about $55 million.[7][8] It became one of director Barry Levinson's most successful films after his initial successes with Good Morning, Vietnam and Rain Man.

In a 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."[9] Rabin also argued, however, that ultimately the film's cast and crew could only "elevate the film to the level of sleek mediocrity."[9]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]