Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Barry Levinson|
|Produced by||Michael Crichton
|Written by||Paul Attanasio|
by Michael Crichton
|Music by||Ennio Morricone|
|Edited by||Stu Linder|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$214 million|
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.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (October 2015)|
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 for the Seattle-based advanced products division, expects to be promoted to run the division, which is to be spun off as a publicly traded company after the merger. However, he learns that the post has instead 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 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.
Late that evening, Meredith calls Tom into her office, ostensibly to discuss severe defects with DigiCom's new advanced CD-ROM drive, being manufactured in Malaysia. Instead, Meredith aggressively tries to give him oral sex. Tom resists with difficulty, as he is now a married family man. Although he struggles, she continues to force herself on him. Tom is tempted and becomes aggressive himself, but after catching a glimpse of himself in a mirror, he regains control and pushes Meredith away. As he leaves, Meredith screams a threat to make him pay for spurning her.
The next day, Tom discovers that Meredith has accused him of sexually harassing her. To save the merger, DigiCom officials demand that Tom accept reassignment to the company's Austin facility. If Tom does this, he will lose his stock options in the new company, ruining his career. 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 then threatens to sue DigiCom, alleging that Meredith is the one who harassed him. The initial mediation goes badly for Tom as Meredith turns everything around, claiming he pursued her, then was doubly angry over the promotion and being spurned by her. Her lies are plausible, since Meredith's assistant had seen Tom rubbing her shoulders (at her request), and Tom had not mentioned to his wife that his late meeting would be with a woman.
Garvin unexpectedly proposes privately to Tom that both sides let the matter drop, allowing Tom to avoid the transfer. This causes Tom to suspect that Meredith's accusations have a vulnerability. However, with Tom's assistant admitting that he rubs her shoulders and pats her bottom, with the company's cleaning woman (who may have seen Meredith half-undressed and hardly harassed) having disappeared "out of town," and with Alvarez having discovered that "A friend" is Arthur Friend, a University of Washington geology professor who is currently in Nepal on sabbatical, Tom realizes he may have no choice but to accept Garvin's offer. In the nick of time, However, Tom remembers misdialing a number on his cell phone at the time of his meeting and Meredith grabbing his phone (but not hanging up), thus inadvertently creating a recording on a colleague's voice mail of the entire encounter. Tom plays the recording at the next meeting and discredits Meredith completely. 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. Afterward, he sees Meredith talking to company legal counsel Philip Blackburn (Dylan Baker). Suspicious, Tom overhears them saying that without the harassment accusation, they'll make him look incompetent at next morning's press conference announcing the merger. If the problems with the CD-ROMs are shown as coming from the production line, which is his responsibility, he can be fired for cause.
Tom's access privileges have been revoked, so he's unable to get proof from the company database. He remembers that the merging company's executives have a DigiCom virtual reality demonstration machine in a hotel room. He breaks in to use it, but as he gets into DigiCom's files, he sees Meredith is already deleting them. Not knowing what to do, Tom receives a call from a Malaysian colleague who gets Tom copies of incriminating memos and videos. They show that the head of the manufacturing unit in Malaysia had been conspiring with Meredith, Blackburn, and Garvin to change the plant specifications Tom implemented to reduce costs and make the company a more attractive merger target. But, instead of saving money, their changes to the CD-ROMs actually increased costs, problems, and delays. With the merger coming up, they needed a scapegoat.
When Tom makes his presentation at the conference and Meredith brings up the production problems, he turns the tables by showing the memos and a video exposing her involvement: it was Meredith who satisfied the Malaysian government's demand for human labor, ordered installation of lower-capacity air handlers, and weakened other production control specifications that led to the defects with the hardware. Meredith unsuccessfully proclaims that Tom is mounting a last-ditch effort to take revenge on her.
Meredith is fired, making it appear Tom will now helm DigiCom's Seattle operations. Garvin instead names Kaplan to the post. Tom heartily approves. Kaplan's son, Spencer, attends the University of Washington, and when Tom asks if he knows professor Arthur Friend, Spencer replies that he's Friend's research assistant. Tom innocently observes that, with professor Friend on sabbatical in Nepal, Spencer would thus have access to Friend's office and computer, meaning Kaplan, through her son, is likely the "friend" responsible for helping him. Spencer gives him a knowing look.
At the end of the film, Tom is left in the same position he was at the beginning.
- Michael Douglas as Tom Sanders
- Demi Moore as Meredith Johnson
- Donald Sutherland as Bob Garvin
- Caroline Goodall as Susan Hendler
- Roma Maffia as Catherine Alvarez
- Dylan Baker as Philip Blackburn
- Rosemary Forsyth as Stephanie Kaplan
- Dennis Miller as Mark Lewyn
- Suzie Plakson as Mary Anne Hunter
- Nicholas Sadler as Don Cherry
- Jacqueline Kim as Cindy Chang
- Kate Williamson as Judge Barbara Murphy
- Donal Logue as Chance Geer
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 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."
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). The director of photography was the British cinematographer Tony Pierce-Roberts.
- "Serene Family" − 4:11
- "An Unusual Approach" − 7:07
- "With Energy and Decision" − 2:07
- "Virtual Reality" − 6:24
- "Preparation and Victory" − 4:04
- "Disclosure" − 0:49
- "Sad Family" − 1:29
- "Unemployed!" − 1:10
- "Sex and Computers" − 2:50
- "Computers and Work" − 2:00
- "Sex and Power" − 2:33
- "First Passacaglia" − 4:21
- "Second Passacaglia" − 1:41
- "Third Passacaglia" − 4:33
- "Sex, Power and Computers" − 4:23
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 6/10 on IMDb and a 59% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 58 reviews.
Disclosure 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. It became 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 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." Rabin also argued, however, that ultimately the film's cast and crew could only "elevate the film to the level of sleek mediocrity."
- Aitraaz, Bollywood remake of Disclosure
- "Douglas, Moore Star in Adaptation of Crichton's Novel on Harassment Reversal". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
- Disclosure DVD (2000). Production notes. Warner Home Video.
- "Amazon.com: Disclosure (1994 Film): Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2014-04-25.
- "Disclosure [Original Soundtrack] - Ennio Morricone". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-04-25.
- "Weekend Box Office Disclosure' Is Hot on a Slow Weekend". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-12.
- "'Disclosure' Edges Out 'Santa' at the Box Office Movies: Much-hyped sexual-harassment drama pushes aside the Tim Allen heavyweight.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-12.
- Disclosure Nathan Rabin, The Dissolve, August 16, 2013. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
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