Extreme Close-Up (film)

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Extreme Close-Up
Extreme Close-Up (film).jpg
Directed by Jeannot Szwarc
Produced by Paul Lazarus III
Michael I. Rachmil
Kurt Villadsen
Written by Michael Crichton
Starring Jim McMullan
Music by Basil Poledouris
Cinematography Paul Lohmann
Distributed by National General Pictures
Release date
  • May 16, 1973 (1973-05-16)
Running time
80 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $209,000[1]

Extreme Close-Up is a 1973 film directed by Jeannot Szwarc and written by Michael Crichton. It deals with privacy in an ever growing technological age.

It was also known as Sex Through a Window.


A television reporter rents surveillance equipment for a story on the intrusion of surreptitious surveillance in peoples' private lives. He spies on his neighbors and eventually a broader range of citizens, finding himself caught up in the dark world of voyeurism.



Producer Paul Lazarus III says the film was inspired in part by the success of I Am Curious - Yellow. He approached Michael Crichton with whom he made Westworld (1973) and suggested they make a film which got some nudity on screen "without creating some kind of uproar that ruins people."[1] They came up with the story and Crichton wrote the script. "This was an era of grainy 8mm stag films," said Lazarus III, "Our thinking was we could put what nudity we wanted... into a kind of action thriller format."[1]

Lazarus sold the film to a financier called Ted Mann on the basis of Crichton's reputation. He offered to make the whole movie for $209,000.[1]

Swarzz was hired in part because he was French "and we thought he'd known how to do this," according to Lazarus III.[1]

Ted Mann arranged a distribution deal with National General, who changed the title to Sex Through a Window. The film failed commercially and Crichton took it off his filmography.[1]

Crichton says he "wanted to make a X rated film that was also a good movie. What happened was that it got shot as a soft R and that just destroyed it. I mean, it really a hard edge that I thought was kind of interesting, and it was a good script, but it just had to be an X. The minute it was not an X it was just all over. I wasn't involved in the production... it was a low budget picture that didn't turn out as I hoped."[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Legends of Film: Paul Lazarus" (Podcast). 27 December 2004. 
  2. ^ Fischer, Dennis (2000). Science Fiction Film Directors, 1895-1998. McFarland. p. 599. 

External links[edit]