Sleeping with the Enemy
|Sleeping with the Enemy|
|Directed by||Joseph Ruben|
|Screenplay by||Ronald Bass|
|Based on||Sleeping with the Enemy|
by Nancy Price 
|Produced by||Leonard Goldberg|
|Edited by||George Bowers|
|Music by||Jerry Goldsmith|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$175 million|
Sleeping with the Enemy is a 1991 American romantic psychological thriller film directed by Joseph Ruben and starring Julia Roberts, Patrick Bergin and Kevin Anderson. The film is based on Nancy Price's 1987 novel of the same name. Roberts plays a woman who fakes her death and moves to escape her abusive husband, but finds her new life interrupted when he discovers her actions and tracks her down from Cape Cod to Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Sleeping with the Enemy was released theatrically on February 8, 1991, where it received negative reviews from the critics, but was a box office success, grossing $175 million on a production budget of $19 million. The film also broke the record at the time for the highest domestic opening for a film with a female lead, grossing $13 million on its opening weekend surpassing the previous record held by Alien, which grossed $10 million in its first weekend.
Laura Burney has a seemingly idyllic life and perfect marriage to Martin, a successful Boston investment counselor. Beneath Martin's charming, handsome exterior, however, is an obsessive and controlling personality who has physically, emotionally, and sexually abused Laura throughout their nearly four-year marriage. Then, in a recurring pattern, he apologetically showers her with flowers and gifts.
Martin accepts the invitation of their neighbor, a doctor, for an evening sail, despite knowing Laura fears water. As a severe storm unexpectedly rolls in, Martin and the doctor struggle to control the vessel. Laura, unable to swim, is swept overboard. After an extensive Coast Guard search, Laura is presumed drowned and Martin is inconsolable.
Laura is actually alive. After secretly learning to swim, she planned her fake death to escape Martin's abuse. During the storm, she jumped overboard, swam ashore, and returned home. She donned a wig, took her stashed belongings and money, and headed to the bus station.
Laura moves to Cedar Falls, Iowa. Previously, she told Martin that her blind, stroke-impaired mother, Chloe, died, but secretly moved Chloe to an Iowa nursing home. She rents a house, finds a job, and settles into a new life as "Sara Waters". Her friendly neighbor, Ben Woodward, a young drama teacher at a local college, is attracted to Laura, though he suspects she has a troubled past. They have a fun date, but when a kiss turns more physical, Laura resists and demands that Ben leave. She later confides to him that she escaped an abusive marriage.
Martin receives information indicating Laura may be alive. This is confirmed when he finds Laura's wedding ring, where she had flushed it down the toilet but it had failed to flush. He travels to Chloe's nursing home, posing as a detective, and learns that Chloe's "nephew" has just visited. Laura, disguised as a man, is also at the nursing home, and barely misses encountering Martin. Martin discovers Laura's whereabouts and learns about Ben. He trails the couple to Laura's house and breaks in while she and Ben are outside. Laura notices the small clues Martin deliberately left inside the house, including the kitchen cabinets rearranged to Martin's exact standards.
Martin confronts Laura and Ben breaks down the door and struggles with Martin, who knocks him unconscious. As he aims a gun at Ben, Laura distracts him, then knees his groin. She grabs Martin's gun and holds him at gunpoint. Calling the police, she shocks Martin (who expected Laura to tell the police to protect her from him, as she had done in the past) by informing them she killed an intruder, and then shoots Martin. Wounded from the shots, Martin seizes Laura by the hair and grabs the gun, aiming it at her in a desperate attempt to kill her, but when he pulls the trigger, the gun is empty. Now realizing that he has lost, Martin finally dies from his wounds, while Laura and Ben embrace and wait for the police.
- Julia Roberts as Laura Williams Burney / Sara Waters
- Patrick Bergin as Martin Burney
- Kevin Anderson as Ben Woodward
- Elizabeth Lawrence as Chloe Williams
- Harley Venton as Garber
- Sandi Shackelford as Edna
- Bonnie Johnson as Mrs. Neppert
As of January 2020[update], the film held a 20% 'Rotten' rating based on 34 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. The site's consensus states: "A game Julia Roberts gives it her all, but Sleeping with the Enemy is one stalker thriller that's unlikely to inspire many obsessions of its own."
The film's opening ended Home Alone's twelve week run atop the box office. By the end of its run, the film had grossed $101,599,005 in the domestic box office; with an international total of $73,400,000, the film's worldwide gross was $174,999,005; based on a $19 million budget, the film was a box office success. The film was released in the United Kingdom on April 12, 1991, and opened on #2, behind Highlander II: The Quickening. The next week, the film remained in the same position.
The original music for the film was composed and conducted by Jerry Goldsmith. Columbia Records released an album concurrently with the film containing just over 38 minutes of score plus the Van Morrison song "Brown Eyed Girl". In 2011, La-La Land Records issued a limited edition album of 3500 copies expanding Goldsmith's score (but omitting the song).
Home media releases
The film reached #1 in the rental charts in September 1991. It was released on LaserDisc in Australia, the United States, United Kingdom and Japan by Fox Video in 1991. It also received various releases on VHS, was released on DVD on 2 September 2003, and subsequently entered the market of Blu-ray on in June 2011. As of October 2020, it still hasn't been released on 4K. 
The score by Jerry Goldsmith won the BMI Film Music Award, 1992, and the film was nominated for the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Saturn Award for 1992 in four categories: Best Actress (Roberts), Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor (Bergin), Best Horror Film and Best Music (Goldsmith).
- Granville, Kari (1991-02-08). "Joseph Ruben Finally Gets His Crane : Movies: A veteran director of low-budget fare makes it to majors with 'Sleeping With the Enemy.'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
- Price, Nancy. "Nancy Price - Biography". Nancypricebooks.com. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
- Sleeping with the Enemy at Box Office Mojo Archived 2011-07-08 at the Wayback Machine
- Rottentomatoes.com, "[rotten-tomatoes|sleeping_with_the_enemy Sleeping with the Enemy (1991)]", accessed November 30, 2017.
- . Ebert, Roger. 1991-02-08 https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/sleeping-with-the-enemy-1991. Missing or empty
- Broeske, Pat H. (1991-02-12). "WEEKEND BOX OFFICE : 'Sleeping,' 'L.A.' Knock 'Home' Out". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
- Sleeping with the Enemy at Box Office Mojo
- "Weekend box office 12th April 1991 - 14th April 1991". www.25thframe.co.uk. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
- "Weekend box office 19th April 1991 - 21st April 1991". www.25thframe.co.uk. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
- Hunt, Dennis (1991-09-05). "Video Rental Chart : Sales Reduce 'Home' Rentals". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-04-21.
- "Laser Disc Laserdisc Movie Sleeping With The Enemy Julia-Roberts". ebay.com.au. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
- "Sleeping with the Enemy". DVD Release Dates. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
- "Sleeping with the Enemy Blu-ray". DVDEmpire.com. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
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