Sliver (1993)

R | 109 mins | Drama, Mystery, Romance | 21 May 1993

Director:

Phillip Noyce

Writer:

Joe Eszterhas

Producer:

Robert Evans

Cinematographer:

Vilmos Zsigmond

Production Designer:

Paul Sylbert

Production Company:

Paramount Pictures
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HISTORY

       On 24 Jun 1990, LAT reported that writer Ira Levin was preparing for the Mar 1991 publication of Sliver, his first novel since The Boys From Brazil (1976). Levin’s agent indicated that they would wait for reviews and sales figures before seeking a deal for film rights. A year later, the 15 Jul 1991 DV stated that producer Robert Evans had returned to Paramount Pictures after an eight-year hiatus. Under his new five-year exclusive contract, Evans acquired rights to Sliver, which marked his second adaptation of an Ira Levin property following the success of Rosemary’s Baby (1968, see entry). Joe Eszterhas was selected to write the screenplay, and the budget was estimated at $30--$40 million. According to the 2 Jun 1992 DV, Paramount approached director Stephen Frears, but ultimately hired Phillip Noyce, who had recently directed Patriot Games (1992, see entry) for the studio. Actresses considered for the role of “Carly Norris” included Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, and Sharon Stone, star of Eszterhas’ Basic Instinct (1992, see entry). Although the 22 Jun 1992 Var indicated that Stone initially passed on the offer, an 18 Aug 1992 DV article announced that she had changed her mind after the studio tailored the second draft especially for her. According to a 21 May 1993 EW article, Stone did not officially commit until shortly before the start of production, when Evans "bluffed" by claiming that actress Geena Davis, who was in competition with Stone for Basic Instinct, had agreed to take the role. Now ... More Less

       On 24 Jun 1990, LAT reported that writer Ira Levin was preparing for the Mar 1991 publication of Sliver, his first novel since The Boys From Brazil (1976). Levin’s agent indicated that they would wait for reviews and sales figures before seeking a deal for film rights. A year later, the 15 Jul 1991 DV stated that producer Robert Evans had returned to Paramount Pictures after an eight-year hiatus. Under his new five-year exclusive contract, Evans acquired rights to Sliver, which marked his second adaptation of an Ira Levin property following the success of Rosemary’s Baby (1968, see entry). Joe Eszterhas was selected to write the screenplay, and the budget was estimated at $30--$40 million. According to the 2 Jun 1992 DV, Paramount approached director Stephen Frears, but ultimately hired Phillip Noyce, who had recently directed Patriot Games (1992, see entry) for the studio. Actresses considered for the role of “Carly Norris” included Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, and Sharon Stone, star of Eszterhas’ Basic Instinct (1992, see entry). Although the 22 Jun 1992 Var indicated that Stone initially passed on the offer, an 18 Aug 1992 DV article announced that she had changed her mind after the studio tailored the second draft especially for her. According to a 21 May 1993 EW article, Stone did not officially commit until shortly before the start of production, when Evans "bluffed" by claiming that actress Geena Davis, who was in competition with Stone for Basic Instinct, had agreed to take the role. Now considered a “major star” in the wake of Basic Instinct’s box-office success, Stone received $2.5 million for Sliver, plus a percentage of the profits. Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, and Brad Pitt were reportedly named as potential male leads. Despite hesitation from Paramount executives, Noyce, Evans, Stone, and Eszterhas insisted William Baldwin read for the role of “Zeke Hawkins.”
       The 30 Sep 1992 DV announced the start of rehearsals in Los Angeles, CA, before a month of shooting in New York City. The 27 Oct 1992 HR indicated that principal photography began 13 Oct 1992. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, exteriors of the eponymous apartment complex were filmed at the Morgan Court building at 211 Madison Avenue in New York City’s Murray Hill neighborhood. Crew redecorated the 36th Street exit to double as the building’s entryway, with a glass arcade and redesigned garden area. The courtyard, lobby, and interior apartment sets were reconstructed at the Paramount studios in Hollywood, CA. Zeke’s monitor room was built on Paramount Stage 15, following five months of research and preparation. Meanwhile, a separate unit spent six weeks shooting 250,000 feet of film to be used as security footage of the “sliver’s” various tenants. William Hoy, who worked with Noyce on Patriot Games, edited the footage into 540 separate videotapes. Filming completed 10 Feb 1993, according to a DV item of the same date.
       Roughly one month into production, the 27 Nov 1992 NYT reported that camera crewmembers Michael A. Benson and Christopher Duddy were filming the Pu’u ‘O’o vent of the Kilauea volcano on the island of Hawai’i when their helicopter lost power and crashed on the crater floor. Pilot Craig Hosking called for help and boarded a rescue helicopter, leaving Benson and Duddy stranded on an interior crevice obscured by volcanic gasses. Duddy eventually crawled to the volcano rim, and Benson was saved after two full days without food and adequate water. Hawaii County Fire Chief Daniel Ayala told the 28 Nov 1992 LAT that he hoped to bill Paramount for the extensive repairs and equipment damage of the three rescue helicopters.
       In one scene, Stone’s character, Carly, notices a glass statue of a volcano in Zeke’s apartment, and Zeke mentions his desire to one day fly into a volcano. According to the 18 May 1993 HR and 6 May 1993 LAT, the original ending featured the Kilauea volcano footage Benson and Duddy were assigned to shoot, but this was ultimately cut from the film after receiving a poor response from test audiences. Eszterhas prepared two alternate endings, which would determine “whether or not the Sharon Stone character becomes a willing partner in the voyeurism.”
       Paramount also ran into problems when the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) ratings board objected to several of the film’s “steamy” sex scenes, and requested 110 edits be made to avoid an NC-17 rating. Noyce and producer Robert Evans argued that the MPAA was “unnerved” by the film’s subject of voyeurism, and agreed to make at least fifteen of the recommended changes. To avoid heavily editing or removing the sequences altogether, re-shoots were held the week of 19 Apr 1993, as reported by the 25 Apr 1993 LAT. The 6 May 1993 LAT estimated that the new material amounted to as many as forty pages of dialogue and took ten days to film. The article claimed that Noyce once promised the picture would contain “more male frontal nudity…than ever before” seen in a studio film. However, a test screening at the Paramount studio revealed the rumors to be false. The 18 May 1993 HR also noted that Paramount was forced to re-cut much of the film’s promotional footage, which was deemed too explicit for television.
       The premiere took place 19 May 1993 at the Mann National Theatre in Westwood, CA. The 21 May 1993 LAT stated that the event raised $380,000 for the Stop Cancer charity, headed by Paramount CEO Sherry Lansing.
       According to the 24 May 1993 LAT, Sliver brought in $12 million from 2,100 screens during its opening weekend. Despite poor critical reception, a 22 Nov 1993 brief in Time magazine stated that the film’s meager $37 million domestic gross was nearly doubled in overseas markets. The international release reportedly contained four minutes of footage not shown in U.S. theaters.
       End credits include “Special Thanks” to: “City of Beverly Hills; City of Los Angeles; The New York City Mayor’s Office of Film, Television and Broadcasting; The New York Public Library; Don Shearer; Tom Hauptman; Julie Grau; Hans Bjerno; Harry H. Ueshiro; Richard C. Phelps; Mary Ellis; Professional video monitor wall provided by Sony Corporation of America; Edgar Award – Mystery Writers of America; Dr. Leroy R. Perry, Jr., Chiropractor, and International Sportsmedicine Institute; Cranes and dollies by Chapman; Project process coordination by Hansard®; Wescam provided by Pasadena Camera Systems, Inc.; 24 Frame Video by Inter Video & Video Playback Services; Macintosh computer equipment provided by Apple Computer, Inc.; Supermatch monitors provided by Supermac Technology; After Dark ‘Saturn’ Screensaver provided by Berkeley Systems; Microprose Simulation Software; Bruce Goold – Palm Beach Press, K.S.W., Australia.”
       Credits are accompanied by "Can't Help Falling In Love," performed by UB40, followed by the band's music video for the song, which takes place within an apartment building set resembling the location used in the film. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
15 Jul 1991
p. 1, 10.
Daily Variety
2 Jun 1992.
---
Daily Variety
18 Aug 1992
p. 3, 9.
Daily Variety
1 Sep 1992.
---
Daily Variety
30 Sep 1992.
---
Daily Variety
10 Feb 1993.
---
Entertainment Weekly
21 May 1993.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Oct 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 May 1993
p. 1, 6, 57.
Hollywood Reporter
24 May 1993
p. 5, 20.
Los Angeles Times
24 Jun 1990.
---
Los Angeles Times
28 Nov 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
25 Apr 1993.
---
Los Angeles Times
6 May 1993
Section F, p. 1, 5.
Los Angeles Times
21 May 1993
Section E, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
22 May 1993
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
24 May 1993
Section F, p. 4.
New York Times
27 Nov 1992.
---
New York Times
22 May 1993
Section I, p. 11.
Time
22 Nov 1993.
---
Variety
22 Jun 1992.
---
Variety
24 May 1993
p. 44.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Paramount Pictures Presents
A Robert Evans Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
DGA trainee
2d asst dir, New York
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Col by
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Addl photog
Addl photog
1st asst photog
2d asst photog
Steadicam op
Steadicam op
Steadicam asst
2d unit 1st asst photog
2d unit 2d asst photog
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
1st company grip
2d company grip
2d company grip
Dolly grip
Video/Computer supv
Video tech supv
Video asst
Video op
Video op
Video op
Vista Vision plate photog
Still photog
Cam op, New York
Chief lighting tech, New York
Chief lighting tech, New York
1st company grip, New York
1st company grip, New York
Still photog, New York
Cranes and dollies by
Wescam provided by
24 frame video by
24 frame video by
Supermatch monitors provided by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Illustrator
Art dept coord
Art dir, New York
Asst art dir, New York
Art dept coord, New York
FILM EDITORS
On-line ed
Addl film ed
1st asst film ed
1st asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Addl set dec
Prop person
Prop person
Prop person
Prop person
Prop person
Prop person
Prop person
Prop person
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Const foreperson
Propmaker foreperson
Propmaker foreman
Propmaker foreman
Propmaker foreman
Paint foreperson
Labor foreperson
Set dec, New York
Asst set dec, New York
Set des, New York
Prop master, New York
Prop person, New York
Leadperson, New York
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Cost supv
Cost supv
Costumer
Costumer
Selected wardrobes by
MUSIC
Mus supv
Mus score comp and cond by
Mus ed
Mus orch by
Orch contractor
Mus prepraration
Mus scoring mixer
Mus scoring mixer
Score rec and mixed at
Addl electronic mus by
SOUND
Sd mixer
Utility sd
2d unit sd mixer
Sd des and supv sd ed
Sd des and supd sd ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Supv ADR ed
ADR ed
ADR ed
Supv dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Supv foley ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
1st asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
ADR mixer
Foley mixer
Foley mixer
Foley artist
Foley artist
Spec sd eff des
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Macintosh anim
Title des
Titles & opticals
Spec eff coord
Spec eff coord
Spec eff
Spec eff, New York
Spec eff, New York
Project process coord by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Body makeup artist
Sharon Stone's hair des by
Hairstylist
Makeup artist, New York
Makeup artist, New York
Hairstylist, New York
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Scr supv
Extras casting
Voice casting
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Unit pub
Prod assoc
Prod assoc
Asst to Mr. Koch, Jr.
Asst to Mr. Noyce
Asst to Mr. Evans
Asst to Ms. Stone
Asst to Mr. MacDonald
Asst to Mr. Sylbert
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Accounting asst
Asst accountant
Post prod accountant
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Video footage coord
Video footage coord
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Casting assoc
Extras casting
Ms. Stone's physical trainer
Mr. Baldwin's physical trainer
Craft service
Scr supv, New York
Loc mgr, New York
Asst loc mgr, New York
Prod office coord, New York
Prod secy, New York
Prod asst, New York
Prod asst, New York
Prod asst, New York
Prod asst, New York
Unit pub, New York
Transportation coord, New York
Transportation co-capt, New York
Extras casting asst, New York
Extras casting asst, New York
Macintosh computer equip provided by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Sliver by Ira Levin (New York, 1991).
AUTHOR
SONGS
“Carly’s Loneliness,” performed by Enigma, written and produced by Michael Cretu, Enigma performs courtesy of Virgin Schallplatten GMBH/Charisma Records America, Inc.
“Caribe,” performed by La Familia André, written by Fernando Echavarria, courtesy of Kubaney Records
“Zloczow Square,” written and performed by Christopher Young, courtesy of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
+
SONGS
“Carly’s Loneliness,” performed by Enigma, written and produced by Michael Cretu, Enigma performs courtesy of Virgin Schallplatten GMBH/Charisma Records America, Inc.
“Caribe,” performed by La Familia André, written by Fernando Echavarria, courtesy of Kubaney Records
“Zloczow Square,” written and performed by Christopher Young, courtesy of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
“Idyl In F Minor, Opus 7,” performed by Antonin Kubalek, written by Joseph Suk, courtesy of Dorian Recordings
“The Walls Have Eyes,” performed and produced by Scott Strader, written by Scott Strader, Robert “Inky” Incorvaia & Richard Maranon
“Oh Carolina,” performed by Shaggy, courtesy of Virgin Records Ltd./Virgin Records America, Inc./Greensleeves Records Ltd., Livingston Productions, Inc., contains the “Peter Gunn Theme” by Henry Mancini
“Move With Me,” performed by Neneh Cherry, written by Neneh Cherry & Cameron McVey, courtesy of Circa Records Ltd./Virgin Records America, Inc.
“Can't Help Falling In Love,” performed by UB40, written by George Weiss, Hugo Peretti & Luigi Creatore, courtesy of Virgin Records Ltd./Virgin Records America, Inc.
“Russian Hill,” performed by Jellyfish, written by Andy Sturmer, courtesy of Charisma Records America, Inc.
“Life Is Hard,” performed by Johnny Winter, written by Fred James, courtesy of Pointblank/Charisma Records America, Inc.
“Penthouse And Pavement,” performed by Heaven 17, written by Ian Marsh, Martyn Ware & Glenn Gregory, courtesy of Virgin Records Ltd./Virgin Records America, Inc.
“Slid,” performed by Fluke, written by Michael Bryant, Michael Tournier & Jonathan Fugler, courtesy of Circa Records Ltd./Virgin Records America, Inc.
“Slave To The Vibe,” performed by Aftershock, written by V. Jeffrey Smith, Peter Lord & Guy Routte, courtesy of Virgin Records America, Inc.
“Unfinished Sympathy,” performed by Massive Attack, written by Grantley Marshall, Robert Del Naja, Andrew Vowles, J. Sharp & Shara Nelson, courtesy of Circa Records Ltd./Virgin Records America, Inc.
“Isn’t It Romantic,” written by Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart
“Dimentia 66 (The Ballad Of Lucy Western),” performed by My Life with The Thrill Kill Kult, written by Buzz McCoy & Groovie Mann, courtesy of Interscope Records/The Atlantic Group, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Principles Of Lust—Everlasting Lust,” performed by Enigma, written by Michael Cretu, courtesy of Charisma Records America, Inc.
“O-Zone,” performed by MC 900 Ft. Jesus, written by Mark Griffin, Patrick Rollins, Terry Roberson & Bill Jackson, courtesy of Nettwerk Productions, Ltd./I.R.S. Records
“Wild At Heart,” performed by Bigod 20, written by Marcus Nikolai & Zip Campisi, courtesy of Sire Records/20th OMMOG Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Star Sail,” performed by Verve, written by Simon Jones, Peter Salisbury, Nick McCabe & Richard Ashcroft, courtesy of VC Records Ltd./T/A Hut Recordings/Vernon Yard Recordings (A division of Virgin Records, Inc.)
“Skinflowers,” performed by The Young Gods, written by The Young Gods & Roli Mosimann, courtesy of Play It Again Sam Records USA/Carolina Records, Inc.
“Carly’s Song,” performed by Enigma, written and produced by Michael Cretu, Enigma performs courtesy of Virgin Schallplatten GmBH/Charisma Records, America, Inc.
"The Most Wonderful Girl," performed by Lords of Acid, written by Oliver Adams, Nikki Van Lierop & Maurice Engelen, courtesy of Antler Subway Records/Caroline Records, Inc.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
21 May 1993
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles premiere: 19 May 1993
Los Angeles and New York openings: 21 May 1993
Production Date:
13 October 1992--10 February 1993
re-shoots began week of 19 April 1993
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright Date:
29 June 1993
Copyright Number:
PA640652
Physical Properties:
Sound
Spectral Recording® Dolby Stereo SR™ in selected theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® Cameras & Lenses
Duration(in mins):
109
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32263
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Following the messy dissolution of her seven-year marriage, New York City literary editor Carly Norris moves into a "sliver"-style high-rise apartment where previous tenant, Naomi Singer, purportedly killed herself by jumping from a twentieth-floor balcony. While settling in, Carly meets her handsome young neighbor, Zeke Hawkins, and a friendly professor named Gus Hale, who remarks on Carly’s resemblance to Naomi. Gus offers to fill her in on all the apartment gossip once he returns from a trip to Japan, where he will be teaching a course on voyeurism called “The Psychology of the Lens.” Having become reclusive since her divorce, Carly spends her evenings alone, unaware that someone is recording her actions on building security cameras. At work, Carly’s boss introduces her to the successful but arrogant crime novelist Jack Lansford, who also lives in her building. Later, she befriends her next-door neighbor, Vida Warren, and returns to her apartment to find a package from Jack, a telephone message from Zeke, and a telescope on her balcony with a note from a “secret admirer.” Ignoring her obvious disinterest, Jack pursues Carly by following her through Central Park during her morning jog. Carly returns home to discover that professor Gus Hale fell and broke his neck in the shower. Disturbed, Carly uses her telescope to spy on her neighbors and finds old newspaper articles revealing that her building is linked to a series of strange deaths. Although reluctant to get close to another man, Carly eventually succumbs to Zeke’s seduction, and their lovemaking is recorded on videotape. Afterward, Zeke tells Carly he owns the apartment building and personally approved her application in order to get close to her. Jealous, Jack ... +


Following the messy dissolution of her seven-year marriage, New York City literary editor Carly Norris moves into a "sliver"-style high-rise apartment where previous tenant, Naomi Singer, purportedly killed herself by jumping from a twentieth-floor balcony. While settling in, Carly meets her handsome young neighbor, Zeke Hawkins, and a friendly professor named Gus Hale, who remarks on Carly’s resemblance to Naomi. Gus offers to fill her in on all the apartment gossip once he returns from a trip to Japan, where he will be teaching a course on voyeurism called “The Psychology of the Lens.” Having become reclusive since her divorce, Carly spends her evenings alone, unaware that someone is recording her actions on building security cameras. At work, Carly’s boss introduces her to the successful but arrogant crime novelist Jack Lansford, who also lives in her building. Later, she befriends her next-door neighbor, Vida Warren, and returns to her apartment to find a package from Jack, a telephone message from Zeke, and a telescope on her balcony with a note from a “secret admirer.” Ignoring her obvious disinterest, Jack pursues Carly by following her through Central Park during her morning jog. Carly returns home to discover that professor Gus Hale fell and broke his neck in the shower. Disturbed, Carly uses her telescope to spy on her neighbors and finds old newspaper articles revealing that her building is linked to a series of strange deaths. Although reluctant to get close to another man, Carly eventually succumbs to Zeke’s seduction, and their lovemaking is recorded on videotape. Afterward, Zeke tells Carly he owns the apartment building and personally approved her application in order to get close to her. Jealous, Jack Lansford breaks into Carly’s apartment and warns her that Zeke was having an affair with Naomi Singer at the time of her death. Regardless, Carly continues to see Zeke, and they develop an intense sexual relationship. When Carly confronts Zeke about his relationship with Naomi, he claims Vida told him that Naomi was actually involved with Jack. Carly attempts to confirm, but later catches Jack stabbing Vida in the stairwell. Although Jack insists he and Vida were not closely acquainted, investigators find additional evidence linking them together. Jack believes Zeke set him up, and Carly fears Jack will return once he is released on bail. Zeke attempts to console her by showing off his $6 million wall-to-wall home security system, which monitors every room in the entire building, including her apartment. He likens the footage to a real-life soap opera, providing him with around-the-clock entertainment. Despite her initial disgust, Carly becomes engrossed in the dramatic events of her fellow tenants’ lives. Later, however, she feels conflicted about knowing such intimate and scandalous details, and wonders if she and Zeke should interfere. One night, Jack sneaks into Carly’s apartment and accosts her with his theory that Zeke orchestrated the murders. As evidence, he notes that Zeke’s mother was a blonde soap opera actress who bore a likeness to both Carly and Naomi and who died when Zeke was seventeen years old. Jack convinces Carly to lure Zeke to her apartment so he can make his accusations known. Zeke defers the blame by citing Jack’s impotence as motivation for killing Naomi. A fight ensues over Jack’s gun, and Carly accidentally shoots him. Police reveal that Jack was once accused of assaulting his ex-wife, but charges were inexplicably dropped. Zeke invites Carly to spend the night at his apartment and offers to pick up some food. As soon as he leaves, Carly riffles through his collection of videotapes and finds explicit recordings of his trysts with both Vida and Naomi. Noticing Zeke has suddenly returned, Carly locks herself inside the video bay. Zeke overrides the automatic lock, but Carly grabs his gun and shoots several of the video monitors. While debating if she should kill Zeke, Carly glimpses a tape recording that exposes Jack Lansford as Naomi’s murderer. Realizing that Zeke withheld this information to preserve his voyeuristic hobby, she destroys the control console. Zeke pleads for her to stop, but Carly simply replies, “Get a life,” and leaves. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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