The Legends

Eyes Wide Shut


Eyes Wide Shut is a 1999 drama film based upon Arthur Schnitzler's 1926 novella Dream Story. The film was directed, produced and co-written by Stanley Kubrick. It was his last film. The story, set in and around New York City, follows the sexually charged adventures of Dr. Bill Harford, who is shocked when his wife, Alice, reveals that she had contemplated an affair a year earlier. He embarks on a night-long adventure, during which he infiltrates a massive masked orgy of an underground cult.

The film appeared on July 16, 1999, a few months after Kubrick's death, to generally positive critical reaction. Its strong sexual content also made it controversial. To ensure a theatrical R rating in the United States and Canada, its distributor Warner Bros. digitally altered several scenes during post-production. The uncut version has since been released on DVD. The film also holds the Guinness World Record for the longest constant movie shoot, at 400 days.

In the ritual, the incantations in the background are part of a Romanian Orthodox Divine Liturgy recorded in a church in Baia Mare, played backwards. The piece, named "Masked Ball", is an adaptation by Jocelyn Pook of her "Backwards Priests." When contacting Pook in regard to providing music for the film, Kubrick asked if she had anything else like Backwards Priests – "you know, weird."