6.2/10
46,560
119 user 48 critic

Sleeping with the Enemy (1991)

A young woman fakes her own death in an attempt to escape her nightmarish marriage, but discovers it is impossible to elude her controlling husband.

Director:

Joseph Ruben

Writers:

Nancy Price (novel), Ronald Bass (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
3,627 ( 651)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Julia Roberts ... Laura Burney
Patrick Bergin ... Martin Burney
Kevin Anderson ... Ben Woodward
Elizabeth Lawrence ... Chloe Williams
Kyle Secor ... Fleishman
Claudette Nevins ... Dr. Rissner
Tony Abatemarco ... Locke
Marita Geraghty ... Julie
Harley Venton Harley Venton ... Garber
Nancy Fish ... Woman on Bus
Sandi Shackelford Sandi Shackelford ... Edna
Bonnie Johnson ... Mrs. Nepper (as Bonnie Cook)
Graham Harrington Graham Harrington ... Minister
John Ward ... Theater Student (as John David Ward)
Sharon J. Robinson Sharon J. Robinson ... Sharon (the Nurse)
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Storyline

Laura and Martin have been married for four years. They seem to be the perfect, happiest and most successful couple. The reality of their house- hold, however, is very different. Martin is an abusive and brutally obsessed husband. Laura is living her life in constant fear and waits for a chance to escape. She finally stages her own death, and flees to a new town and new identity. But when Martin finds out that his wife is not dead he will stop at nothing to find and kill her. Written by Sami Al-Taher <staher2000@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Self-Defense is not murder See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for wife abuse terror and a sex scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 February 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sleeping with the Enemy See more »

Filming Locations:

Abbeville, South Carolina, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,777,943, 10 February 1991

Gross USA:

$101,599,005

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$174,999,005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The term "sleeping with the enemy" has ancient origins, examples of which can be found in various cultures, in most cases referring to betrayal or espionage. A classic example being the placing of spies within the harem of a Moghul (an ancient ruler of northern India). See more »

Goofs

As Martin brings Laura her coat right before they go sailing, you can hear a distinct clatter in the background. But neither Martin nor Laura could have made the sound. See more »

Quotes

Ben Woodward: One thing we can't forget is Treplev hasn't seen Nina in two years, so when he gets her in the room, he wants her to stay. Know what I mean? Nina, I cursed you. I hated you. I tore up all your letters and photographs, but every minute I was conscious that my soul was bound to yours forever. I can never stop loving you. Ever since I lost you, my life has been unbearable. I'm miserable. I call to you, I kiss the ground you walked on. Wherever I look, I see your face. I am alone. I've no one's ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

When Laura first goes to Ben's house for dinner and the pot roast is on fire she knocks and says "Fire Department." In an alternate cut she knocks and asks "Is this what they mean by warm welcome?". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Come Dine with Me: Bolton: Yvonne (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Dream of a Witches' Sabbath
(5th Movement of "Symphonie Fantastique")
Music by Hector Berlioz
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
By-the-numbers thriller is boosted by good performances.
8 December 1999 | by gridoonSee all my reviews

I think most people tend to overlook how well-done the first 20 minutes of this movie really are. Ruben carefully builds a creepy atmosphere, relying on brief glances, moments of silence and quietly expressive performances (especially by Julia Roberts) to help the viewer understand that, behind the image of a perfect couple, something is really wrong. Unfortunately, after Roberts escapes from her husband, the movie turns into a strictly by-the-numbers thriller, where you can predict almost every development of the script. It's a visually polished movie, though, and the very good performances give it a strong psychological center that keeps it above-average.


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