WTF Happened to Eyes Wide Shut?

We take a look at Stanley Kubrick’s haunting final masterpiece, Eyes Wide Shut, in this episode of WTF Happened to this Movie.

Eyes Wide Shut is Stanley Kubrick‘s haunting final masterpiece. The famous director passed away just a few months before the film opened, and indeed in the years since, it’s been one of his most divisive efforts. Kubrick’s first film since 1987’s Full Metal Jacket, it opened with a flurry of controversy, as the studio had to insert CGI figures into an orgy sequence to avoid getting the film an NC-17 rating. The first teaser, which featured its married stars, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, cavorting nude to Chris Isaak’s “Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing” was the public’s clue to the fact that Kubrick’s meditation on sexual relationships would be controversial. The film received a mixed reaction when it first came out, with some critics saying it was a masterpiece while others dismissed it. It’s still one of Kubrick’s most divisive films.

In this episode of WTF Happened to this Movie, which is edited by Jeremy Hamley, and written and narrated by Mathew Plale, we dig into how tortured a production this was. Kubrick’s film was shot for fifteen months, making it one of the longest, consistent movie shoots of all time. Kubrick shot and reshot sequences, even leading co-star Harvey Keitel to quit in disgust over the number of takes required. Jennifer Jason Leigh was also replaced. The shoot sidelined Cruise’s career for several years, with him not making any movies in 1997 or 1998 as he was busy with the shoot, and many, retrospectively, think the film may have played a role in ending Cruise and Kidman’s marriage, with them divorcing less than two years after the movie was finally released.

Despite everything, it remains Kubrick’s highest-grossing film, if perhaps his most widely disliked one. We’ll dig into the tortured shoot in WTF Happened to Eyes Wide Shut, and let us know in the comments what you think of this entry into the Kubrick canon.

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.