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Disclosure (film)

Disclosure is a 1994 thriller directed by Barry Levinson, starring Michael Douglas and Demi Moore. It is based on Michael Crichton's novel of the same name.[1]

The cast also includes Donald Sutherland, Rosemary Forsyth and Dennis Miller. Like so many of Levinson's films from Diner (1982) to Liberty Heights (1999), Ralph Tabakin appears, this time as an Elevator Attendant.

The film is a combination mystery and thriller about office politics and intrigue in the computer industry in the mid-1990s. The main focus of the story, from which the film and book take their titles, is the issue of sexual harassment. The film invites viewers to critically examine topics such as the ease with which allegations of sexual harassment can destroy one's career and whether a double standard exists when such allegations are levied by men or women.

Contents


Plot

Seattle software company DigiCom is about to merge with a publishing company, and company founder and president Bob Garvin (Donald Sutherland) is about to retire. Tom Sanders (Michael Douglas), head of manufacturing, expects to be promoted to run DigiCom after the merger. However, he learns that the post instead went to operations executive Meredith Johnson (Demi Moore), a former girlfriend from long ago. Garvin introduces Meredith to her new associates.

Co-workers like Mark Lewyn (Dennis Miller) comment to Tom on how attractive Meredith is. Others like chief financial officer Stephanie Kaplan (Rosemary Forsyth) seem to be aware that Tom and Meredith had a relationship in the past.

Late that evening, Meredith calls Tom into her office, ostensibly to discuss a project he is working on. Meredith aggressively tries to resume her romantic relationship with him. Tom resists (with difficulty) as he is now a married family man. He repeatedly tells Meredith "No." Meredith ignores Tom aggressively forcing herself on Tom. Tom relents to Meredith however after catching a glimpse of himself in a mirror, he regains control and pushes Meredith to the ground. As he leaves, Meredith threatens to make him pay for spurning her.

The next day, Tom discovers that Meredith alleged sexual harassment against him to DigiCom. Colleagues refuse to believe his protestations of innocence and the company pressures him to accept reassignment to the company's Austin office. Tom does not want to do this as he would have to move to Texas, ruining his career and family. However, since no one believes his story and Meredith is now his boss, he appears to have no choice but to accept reassignment or be fired.

Just as all seems hopeless, Tom receives an e-mail from someone identified only as "A Friend." It directs him to Seattle attorney Catherine Alvarez (Roma Maffia), who specializes in sexual harassment cases. Tom counter-sues, alleging that Meredith is the one who harassed him. Evidence is produced that supports Tom's story and refutes Meredith's testimony before a court mediator.

The company backs down and gives him a large pay raise. Tom is celebrating his apparent victory, but receives another e-mail from "A Friend" warning him that all is not what it seems.

It turns out that Meredith and Garvin's assistant, Philip Blackburn (Dylan Baker), are setting him up to take the fall for defects in DigiCom's new advanced CD-ROM drive, simply to cover up their involvement in changing the quality control specifications at the plant. They plan to pin the blame on him at a conference the next day announcing the merger. The plan is to make Tom look incompetent, thereby giving them a valid reason to fire him.

Tom cannot access a company computer to investigate because Meredith has locked him out of the system. He spends a tense and frantic night getting the information through a demonstration machine left in the hotel room of executives from the merging company, with help from a colleague who owes him a favor. Armed with this information, he manages to again turn the tables on Meredith, exposing her involvement and getting her fired instead.

Tom thinks this puts him back in the running to run DigiCom, but Garvin instead names Stephanie, the low-key CFO, as his successor. Tom heartily approves. It occurs to him that her son, Spencer (a research assistant to professor Arthur Friend currently away in Nepal), could very well be "a friend" responsible for helping him via e-mail. With a knowing look, Spencer does not deny this.

In the end, Tom is left in the same position he was in at the beginning of the film, but only after a narrow escape. He is left musing over the fact that two women (the attorney and his new boss, the former CFO) were responsible for saving him.

Cast

  • Michael Douglas - Tom Sanders
  • Demi Moore - Meredith Johnson
  • Donald Sutherland - Bob Garvin
  • Caroline Goodall - Susan Hendler
  • Roma Maffia - Catherine Alvarez
  • Dylan Baker - Philip Blackburn
  • Rosemary Forsyth - Stephanie Kaplan
  • Dennis Miller - Mark Lewyn
  • Suzie Plakson - Mary Anne Hunter
  • Nicholas Sadler - Don Cherry
  • Jacqueline Kim - Cindy Chang
  • Joe Urla - John Conley Jr.
  • Michael Chieffo - Stephen Chase

Production

Michael Crichton sold the movie rights for $1 million before the novel was published. Milos Forman was originally attached to direct but left due to creative differences with Crichton. Barry Levinson and Alan J. Pakula were in contention to take the helm and Levinson was hired.

Crichton wrote the character Mark Lewyn for the film specifically with Dennis Miller in mind. The character from the book was somewhat modified for the screenplay to fit Miller's personality.

Filming locations

The movie was filmed in and around Seattle, Washington. The fictional corporation DigiCom is located in Pioneer Square. The Washington State Ferries are shown because Douglas' character lives on Bainbridge Island. Other locations include Washington Park Arboretum, Volunteer Park, The Four Seasons Hotel on University St., Pike Place Market and Smith Tower (Alvarez's law office).[2]

Reception

The film was met with mostly mixed reviews. Roger Ebert called it "basically a launch pad for sex scenes" and gave it only 2 stars out of a possible 4. On the other hand, Ian Nathan of Empire Magazine called it "genuinely gripping", further stating that "Demi Moore makes an awesome femme fatale." It currently has a rating of 5.9/10 on IMDB and 63% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Although met with mixed reactions, the film was a soaring financial success, succeeding in recouping $83 million in domestic ticket sales and an additional $131 million in worldwide ticket sales, to a total of $214 million worldwide. This was against an approximate budget of $55 million.[3][4] The film is considered to be one of director Barry Levinson's most successful films after his initial successes with Good Morning, Vietnam and Rain Man in 1987 and 1988 respectively.

See also

  • Aitraaz

References

External links

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