Open main menu

Wikipedia β

Sliver is a 1993 erotic thriller film based on the Ira Levin novel of the same name about the mysterious occurrences in a privately owned New York high-rise apartment building.[2] Phillip Noyce directed the film, from a screenplay by Joe Eszterhas.[3] Because of a major battle with the MPAA (which originally gave the film an NC-17 rating), the filmmakers were forced to make extensive reshoots before release. These reshoots actually necessitated changing the killer's identity. The film stars Sharon Stone, William Baldwin, and Tom Berenger.

Sliver poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Phillip Noyce
Produced by Robert Evans
Screenplay by Joe Eszterhas
Based on Sliver by
Ira Levin
Music by Howard Shore
Cinematography Vilmos Zsigmond
Edited by Richard Francis-Bruce
William Hoy
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
May 21, 1993
Running time
107 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million
Box office $116.3 million[1]

According to the film, the tall and narrow sliver building is located at 113 East 38th Street in Manhattan, placing it at 38th Street and Park Avenue. The actual building used in the film is known as Morgan Court, located at 211 Madison Avenue New York, one block west and two blocks south of the fictional address. The building has since become a condominium development. It was built in 1985 and has 32 floors. While the movie made use of the building's courtyard, the lobby was a Los Angeles film set.

When he signed on to direct the film, Phillip Noyce remarked "I liked the script a lot. Or at least, I liked the idea of jumping on the Joe Eszterhas bandwagon."[4]


Plot summaryEdit

Carly Norris (Sharon Stone), a sex-starved divorcee, moves into an exclusive New York residential building, not long after the previous tenant, Naomi Singer, falls to her death from her balcony. She immediately crosses paths with other tenants including the handsome Zeke (William Baldwin).

Carly and Zeke soon start meeting quite often; Carly eventually agrees to go to the gym with Zeke, who begins to turn her on by grabbing her hips while exercising. After hanging out for a while, they end up having sex and begin a sexual relationship. Carly is also being romantically pursued by Jack (Tom Berenger), a novelist who is another resident of her building.

Two of Carly's neighbors (Keene Curtis, Polly Walker) die under suspicious circumstances. As she discovers more about Zeke and Jack, she begins to distrust both and also uncovers shocking secrets about other people who live around her. Carly eventually finds out that Jack killed Naomi because of his jealousy of Zeke. It is revealed that Zeke knew that Jack was the killer, but chose to ignore it because it would expose his other secret: he has surveillance cameras allowing him to spy on every apartment, including hers.

Although she is both curious about and disturbed by the cameras, she sees footage of Zeke having sex with Naomi, as well as the murder of Naomi by Jack. Carly eventually destroys Zeke's surveillance room and his video monitors, telling him to "get a life" before leaving him and the building.


Original endingEdit

In the film's original ending Sharon Stone and the killer fly over a volcano when the killer suddenly confesses his crimes. He then veers the aircraft into the volcano as the end credits roll and leaves the audience to decide whether they survive.[5] The helicopter shot in the ending resulted in a helicopter crash by pilot Craig Hosking. After investigation the pilot's certificate was suspended for 10 FAA violations for 4 months beginning on 4/19/1993, according to FAA sources.

Preview audiences disliked the idea of the heroine turning immoral. All the film from the cameramen who actually crashed into a volcano in Hawaii and narrowly escaped death was removed.[6]

MPAA ratings issuesEdit

According to a Showtime special about the film prior to the late-night premiere showing of the original NC-17 version, the debate over the NC-17 vs R rating was linked solely to the display of male frontal nudity. However, when Paramount released the unrated version to video there was no male frontal nudity included, though the sex scenes were considerably more graphic.

Home video releasesEdit

When originally released on VHS, the film was released in both an R-rated and an unrated version (the original NC-17 version). In March 2006, to coincide with the theatrical release of Basic Instinct 2, which starred Stone, Sliver was released on DVD. Only the unrated cut was made commercially available, but the R-rated cut was distributed for rental. There are no special features and although the film was presented theatrically in the 2.35 aspect ratio, the DVD features a matted, 2.10 aspect ratio transfer. The picture quality of the disc has been criticized by reviewers for what was felt to be an unusually high amount of dirt and scratches for a film that was 12 years old at the time of the DVD's release.[7] In 2013, the film was released on Blu-ray Disc, using the same matted 2.10 aspect ratio version of the R-rated theatrical cut.


The film was heavily panned by critics and scores only 12% on Rotten Tomatoes; the main criticisms were that the film provided little in the way of compelling thriller elements, that it diluted some of the plotlines of the novel, and that the actors were not on form. Many also singled out the editing and ending, calling the latter hasty and unconvincing.[8][9] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C-" on an A+ to F scale.[10]

Box officeEdit

The film debuted at No. 1 at the box office making $12.1 million in 2,093 theatres.[11] By the second week the box office taking dropped to No. 6.[12] Sliver eventually grossed $36.3 million domestically and $80 million around the world to a total of $116.3 million worldwide.


Award Category Subject Result
Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Picture Robert Evans Nominated
Worst Director Phillip Noyce Nominated
Worst Screenplay Joe Eszterhas Nominated
Worst Actor William Baldwin Nominated
Worst Actress Sharon Stone Nominated
Worst Supporting Actor Tom Berenger Nominated
Worst Supporting Actress Colleen Camp Nominated

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Sliver (1993) - Box Office Mojo". IMDb. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  2. ^ Dowd, Maureen (1993-05-30). "FILM; Bucks and Blondes: Joe Eszterhas Lives The Big Dream". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-03-07. 
  3. ^ Dretzka, Gary (1997-10-26). "Beyond `Sliver': `Lies' Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas Takes On The Critics Of His Sexy Scripts". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2013-03-07. 
  4. ^ "The Nerve Interview: Joe Eszterhas". 2006-09-15. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  5. ^ Hicks, Chris (May 30, 1993). "WITHOUT `SLIVER' OF A CLUE, MYSTERY ENDS POORLY". Deseret News. 
  6. ^ Dowd, Maureen (May 30, 1993). "FILM; Bucks and Blondes: Joe Eszterhas Lives The Big Dream". The New York Times. 
  7. ^ Reuben, Michael (September 5, 2013). "Sliver Blu-ray Review". 
  8. ^ Rainer, Peter (1993-05-22). "MOVIE REVIEW : Erotic Thriller 'Sliver' Leaves a Lot to Be Desired : This wrongheaded version of Ira Levin's pulp novel may be about voyeurism, but it doesn't provide much to watch". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-24. 
  9. ^ Sliver (1993) at Rotten Tomatoes
  10. ^ "CinemaScore". 
  11. ^ Fox, David J. (1993-05-24). "Stone Gets a 'Sliver' of Box Office but Not a Runaway Movies: 'Hot Shots!' also opens strongly but the blockbuster hopes are now on Memorial Day weekend". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-03-07. 
  12. ^ Fox, David J. (1993-06-01). "Sly's Back in Peak Form at Box Office : Movies: 'Cliffhanger' grabs the largest opening for a non-sequel on any Memorial Day weekend. 'Made in America' opens in second place". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-03-07. 

External linksEdit