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Eye-Popping Kubrick Trailer Unveiled

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The first glimpse of the late director Stanley Kubrick’s final film “Eyes Wide Shut,” turned out to be very short and very provocative.

How provocative? Well both of its stars--Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise--are nude, for starters.

Warner Bros. gave theater owners gathered here at the ShoWest exhibitors convention Wednesday a 20-second sneak peak at the film with a scene that depicts Kidman standing in front of a mirror as she is being kissed by Cruise, who is shown from the waist up.

The clip, which Kubrick himself had approved shortly before his unexpected death over the weekend in England at the age of 70, provoked mixed reactions from a huge crowd who sat in silence as the studio screened only a few seconds of what has come to be one of the most highly anticipated movies of the decade.

Shooting on the film, which reportedly cost $65 million, took 15 months. It tied up Cruise and Kidman for more than a year and a half.

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Until Wednesday, only a few people around Kubrick, Cruise, Kidman and the highest echelon at Warner Bros. had seen anything of the movie, which will be released in July.

In the clip, Kidman, shown from behind, is standing in front of a mirror wearing only wire-rimmed glasses. A few seconds later, Cruise appears from off screen. No dialogue is exchanged between Hollywood’s most famous couple as Cruise caresses his wife.

As the kissing becomes more passionate, Kidman removes her glasses but constantly tosses glances into the mirror, seeming at times disinterested. There is no way from the few seconds of footage shown to glean anything about the movie’s plot.

Warner Bros. Co-Chairman Terry Semel, speaking before a huge luncheon crowd, introduced the footage by saying that a week ago Tuesday, he, Cruise, Kidman and Warner Bros. Co-Chairman Bob Daly “had the extraordinary experience” of viewing Kubrick’s final cut in New York.

“We were blown away,” Semel said, describing it as a “thrilling, suspenseful story about a married couple’s sexual obsessions.”

“It seems like kind of an erotic film, but I don’t have an idea [what it will be like],” said Carlos Walther, manager of General Cinemas in Mexico. Wally Helton, who runs a theater chain in Denver, said the film clip was “bordering on erotic.”

But an exhibitor from Minnesota, who declined to give his name, declared: “It’s garbage. You don’t have to understand stuff like that. It’s just ridiculous.”


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