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Stanley Kubrick movie Eyes Wide Shut set one of the craziest records in film history

Harley Young

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Stanley Kubrick movie Eyes Wide Shut set one of the craziest records in film history

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros

Stanley Kubrick is renowned in the film industry for his meticulous production design when it comes to making stunning cult classic movies including The Shining and A Clockwork Orange.

But it's his film Eyes Wide Shut that set a ridiculous record in Hollywood that nobody is looking to beat.

The 1999 film, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, was the last film to be made by Kubrick before he passed away just six days after showcasing the final cut.

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Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut. Credit: IMDb
Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut. Credit: IMDb

He described the movie as his 'greatest contribution to the art of cinema'. It's probably due to the amount of time he spent on the project alone that caused him to make such a bold claim about the film.

Whilst making his final masterpiece, Stanley Kubrick broke the world record for the longest continuous film shoot of all time, recording Eyes Wide Shut for a continuous 400 days. An insane record by any account, but mostly because the average movie only takes a quarter of that time to shoot.

The film, as many of Stanley Kubrick's films are, is inspired by another story. The 1926 novella Traumnovelle peaked Kubrick's interest, and he began planning how to transform the story into a film. He's believed to have started pulling pieces together for Eyes Wide Shut as early as the 1960s, though the project didn't come to fruition until the late 90s. That's a long time to have a project in mind and not begin work on it.

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The 400 days of shooting resulted in 15 months straight of filming, without any break for time off for any of the key members of crew. The film was originally planned to take six months, but that plan soon went out of the window and almost tripled in estimation.

Stanley Kubrick on the set of A Clockwork Orange (1971). Credit: IMDb
Stanley Kubrick on the set of A Clockwork Orange (1971). Credit: IMDb

Such a long filming process caused the team to become burnt out and agitated. Drama throughout the filming caused Harvey Keitel to leave the project early, which caused Kubrick to make the decision to scrap his role in the film entirely. Kubrick's perfectionism was so infamous that Tom Cruise had to run 95 takes of him walking through the door before the picky director was satisfied.

It's understood that the filming process took such a long time because of Kubrick's meticulous nature. After falling in love with the novel 30 years before working on it, it's understandable that he'd want everything to be just right. However, it's this degree of carefulness Kubrick had that leaves film critics in awe of his flawless filmography.

Topics: Film & TV, Film and TV, Tom Cruise

Harley Young
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