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Sliding Doors

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Overview

British actor Peter Howitt wrote and directed this British romantic comedy-drama with a "road not taken" premise recalling the 1921 play If by Lord Dunsany 1878-1957, Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life 1946, and O.Henry's short story Roads of Destiny 1909. Howitt's storyline branches in two directions: Helen Gwyneth Paltrow loses her job at a classy London PR firm, has a run-in with a purse-snatcher, and just misses catching her boyfriend Gerry John Lynch in bed with his former girlfriend Lydia Jeanne ...
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Paramount, 06/08/1999, VHS Tape, Like New condition. VHS Tape. Case Very Good. Quality guaranteed! In original artwork/packaging unless otherwise noted.

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Overview

British actor Peter Howitt wrote and directed this British romantic comedy-drama with a "road not taken" premise recalling the 1921 play If by Lord Dunsany 1878-1957, Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life 1946, and O.Henry's short story Roads of Destiny 1909. Howitt's storyline branches in two directions: Helen Gwyneth Paltrow loses her job at a classy London PR firm, has a run-in with a purse-snatcher, and just misses catching her boyfriend Gerry John Lynch in bed with his former girlfriend Lydia Jeanne Tripplehorn. But what if it were one of those days when everything goes right? As the sliding doors close while she stands on a subway platform in the London underground, Helen ponders the events in her alternate reality. The plot of Lord Dunsany's If also hinges on a future determined by catching or missing a train. Sliding Doors was shown at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The premise of Sliding Doors is instantly appealing, since everyone wonders how his or her life might have turned out differently as a result of different choices. So imagine the mind-bending realization that even missing the Tube by two seconds could alter the trajectory just as radically. It is indeed radical for Gwyneth Paltrow, once again affecting a mostly flawless British accent, whose character ends up with a whole new hair color, career focus, and beau, depending on who's influencing her thoughts -- her sensible girlfriend or the cheating bloke she didn't quite catch with his pants down. Having the two Paltrows inhabit the same London is clever, though it begs unanswered questions about whether the film posits a supernatural dual reality, or a second reality that's only imagined. Fresh enough to still disappear into a role, Paltrow has a fun time with her alternately playful and pissed off Helen. John Hannah exudes good will and charm (especially when he's rattling off Monty Python) and Douglas McFerran steals each of his scenes as the best mate of John Lynch's philanderer. Faced with a new ridiculous scenario each time Lynch meets him at the pub, McFerran dissolves into hysterical derisive laughter any time he tries to give advice. The one distasteful ingredient is Jeanne Tripplehorn's American "other woman," whose brassy scheming sabotages the relative subtlety of the rest of this flight of fancy.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/8/1999
  • UPC: 097363357636
  • Original Release: 1998
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gwyneth Paltrow Helen, Helen Quilley
John Hannah James
John Lynch Gerry
Jeanne Tripplehorn Lydia
Zara Turner Anna
Douglas McFerran Russell
Paul Brightwell Clive
Nina Young Claudia
Virginia McKenna James' Mother
Technical Credits
Peter Howitt Director, Screenwriter
Remi Adefarasin Cinematographer
Philippa Braithwaite Producer
Maria Djurkovic Production Designer
Guy East Executive Producer
Michelle Guish Casting
David Hirschfelder Score Composer
William Horberg Producer
Martyn John Art Director
John Midgley Sound/Sound Designer
Sydney Pollack Producer
Nigel Sinclair Executive Producer
John Smith Editor
Jill Taylor Costumes/Costume Designer
Richard Whelan Asst. Director
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This movie is so underrated.

    "Sliding Doors" came and went without much of a fuss, which is quite a shame, because it is one of the best films I've ever seen. It certainly is a movie that will make you think, as well as lift your spirits in an odd, roundabout sort of way. The characters are engaging and the plot is absolutely riveting. Not many movies elicit the kind of response "Sliding Doors" does, and I absolute recommend it to anyone who enjoys movies that are entertaining but can make you think, as well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    An unpredictable dramedy- that is quite thought provoking

    This is an excellent movie. It has such a unique view point, of what if we skipped our coffee one morning and headed to work early? or say missed the train? ;-) In the end though, despite some shocking moments i will not reveal, what was supposed to happen happened no matter what scenario! At times this movie was confusing, but not overly so. It also was never predictable and did a good job of connecting stories in tiny ways. John Hannah as usual is witty and appealing, i wish we could meet more men like him! Gwyneth is not stereotypical and acts more normal then most movie protagonists. She is down to earth, a rarity with these movies. Definitley a favorite!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Different!

    This enjoyable picture revolves around a romantic relationship.The protagonist, Helen, misses a train to go back to the apartment she lives in with her boyfriend.Then we see a "reverse motion" and an alternate life where she DOES make the train. In each case, her life moves differently, and several times we see these alternates almost touching each other. Very interesting! The message in the picture, however, is that if something, some outcome, is meant to be, it WILL occur, no matter how we get there, no matter what details.It's a picture that can start some excellent conversations. The acting is well done, and thankfully, two different hairdos on the Helens living two different lives helps us keep track of which storyline we are following, for there is a lot of cutting back and forth between the alternate lives. This movie is nowhere in sight in any stores where I live and I'm very glad Barnes &Noble has it, and at a reasonable price.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent Movie

    This movie was on TNT a little while ago and I was trying to decide whether to watch this movie on tv, for the only reason that I liked Gwenyth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love, or to watch Diane Sawyer interview Jennifer Aniston, I definately made the right choice watching the movie. I loved it so much. I would definately recommend it to anyone. I am fifteen and loved it. It can be for anyone who loved to watch movies. Hey, who knows what could have happened if I had been late for school today? You never know and this movie says a lot about it! And after watching the movie, I decided that I like Gwenyth better with long hair but I think she looks better with blonde hair, so it is toss up between the hair!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    What if?

    This is a great movie that make you wonder what journey life had in store for you had you taken a different path than the one you are on. hmmm!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Second in time

    I really love this movie. It has to be my favorite. I am completely in love with the idea that every second of our lives changes the course that we are in. I also enjoyed the fact that no matter how we go about our lives the important things are still going to happen. Ex. Helen and James ending up together. and Helen being pregnant and losing her child.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A twist of fate

    This is my favorite movie! I heard about it a year or so before I saw it and wished that I had seen it sooner. It makes you take another look at your life and wonder what could have been if you had only been a few seconds later or earlier. Gwyneth does a great job, but John Hannah is incredible in this as he is in everything else he does. Just a great movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Getting On With It

    I loved this film because Helen is real and down to earth, not perfect or tragic, as movie heroines tend to be. When facing betrayal and pain she cries, then she moves past it over time, leans on her friends and in both lives steps forward to start a new. She is neither anxious for change or terrified of it, regardless of what the stereotypical woman is thought to be when faced with change. This film really deals with the concept that what goes around comes around and then we get up and get on with it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Very good

    I really really really liked this movie...saw it for the first time today. It was really cool, kinda confusing at a few points but really interesting, and lots of twists in the plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A second later or sooner.

    The first time I saw this movie it became my favorite. I never really thought about it before but just a split second in life can change which direction that life is going to go. You feel so glad for the Helen that caught her boyfriend and didn't want to see her die, but in the end she ended up with James anyway, a classic happy ending. It just goes to show that even if you must go through some tough times and relationships, it will work out in the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Very Enjoyable Movie

    I highly recommend this movie. The hair styles of the actress, Gwyneth Paltrow, are only used in this film as a symbol of the two different scenarios that may occur due to 'fate'. In contrast to the previous review of this film, I believe that a statement of woman being 'weak' and 'hysterical' is entirely false and irrelevant to a film review. On the contrary, Gwyneth Paltrow's character behaves quite the opposite (as do many women, and men in similar situations). The film encourages viewers (of both genders, gender here is not the issue) to question the role of fate and how simple, everyday decisions may have a large, yet unknown, impact on their lives. It is a fun movie and is acted very well by Gwyneth Paltrow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Which do you prefer? Short- hair OR Long- hair?

    After watching this film, I attained a strong realization of the unimaginable extent of effects that 'fate' can bring to us. Before, I viewed 'fate' as some intangible forces of nature that will affect our course of life and I have never thought of the 'differences' in which it creates. In ''Sliding Doors'', it reveals the two different versions of Helen's life and the differences between the two were solely due to the significant role played by the factor of TIME. From a scientific point of view, it can be best explained by the concept of coincidence. However, a big question is, was it destiny or what? If you were Helen, which hair- style would you prefer? Long hair OR short hair? By reflex action, after balancing two entirely different stories of life, I can say almost 99% of women is going to choose short- hair. However, it can be believed that the truth is not so. Women tend to stay the same way as before although their husbands are unfaithful to them. They will be able to find plenty of excuses to 'forgive and forget' men's faults intead of starting a new life over. A sudden alteration needs a lot of courage and determination. It is due to the fact that people have to adapt to and adopt a totally new life again. There must be many difficulties awaiting ahead and you are the only one to overcome each of them. Therefore, women prefer to be 'protected' by and remain in the ''comfort zone''. Bearing in mind the common weakness and hysteria of women, I realize that every decision you make and every step you take counts. So, we have to think thrice over the consequences it will end up. The dramatic irony in ''Sliding Doors'' gives us a full revelation of Helen's double life but in reality, choice can only be made once and you have to give up the others. However, there is no right or wrong choices as long as you are able to find ways to develop and improve by the manipulation of present factors, you can create your own story and legends by your magic. As Milan Kundera in ''The Unbearable Lightness of Being'' suggests, we ''can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come.'' ''If we have only one life to live, we might as well not have lived at all.'' Peter Howitt, the director, had made Helen to lead a double life unconsciously. As a reflection of ours, we promise to harvest the best- possible fruit out of our lives.

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    Posted January 5, 2010

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    Posted June 29, 2009

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    Posted October 22, 2010

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    Posted February 10, 2010

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    Posted April 27, 2009

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    Posted January 7, 2009

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    Posted May 20, 2011

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