7.2/10
45,609
115 user 68 critic

Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)

Trailer
1:33 | Trailer
A sexually repressed woman's husband is having an affair with her sister. The arrival of a visitor with a rather unusual fetish changes everything.

Director:

Steven Soderbergh
Reviews
Popularity
2,951 ( 326)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Traffic (2000)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A conservative judge is appointed by the President to spearhead America's escalating war against drugs, only to discover that his teenage daughter is a crack addict. Two DEA agents protect an informant. A jailed drug baron's wife attempts to carry on the family business.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, Catherine Zeta-Jones
Kafka (1991)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Kafka works during the day at an insurance company, where events lead him to discover a mysterious underground society with strange suppressive goals.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Theresa Russell, Joel Grey
White Palace (1990)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Still getting over the death of his wife, a young advertising executive meets an older waitress, a woman that might set him free.

Director: Luis Mandoki
Stars: Susan Sarandon, James Spader, Jason Alexander
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A chronicle of the tempestuous six year romance between megastar singer, Liberace, and his young lover, Scott Thorson.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Scott Bakula
Crash (1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city's water supply.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, David Brisbin
Secretary (2002)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young woman, recently released from a mental hospital, gets a job as a secretary to a demanding lawyer, where their employer-employee relationship turns into a sexual, sadomasochistic one.

Director: Steven Shainberg
Stars: James Spader, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jeremy Davies
The Limey (1999)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An extremely volatile and dangerous Englishman goes to Los Angeles to find the man he considers responsible for his daughter's death.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Terence Stamp, Peter Fonda, Lesley Ann Warren
Easy Rider (1969)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Through the open country and desert lands, two bikers head from L.A to New Orleans, and along the way, meet a man who bridges a counter-culture gap they are unaware of.

Director: Dennis Hopper
Stars: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson
Out of Sight (1998)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A career bank robber breaks out of jail, and shares a moment of mutual attraction with a U.S. Marshal he has kidnapped.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A New Yorker's life is thrown into a tailspin when his younger cousin surprise visits him, starting a strange, unpredictable adventure.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Richard Edson
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The wife of an abusive criminal finds solace in the arms of a kind regular guest in her husband's restaurant.

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Richard Bohringer, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Spader ... Graham
Andie MacDowell ... Ann
Peter Gallagher ... John
Laura San Giacomo ... Cynthia
Ron Vawter ... Therapist
Steven Brill ... Barfly
Alexandra Root Alexandra Root ... Girl on Tape
Earl T. Taylor Earl T. Taylor ... Landlord
David Foil David Foil ... John's Colleague
Edit

Storyline

Ann is married to John, who is having an affair with her sister Cynthia. Ann's a quiet type and unwilling to let herself go. When John's old friend, Graham, shows up, all their lives change. Graham likes to videotape interviews with women. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 September 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sex, Lies... See more »

Filming Locations:

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$155,982, 6 August 1989

Gross USA:

$24,741,667

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$24,741,667
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Steven Soderbergh was influenced by Carnal Knowledge (1971), Five Easy Pieces (1970) and The Last Picture Show (1971). See more »

Goofs

When John bursts into Graham's apartment, he finds Cynthia's and Ann's tapes in the boxes on the table. Both tapes have the same date on them, even though it is clearly implied that several days have past since Cynthia made her tape. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ann: Garbage. All I've been thinking about all week is garbage. I mean, I just can't stop thinking about it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film is dedicated to Ann Dollard 1956-1988 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cashing In: Sex, Lies and Video Lottery Terminals (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Garbage
Written by Mark A. Mangini
Performed by Mark A. Mangini
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The same as you learned in Sunday School, only the exemplars are different
25 July 2003 | by csm23See all my reviews

Sex, Lies and Videotape will probably strike the average viewer as irredeemably degenerate, maybe even perverted, since voyeurism is still considered aberrant behavior. But as far as this film is concerned, that's the appearance, not the reality. Whereas the drama revolves to a certain extent around the voyeuristic masturbation of an impotent man, the heart and soul of the film is an unrelenting, hard driving psychological siege on the biggest erogenous zone of all: the brain.

This film is about sex. But it's not about the frothy swapping of fluids and feelings. It's about honesty, without which one can't have intimacy, which is to sexual stimulation what the water valve is to the hydrant. From beginning to end, we see this theme brought into focus by the dramatic contrast between two different relationships – the one based on lies and deceit, the other based upon honesty. And guess which one wins out in the long run?

In a sense, it's what your mother and Sunday school teacher taught you all along. But what makes this movie way more interesting than your mother or Sunday school teacher is the level of honesty it suggests is necessary as the basis of a healthy relationship. Ann (Andy McDowell), for example, an acceptably moral person tells the voyeuristic masturbator `You got a problem.' He replies by adding that he has a lot of problems. But, he says, `They belong to me.'

Somehow, the openness about one's problems renders their bile and poison ineffective. `Lilies that fester,' said Shakespeare, `smell far worse than weeds.'


58 of 77 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 115 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed