Sliding Doors

April 24th, 1998


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Still of Gwyneth Paltrow and John Hannah in Sliding DoorsStill of Gwyneth Paltrow in Sliding Doors

A London woman's love life and career both hinge, unknown to her, on whether or not she catches a train. We see it both ways, in parallel.

Release Year: 1998

Rating: 6.8/10 (29,974 voted)

Critic's Score: 59/100

Director: Peter Howitt

Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, John Hannah, John Lynch

Young Helen is fired from her job at a PR company, and when the sliding doors of the tube car close on her, we start to see what would have happened if she'd made the train, and if she hadn't.

Gwyneth Paltrow - Helen
John Hannah - James
John Lynch - Gerry
Jeanne Tripplehorn - Lydia
Zara Turner - Anna
Douglas McFerran - Russell
Paul Brightwell - Clive
Nina Young - Claudia
Virginia McKenna - James's Mother
Kevin McNally - Paul
Terry English - Kind Cabbie
Paul Stacey - Man on Tube
Peter Howitt - Cheeky Bloke
Joanna Roth - Suspicious Girl
Neil Stuke - Defensive Bloke

Taglines: There are two sides to every story. Helen is about to live both of them the same time. Romance was never this much fun.

Release Date: 24 April 1998

Filming Locations: Waterloo & City Line, London Underground, London, England, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: $9,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $834,817 (USA) (26 April 1998) (117 Screens)

Gross: $11,883,495 (USA) (30 August 1998)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The writer/director is good friends with Brian May, of the band Queen, and gave him a copy of the finished script, asking him to write a song for the film. May penned the song "Another World", but was told a few months into production that they couldn't use it, because another record company was co-financing the production. May kept the song and it became the thematic thread for his solo album "Another World" (1998).

Errors in geography: Jerry makes a joke about withdrawing Helen's Class One Drugs. Great Britain uses an alphabetical classification system so class one should be class A.

Russell: You've been talking to yourself in the mirror again, haven't you?

User Review

What a difference a few seconds can make?


The romantic comedy, 'Sliding Doors', is a great look at how quickly a person's life can change in a matter of moments. By taking one path instead of another, forming a tantalizing 'what if?' In fact this movie gives the impression that some things are meant to be known, while some things are not.

London publicists Helen, is effortlessly sliding between parallel storylines that show what happens if she does or does not catch a morning train back to her apartment. Love. Romantic entanglements. Deception. Trust. Friendship. Comedy. All come into focus back and forth, overlap, then surprisingly converge in one of the great romantic comedy films in years.

Sliding doors is one of the best films that Gwyneth Paltrow has done. It has it all, humour, anger, sadness, love, compassion and a lot of lying. This movie is most special for the way the two storylines overlap, making this a very original movie. Paltrow's performance is grand as the 'hurt Helen' or the very 'naïve Helen', depending on which parts of the film you are watching. Some of her lines are priceless. Paltrow has had a very celebrated career in acting and of late singing and deserves all the accolades she gets. It was also refreshing to watch her in the murder thriller 'The perfect murder', along with screen legend Michael Douglas.

Yet there are some other great performances in this film. John Hannah was exceptional as the sensitive and understanding 'James', who is helping the 'hurt Helen' back to being her 'old self'. Then you have the cheating boy 'Jerry' played by John Lynch, who was using the 'naïve Helen' to live out a very adulterous and selfish lifestyle. It was very funny to see the way he handled the situation with Helen actually. Then to top it all off, we get a great performance from Jeanne Tripplehorn, who was Jerry's girlfriend on the side, who gives Jerry a very difficult time in both parts of the story.

This film also has an impressive soundtrack. With acts like Blair, the Brand New Heavies, Dodgy, Jamiroquai and the Space Monkeys. Yet there are two very famous parts to this soundtrack. One is Elton John, who is given a bad mention in the movie, when Jerry is caught in a most precarious of positions while playing the Elton John song, 'Honky Cat'. However the best song on the whole soundtrack comes from the band Aqua, with the tune 'Turn Back Time', which suited the film perfectly. The film clip to this song is also very good.

Sliding doors is one of those feel good movies, which can also make you feel sad as well. It shows how difficult life can be in a relationship and how important relationships can be as well. It also proves that relationships are extremely hard work and you need to find someone who you trust and love and that you get the same feelings back in return. If you want to see the good and bad sides of love take a look at this romantic classic.

CMRS gives 'Sliding Doors': 4.5 (Very Good- Brilliant Film)