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For other uses see Out of Sight (disambiguation).
Out of Sight

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Produced by Danny DeVito
Barry Sonnenfeld
Written by Elmore Leonard (novel)
Scott Frank (screenplay)
Starring George Clooney
Jennifer Lopez
Ving Rhames
Don Cheadle
Steve Zahn
Albert Brooks
Dennis Farina
Luis Guzman
Isaiah Washington
Michael Keaton
Music by David Holmes
Cinematography Elliot Davis
Editing by Anne V. Coates
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) June 26, 1998
Running time 123 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $48,000,000 (estimated)
Gross revenue $77,745,568 (worldwide)
Preceded by Jackie Brown (cameos)
Followed by Karen Sisco (series)

Out of Sight is a 1998 Academy Award-nominated movie directed by Steven Soderbergh and based on the novel of the same name by Elmore Leonard. It was the first of several collaborations between Soderbergh and star George Clooney. The film was released on June 26, 1998. It was nominated for two Academy Awards (adapted screenplay and editing). It won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best screenplay and the National Society of Film Critics awards for best film, screenplay, and director. It led to a spinoff TV series, Karen Sisco.



The story revolves around the relationship between a career bank robber, Jack Foley (George Clooney), and a U.S. Marshal, Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez). They are forced to share her car trunk during Foley's escape from a Florida prison. After he completes his getaway, Sisco chases Foley while he and his friends - his right-hand man, Buddy (Ving Rhames) and associate, Glenn (Steve Zahn) - work their way north to Bloomfield Hills, a wealthy northern suburb of Detroit. There they plan to pay a visit to shady businessman Ripley (Albert Brooks), who foolishly bragged to them years before about a valuable diamond stash at his mansion. But a vicious criminal (Don Cheadle) who also spent time in jail with Jack and Ripley, is planning on hitting up Ripley's mansion with his crew (consisting of Keith Loneker and Isaiah Washington) as well. The question of whether Sisco is really pursuing Foley to arrest him or for love adds to "the fun" Foley claims they are having.



The source novel's origins lie in a picture Leonard saw in the Detroit News of a beautiful young female federal marshal standing in front of a Miami courthouse with a shotgun resting on her hip. Producer Danny DeVito bought the rights to the book after his success with the 1995 film adaptation of Leonard's novel Get Shorty. Steven Soderbergh had made two films for Universal Pictures when executive Casey Silver offered him Out of Sight with George Clooney attached. However, the filmmaker was close to making another project and hesitated to commit. Silver told him, "These things aren't going to line up very often, you should pay attention".[1]


Sandra Bullock was originally considered to play Karen Sisco opposite Clooney, however, Soderbergh said, "What happened was I spent some time with [Clooney and Bullock] - and they actually did have a great chemistry. But it was for the wrong movie. They really should do a movie together, but it was not Elmore Leonard energy".[2] Danny DeVito and Garry Shandling were considered for the part of Ripley before Albert Brooks was cast. The character of Foley appealed to Clooney, who as a boy had considered as heroes the bankrobbers in movies: "the Cagneys and the Bogarts, Steve McQueen and all those guys, the guys who were kind of bad and you still rooted for them. And when I read this, I thought, This guy is robbing a bank but you really want him to get away with it".[3]

Soderbergh cites Nicolas Roeg's 1972 film, Don't Look Now as the primary influence on how he approached the love scene between Foley and Sisco: "What I wanted to create in our movie was the intimacy of that, the juxtaposition of these two contrasting things ... We had to mix it up and have you feel like you were more in their heads."[2]

Michael Keaton was cast in a cameo role of Agent Ray Niccolette after portraying the same character in Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown, an adaptation of Leonard's novel Rum Punch.


Disc jockey David Holmes was originally hired to write a few sections of the film's theme music. Soderbergh liked what he did so much that he had Holmes score the rest of the film. Holmes spent six weeks working 12 to 17 hour days to finish the score in time for the film's release. He drew upon several influences, including Lalo Schifrin, Quincy Jones, Dean Martin, Miles Davis, Sun Ra, and Willie Bobo.[4]


Box office

Out of Sight was released on June 26, 1998, in 2,106 theaters and grossed USD $12 million on its opening weekend. It went on to gross $37.5 million domestically and $40.2 million in the rest of the world for a worldwide total of $77.7 million.[5]


Out of Sight received positive reviews from critics. It has a 92% rating at Rotten Tomatoes and an 85 metascore at Metacritic. Film critic Roger Ebert gave the film three-and-a-half out of four stars and praised George Clooney's performance: "Clooney has never been better. A lot of actors who are handsome when young need to put on some miles before the full flavor emerges ... Here Clooney at last looks like a big screen star; the good-looking leading man from television is over with".[6] In her review for the New York Times, Janet Maslin wrote, "Ms. Lopez has her best movie role thus far, and she brings it both seductiveness and grit; if it was hard to imagine a hard-working, pistol-packing bombshell on the page, it couldn't be easier here".[7] Andrew Sarris, in his review for The New York Observer, wrote, "For once in a mainstream production, the narrative machinery works on all cylinders without any wasted motion or fatuous rhetoric. They don't make movies like this anymore, in this overcalculated and overtested era".[8] In his review for the Los Angeles Times, Kenneth Turan wrote, "As always with the best of Leonard, it's the journey, not the destination, that counts, and director Soderbergh has let it unfold with dry wit and great skill. Making adroit use of complex flashbacks, freeze frames and other stylistic flourishes, he's managed to put his personal stamp on the film while staying faithful to the irreplaceable spirit of the original".[9]

Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "B+" rating and Owen Gleiberman wrote, "This is Clooney’s wiliest, most complex star turn yet. It helps that he’s lost the Beverly Hills Caesar cut (he’s actually more handsome with his hair swept back), and his performance is slyly two-tiered: Foley is all charming moxie on the surface, a bit clueless underneath".[10] Richard Schickel, in his review for Time, wrote, "What makes this movie work is the kind of cool that made Get Shorty go so nicely: an understanding that life's little adventures rarely come in neat three-act packages, the way most movies now do, and the unruffled presentation of outrageously twisted dialogue, characters and situations as if they were the most natural things in the world".[11] In her review for the L.A. Weekly, Manohla Dargis wrote, "This isn't a profound film, or even an important one, but then it isn't trying to be; it's so diverting and so full of small, satisfying pleasures, you don't realize how good it is until after it's over".[12]

Awards and nominations

The National Society of Film Critics voted Out of Sight the Best Film of 1998 as well as Soderbergh Best Director and Frank for Best Screenplay.[13] Entertainment Weekly voted it as the sexiest film ever on their "50 Sexiest Movies Ever" poll[14] and ranked it #9 on their Top 25 Modern Romances list.[15]

In later years, Soderbergh would see the film as "a very conscious decision on my part to try and climb my way out of the arthouse ghetto which can be as much of a trap as making blockbuster films". He had just turned down directing Human Nature, written by Charlie Kaufman, to direct Out of Sight. "And I was very aware that at that point in my career, half the business was off limits to me".[16] Clooney said, "Out of Sight was the first time where I had a say, and it was the first good screenplay that I'd read where I just went, 'That's it.' And even though it didn't do really well box office-wise - we sort of tanked again - it was a really good film".[16]


  1. ^ Jones, Belinda (January 1999). "Rockumentaries...". Empire. 
  2. ^ a b "Steven Soderbergh Interview". Mr. Showbiz. 1998. 
  3. ^ Decha, Max (December 1998). "America's Most Wanted". Neon: pp. 52. 
  4. ^ Bautz, Mark (June 25, 1998). "Sight and Sound". Entertainment Weekly.,,83568,00.html. Retrieved 2009-05-23. 
  5. ^ "Out of Sight". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-05-06. 
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger (June 19, 1998). "Out of Sight". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  7. ^ Maslin, Janet (June 26, 1998). "A Thief, a Marshal, an Item". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  8. ^ Sarris, Andrew (June 28, 1998). "Sleeping With the Enemy … Of Course, the Enemy Is Jennifer Lopez". The New York Observer. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  9. ^ Turan, Kenneth (June 26, 1998). "Out of Sight". Los Angeles Times.,0,6661507.story. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  10. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (June 26, 1998). "Out of Sight". Entertainment Weekly.,,63624,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  11. ^ Schickel, Richard (July 6, 1998). "Out of Sight". Time.,9171,988686,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  12. ^ Dargis, Manohla (June 24, 1998). "With A Bullet". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 2008-05-06. 
  13. ^ Carr, Jay (January 4, 1999). "National Film Critics Tap Out of Sight". Boston Globe. 
  14. ^ "50 Sexiest Movies Ever". Entertainment Weekly.,,20241796_24,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  15. ^ "Top 25 Modern Romances". Entertainment Weekly. February 8, 2002.,,252562_2,00.html. Retrieved 2009-02-26. 
  16. ^ a b Andrew, Geoff (February 13, 2003). "Again, with 20% more existential grief". The Guardian.,,897475,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-06. 

External links

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

Out of Sight
by Banjo Paterson

They held a polo meeting at a little country town,
And all the local sportsmen came to win themselves renown.
There came two strangers with a horse, and I am much afraid
They both belonged to what is called "the take-you-down brigade".

They said their horse could jump like fun, and asked an amateur
To ride him in the steeplechase, and told him they were sure
The last time round he'd sail away with such a swallow's flight
The rest would never see him go -- he's finish out of sight.

So out he went; and, when folk saw the amateur was up,
Some local genius called the race "the Dude-in-Danger Cup".
The horse was known as "Who's Afraid", by "Panic" from "The Fright" --
But still his owners told the jock he's finish out of sight.

And so he did; for Who's Afraid, without the least pretence,
Disposed of him by rushing through the very second fence;
And when they ran the last time round the prophecy was right --
For he was in the ambulance, and safely "out of sight".

PD-icon.svg This text was created in Australia and is now in the public domain because its term of copyright has expired. See Australian Copyright Council (ACC), (How Long Copyright Lasts) (Apr 2009).

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