Sleeping with the Enemy

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Sleeping with the Enemy is a 1991 film about a young woman who fakes her own death in an attempt to escape her nightmarish marriage, but discovers it is impossible to elude her controlling husband.

Directed by Joseph Ruben. Written by Ronald Bass, based on the novel by Nancy Price.
She is a stranger in a small town. She changed her name. Her looks. Her life. All to escape the most dangerous man she's ever met. Her husband. taglines


Laura Burney[edit]

  • That was the night that I died, and someone else was saved. Someone who was afraid of water, but learned to swim. Someone who knew there would be one moment, where he wouldn't be watching. Someone who knew that the darkness of the broken lights would show the way.
  • [on phone with the police, with gun aimed at Martin] Come quickly. I've just killed an intruder.

Martin Burney[edit]

  • There's the telephone. You could call the police. I know your every thought, Laura. You're wondering if they can protect you. Who knows? They may issue an order instructing me to stay away from my own wife. Nothing can keep me away. I love you, Laura. I can't live without you. And I won't let you live without me. Think carefully.

Dialogue[edit]

Laura: Mrs Clark called from the library. She said they could use me full time now.
Martin: You already work three mornings a week, and I support that because I know your love of books. What about our home? Don't you love our home as much?
Laura: Has your dinner been late to the table even once?
Martin: Oh, I can remember not so far back it was late. By two days.
Laura: That was six months ago. My mother was all I had. I'll never forgive myself for not bringing her to live with us.
Martin: You shouldn't beat yourself up. You always treated her with love.
Laura: She died, Martin. How could I not go to her funeral?
Martin: If you had told me, I would have taken you, given me a chance to pay my last respects. But you sneaked off inexplicably.
Laura: I didn't sneak off.
Martin: Need I remind you how I worried?
Laura: No. You reminded me enough the night I came back.
Martin: You're not suggesting I enjoyed that?
Laura: God, no. That would make you a monster.

Woman: You visitin' out here?
Laura: My mom's by herself in a nursing home. She's blind and can't move her left side very well. She had a stroke.
Woman: I'm sorry to hear that. You live back East?
Laura: I was visiting an old friend. She needed me.
Woman: Sick, was she? [pause] Course, it's none of my business.
Laura: She left her husband. He was a horrible man. He used to beat her.
Woman: No!
Laura: It started right after their honeymoon. At first he was charming, tender. But it all changed. He said if she left him he would punish her, and he meant it. His punishments were terrible. He would never let her go. Said he could find her anywhere.
Woman: Couldn't she call the police?
Laura: Well, she did. She called them, and a lawyer too. They said she could make a citizen's arrest, get a restraining order. It was pathetic.
Woman: Well, how did she leave?
Laura: She risked everything. Escaped. Started a new life.
Woman: Brave girl.
Laura: She thinks she's a coward.
Woman: A coward? Not a girl like that.

Secretary: Mr Burney? You have a call.
Martin: I told you to hold my calls.
Secretary: I know. But she says she knew your wife.
Martin: Put her through. Hello?
Vanessa: Hello, Mr Burney. My name is Vanessa Shelley.
Martin: Yes?
Vanessa: I hope I'm not disturbing you. I just heard about Laura, and I wanted to call and tell you how much we'll miss her.
Martin: Thank you. How did you know her?
Vanessa: From the YWCA.
Martin: No, you must be speaking of someone else. My wife never went to the YWCA.
Vanessa: No. No, we took swimming there Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9 am.
Martin: Look, there's obviously some mistake. My wife drowned. She couldn't swim.
Vanessa: Well, at first she couldn't. But she became a good swimmer.
Martin: I'm sure you have the wrong woman.
Vanessa: This is odd. Mr Burney, your wife studied gymnastics, didn't she?
Martin: No, my wife never studied gymnastics.
Vanessa: That's strange. She told us that's how she got all those terrible bruises. Mr Burney, I don't understand it. I'm sorry if I've bothered you. This is just so confu...
Martin: Shit. Shit!

Ben: I saw you in town yesterday. You were going into Walgreens.
Laura: Oh, yeah?
Ben: Yeah. I called out your name. You didn't even blink.
Laura: Maybe I didn't hear you.
Ben: Your name isn't Sara Waters, is it?
Laura: Maybe I didn't hear you.
Ben: No, you heard me. Look, I know this is crazy. I hardly know you really, but...I like you. I do. I just...I don't know how to feel what I'm feeling when I don't even know your name.
Laura: People never really know each other, Ben.
Ben: It doesn't have to be that way. Give it a chance.
Laura: I can't. I'm sorry.
Ben: What are you afraid of?
Laura: What is it with men?
Ben: Don't do that. Look, I gotta know. We're either honest with each other or it doesn't happen. It just stops right here.
Laura: It never started.

Martin: Hello, princess. It's wonderful to see ya...alive. That's the first touch after so long apart. Have you been thinking of it too?
Ben: [from outside] Sara? Are you there?
Laura: No...
Martin: I'll kill him.
Ben: Can you hear me?
Laura: Just a second.
Ben: [through the screened door] Hi.
Laura: Hi.
Ben: It's tomorrow. 12:01. I couldn't wait.
Laura: Ben, I'm just so tired.
Ben: Still spooked by ghosts, huh?
Laura: They're all around me.
Ben: How about I come in?
Laura: It's really not a good time, OK?

Martin: He doesn't matter. He's nothing, Laura. Nothing.
Laura: Fuck you.
Martin: What's his name?
Laura: Ben. Martin, he...
Martin: He doesn't have anything to do with us, does he, princess? Does he?
Laura: No.
Martin: Remember our honeymoon. The night I taught you to dance. Of course you haven't forgotten. You said those were the happiest days of your whole life. [holds up her wedding ring] Remember this? This is yours, Laura. We are one. We will always be one. Nothing can keep us apart.

Taglines[edit]

  • She is a stranger in a small town. She changed her name. Her looks. Her life. All to escape the most dangerous man she's ever met. Her husband.
  • Self-Defense is not murder

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]

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