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Friday, 3 September, 1999, 20:44 GMT 21:44 UK
Stars flock to Kubrick premiere
nicole kidman
Nicole Kidman meets her fans
Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman have delighted crowds at the UK premiere of Stanley Kubrick's long-awaited Eyes Wide Shut with an unscheduled walkabout.

The Hollywood husband and wife shook hands with some of the thousands of waiting fans, and signed autographs for at least 10 minutes before entering the Warner Village cinema in Leicester Square.

Security men kept a close watch as Kidman, in a gold satin beaded dress, and Cruise, in a smart suit, spoke to onlookers.

The couple deny the film is pornographic
The couple flew over from the Venice Film Festival to attend the screening.

Other stars at the premiere included singer Geri Halliwell, who told reporters: "It's my big night out and I'm going to let my hair down."

Supermodel Claudia Schiffer, Sir Elton John, supermodel Jodi Kidd, Trudi Styler, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels director Guy Ritchie and Jemima Khan also attended.

Movie fans have eagerly awaited the film since its completion just days before Kubrick, director of 2001, A Clockwork Orange and The Shining, died suddenly in March at the age of 70.

Kubrick's insistence on tight secrecy during filming fed rumours of steamy sex scenes between the husband and wife in the film.

However, the rumours were scotched by critics who glimpsed it before its US release earlier this year.

In the movie, billed as an erotic thriller, Cruise and Kidman play a professional couple whose relationship is put under strain by fantasy and infidelity.

Kubrick's secrecy fuelled rumours about sex scenes
British audiences will see an uncut and uncensored version of the film, which in America had some of the nudity obscured by digitally-added objects before its release there earlier this year.

As the movie opened the 56th Venice Film Festival, Cruise defended it against charges that it was pornographic.

"It's not pornography. It's a film about sex and other things as well," he said.

The movie had only modest box office success and mixed reviews in the US, but its stars seem to be delighted with it.

"When we're 70 or 80 years old, we'll look back on this century and say: 'I was there with Stanley Kubrick'," Cruise said.

Next Thursday, Kubrick's widow Christiane will accept a lifetime achievement award on his behalf from the Directors Guild of Great Britain.

Eyes Wide Shut will be released across the UK on Friday 10 September.

The BBC's Nick Higham: "The actors deny the film is voyeuristic"
See also:

29 Jun 99 | Entertainment
Brits to see 'Eyes' uncut
18 Aug 99 | Entertainment
'Eyes' sparks blasphemy row
20 Jul 99 | Entertainment
Eyes Wide Shut opens on top
02 Sep 99 | Entertainment
All eyes open at Venice
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