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Sliding Doors (1998)

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Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

British actor Peter Howitt wrote and directed this British romantic comedy-drama with a “road not taken” premise recalling the 1921 play If by Lord Dunsany (1878-1957), Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), and O.Henry’s short story Roads of Destiny (1909). Sliding Doors was shown at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.

Howitt’s storyline branches in two directions: Helen (Gwyneth Paltrow) loses her job at a classy London PR firm, has a run-in with a purse-snatcher, and just misses catching her boyfriend Gerry (John Lynch) in bed with his former girlfriend Lydia (Jeanne Tripplehorn). But what if it were one of those days when everything goes right? As the sliding doors close while she stands on a subway platform in the London underground, Helen ponders the events in her alternate reality. The plot of Lord Dunsany’s If also hinges on a future determined by catching or missing a train.

Director: Peter Howitt

Writer: Peter Howitt

Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, John Hannah, John Lynch, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Peter Howitt, Zara Turner, Douglas McFerran

►Cast:

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
Theresa Kartell►Rachael
Evelyn Duah►Receptionist
Linda Broughton►Theatre Nurse
Charlotte Fryer►Doctor
Pip Miller►Consultant
Christopher Villiers►Steve
Merryn Jones►Mother
Ella Jones►Child
Julie McDowell►Concerned Diner
David Burrows-Sutcliffe►Bob
Carlton Jarvis►Anaesthetist
Jeremy Caleb Johnson►Restaurant Patron
Barry Lee-Thomas►Local MP
Tim Packham►James’ Colleague exiting cafe
Alex Reid►Waiter
Vivienne Soan►Nurse

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