The final credits list Rudolf Sieczynski's "Wien, du Stadt meiner Traume" 'Vienna, City of My Dreams' and Mozart's Requiem, and the password for the orgy is no longer "Danemark," which reminds Fridolin of his wife's imagined adultery, but "Fidelio," which Kubrick uses to remind the viewer of Beethoven and Vienna and of marital fidelity.4 The chic Christmas ball at Ziegler's, the figure of the Hungarian Lothario Szavost, and the Schloss-like setting of the orgy sequence remind Walker of Schnitzler's Vienna (350, 358), while Herr characterizes the costume shop owner Milich as "a remarkable relic of old Europe" (Kubrick 87).As Walker states, "The movie derives its strange atmosphere from this feeling of contemporary America overlaid by fin de siecle decadence" (351).
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Nineteen ninety-nine was a banner year for Arthur Schnitzler in the United States.
David Hare's The Blue Room, adapted from Schnitzler's play Reigen, was being staged in New York and Stanley Kubrick's film Eyes Wide Shut, based on Schnitzler's Traumnovelle, was released in July 1999.
Coincidentally, both the film and the play starred Nicole Kidman.
The present essay will compare Eyes Wide Shut with Schnitzler's novella in order to determine how faithful Kubrick's adaptation is to the spirit and the substance of its source. De Mille transformed Schnitzler's Anatol into a New York socialite in his film The Affairs of Anatol.
A long history of screen adaptations of Schnitzler's plays and prose works preceded Eyes Wide Shut, going back to the silent film period. In Europe Michael Curtiz filmed Der junge Medardus (1923), Jakob and Luise Fleck filmed Liebelei (1927), and Paul Czinner directed Elisabeth Bergner in Fraulein Else (1929).