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Swept Away (2002 film)

Swept Away
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Guy Ritchie
Produced by Matthew Vaughn
Written by Guy Ritchie
Starring Madonna
Adriano Giannini
Bruce Greenwood
Jeanne Tripplehorn
Elizabeth Banks
Music by Michel Colombier
Cinematography Alex Barber
Edited by Eddie Hamilton
Distributed by Medusa Distribuzione (Italy)
Screen Gems (US)
Release dates
  • October 11, 2002 (2002-10-11) (United States)
  • May 12, 2003 (2003-05-12) (United Kingdom)
  • May 23, 2003 (2003-05-23) (Italy)
Running time
89 minutes
Country United States
United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $10 million[1]
Box office $1,036,520[1]

Swept Away is a 2002 romantic comedy film directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Madonna, Adriano Giannini, and Bruce Greenwood. It was released by Screen Gems and produced by Matthew Vaughn. The film is a remake of Lina Wertmüller's 1974 film of the same name. It received negative reviews and was a box office bomb.


Amber Leighton is 40: beautiful, rich, spoiled, foul-mouthed and arrogant beyond measure. Nothing makes this woman happy, including her wealthy but passive husband, Tony, a pharmaceutical kingpin.

When Tony takes her on a private cruise from Greece to Italy with two other couples, Amber is unimpressed by this impromptu no-frills vacation and takes out her anger on the ship's first mate, Giuseppe Esposito. When a storm leaves the two shipwrecked on a deserted island, however, the tables suddenly turn, with Giuseppe gaining the upper hand, followed by the two falling in love.



The film's working title was Love, Sex, Drugs and Money[2] and was filmed in Sardinia and Malta from 1 October 2001 until 9 November 2001 with security increased due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.[3] Madonna had only finished her 2001 Drowned World Tour two weeks prior to filming. Giancarlo Giannini's son Adriano Giannini plays his original film role.


Critical reception

Swept Away received negative reviews from critics; it currently holds a 5% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It holds an 18 out of 100 on Metacritic.[4][5] Roger Ebert, who called the original Swept Away an "absorbing movie" that he bestowed with a 4-out-of-4 star rating,[6] gave the remake only 1 star.[7] According to Ebert, despite Ritchie's relatively faithful adaptation, the original Swept Away was "incomparably superior," and the remake's fatal flaw was the "utterly missing" vitality or emotional resonance of the main characters. Additionally, wrote Ebert, Madonna's character "starts out so hateful that she can never really turn it around" and gain any redemption or believable change. Similarly, A.O. Scott[8] of the New York Times wrote, "In her concerts, music videos and recordings, Madonna has often been a mesmerizing performer, but she is still not much of an actress. Striking a pose is not the same as embodying a person, and a role like this one requires the surrender of emotional control, something Madonna seems constitutionally unable to achieve."

"The way critics take it out on me now is to have a go at anything me and Guy do together," Madonna remarked about the negative critical reaction. "Everyone in England has slagged it off without having seen it. Isn't that beautiful? Don't you think that's absurd? But I think the knives were going to come out for Guy anyway, even if he hadn't ended up with me. He had too much success with his first two films. That's how the media is: eventually they have to pull you down."[9] When the studio screened the film for Lina Wertmüller, it is alleged that Wertmüller left the theatre at the end crying out, "What did they do to my movie? Why [did] they do this?"

Box office

The film was a box office bomb; from a $10 million budget, it grossed $598,645 in the United States. And Foreign 437,875 [1] It was shown only on 196 screens for two weeks, dropping down to 59 in the final third week of release. In Italy, it grossed €71,575 and in Spain €105,371 from 174 screens.[10]


The film was awarded five awards at the 2002 Golden Raspberry Awards:

In addition, the film was nominated for Worst Screenplay (written by Ritchie), and Giannini for Worst Actor. The film holds the distinction of being the first film to win both Worst Picture and Worst Remake or Sequel. However, in his otherwise negative review of the film, Slant Magazine critic Ed Gonzalez said: "Madonna gives her best performance since Abel Ferrara had her beaten to a pulp in his Dangerous Game."[11] Madonna even won the Worst Supporting Actress award that same year (for Die Another Day).


Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Swept Away
Soundtrack album by Michel Colombier
Released 15 October 2002 (2002-10-15)
Genre Film score, Pop
Length 43:28
Label Varèse Sarabande
Guy Ritchie film soundtracks chronology

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The score to Swept Away was composed by Michel Colombier, and it is mostly his work that is featured on the 12-track soundtrack album. The soundtrack also contain several songs by other artists. "Come On-a My House", sung by Della Reese, is the only one featured on the album.

Songs from the film not featured on the album include "Lovely Head" by Goldfrapp (played during the opening credits), "Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens" by Louis Jordan (the charades scene), and "Fade into You" by Mazzy Star (as Amber and Pepe experience life on the island together). Arvo Pärt's "Spiegel im Spiegel" plays during the closing moments and end credits of the film.

Home media

In the United Kingdom, the film was released straight-to-video by Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment. The DVD special features include a filmmakers' commentary with Ritchie and Matthew Vaughn, an interview with Ritchie and Madonna, 16 deleted scenes, Movie Special (making of), theatrical trailers, and filmographies.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Swept Away at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ Swept Away
  3. ^
  4. ^ Swept Away at Rotten Tomatoes
  5. ^ Swept Away at Metacritic
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger (February 20, 1976). "Swept Away by an Unusual Destiny in the Blue Sea of August". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  7. ^ Ebert, Roger (2002). Swept Away review, retrieved 25 Aug 2014
  8. ^
  9. ^ Rees, Paul: 'Listen very carefully, I will say this only once', Q, May 2003, pp84-92
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ Slant Magazine - Film Review: Swept Away

External links