Alice Harford

Alice Harford

    Eyes Wide Shut
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living… a cushy life. Alice is a mother and the wife of the wealthy Dr. Bill Harford. As Christmas approaches, Alice shops for gifts and attends a party with Bill. Although they are married, both of them receive a lot of attention from the opposite sex at the party, and both Alice and Bill seem to revel in the attention. The young couple appears the perfect American upper-middle class family, but both Bill and Alice have their own personal thoughts and desires that belie their smooth veneer.

Profession… wife and mother. Alice spends a lot of time tutoring her daughter. She seems to enjoy living a domestic life, but quickly becomes cross with Bill for taking her professional sacrifices for granted.

Interests… parties, sailors, smoking a little marijuana, and sexual fantasies.

Relationship Status… married. Bill Harford is a loyal husband who, even when Alice questions him one night, swears by his love for her. Alice is also loyal – at least on the outside. But she admits to Bill that she has sexual fantasies about other men, which shakes the very foundation of Bill’s view of her, and of women in general.

Challenge… keeping her marriage together. While not obviously on the rocks of an imminent break-up, Alice shakes the waters with her confession about sexual fantasies. Bill leaves their apartment for an all-night journey, where he thinks about their lives and marriage, while Alice stays at home to try and sleep off their fight. But it will take more than one night’s trip to bring them back to the state of comfort they were once in.

Personality… independent and alluring, and proud of it. Alice doesn’t hesitate to flirt with someone who will give her more attention than Bill. She is deeply bothered by the notion of a married, monogamous life, and copes with this reality by fantasizing about other men. She argues that such ongoing fantasies are as natural for women as they are for men.


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