MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,720 this week

Les liaisons dangereuses (1959)

6.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 812 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 5 critic

Juliette Merteuil and Valmont is a sophisticated couple, always looking for fun and excitement. Both have sexual affairs with others and share their experiences with one another. But there ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(adaptation), (novel), 3 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

IMDb Picks: June

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in June, brought to you by Swiffer.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 29 titles
created 19 Sep 2011
 
a list of 42 titles
created 29 Mar 2014
 
a list of 23 titles
created 5 months ago
 
a list of 40 titles
created 1 month ago
 
a list of 39 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Les liaisons dangereuses (1959)

Les liaisons dangereuses (1959) on IMDb 6.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Les liaisons dangereuses.

User Polls

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In sunny St. Tropez, a young sexpot loves one brother but marries the other.

Director: Roger Vadim
Stars: Brigitte Bardot, Curd Jürgens, Jean-Louis Trintignant
Dangerous Liaisons (TV Mini-Series 2003)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Updated adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos' classic 18th Century tale of seduction, betrayal and revenge set in the modern 1960s world of Parisian high society. The beautiful Madame de ... See full summary »

Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Rupert Everett, Nastassja Kinski
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Sophie, a flighty young model, learns that her boyfriend is planning to leave her for another woman. Sophie resolves to either win him back or assassinate her rival. A handsome doctor (who ... See full summary »

Director: Roger Vadim
Stars: Brigitte Bardot, Joséphine James, Mireille Darc
Rouge et noir (1954)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

It's no holds barred for Julian in pursuit of upward mobility. Although expected to channel career aspirations into the Church of the post- Napoleonic era, his intensely romantic liaisons ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Autant-Lara
Stars: Gérard Philipe, Danielle Darrieux, Antonella Lualdi
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Rich and bored aristocrats in Rococo France play high-stakes games of passion and betrayal.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer
Crime | Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Ursula leaves the convent where she was educated, to start living with her uncle, the count Ribera, and her aunt Florentine. When she arrives, she is confronted with a local drama: a ... See full summary »

Director: Roger Vadim
Stars: Brigitte Bardot, Alida Valli, Stephen Boyd
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Three directors each adapt a Poe short story to the screen: "Toby Dammit" features a disheveled drugged and drunk English movie star who nods acceptance in the Italian press and his ... See full summary »

Directors: Federico Fellini, Louis Malle, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Jane Fonda, Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon
Valmont (1989)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Set in Baroque France, a scheming widow and her lover make a bet regarding the corruption of a recently married woman. The lover, Valmont, bets that he can seduce her, even though she is an... See full summary »

Director: Milos Forman
Stars: Colin Firth, Annette Bening, Meg Tilly
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Director: Roger Vadim
Stars: Sirpa Lane, Michel Duchaussoy, Mathieu Carrière
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A young girl rescues a man from a suicide attempt. He turns out to be a sociopath, who begins to take over her life, abusing her both verbally and emotionally, yet she can't seem to tear herself away from him.

Director: Roger Vadim
Stars: Brigitte Bardot, Robert Hossein, Jean-Marc Bory
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Charles is wealthy, a French venture capitalist in the 1830s; he's also an aristocratic assassin, prompting duels for political, monetary, and sexual gain. At his aunt's, he meets Madame ... See full summary »

Director: Roger Vadim
Stars: Sylvia Kristel, Nathalie Delon, Jon Finch
Les liaisons dangereuses (TV Movie 1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Claude Barma
Stars: Jean Négroni, Claude Degliame, Jean-Pierre Bouvier
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Annette Stroyberg ...
Marianne Tourvel (as Annette Vadim)
Madeleine Lambert ...
Jeanne Valérie ...
Nicolas Vogel ...
Jerry Court
Boris Vian ...
Gillian Hills ...
Paquita Thomas ...
Nicole
...
...
Mme Volanges
Edit

Storyline

Juliette Merteuil and Valmont is a sophisticated couple, always looking for fun and excitement. Both have sexual affairs with others and share their experiences with one another. But there is one rule: never fall in love. But this time Valmont falls madly in love with a girl he meets at a ski resort, Marianne. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 December 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dangerous Love Affairs  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Version of Cruel Intentions (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Dashes the intellectualism of high art on its head
7 July 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Can you think of a time when you went out "on the pull"? Where is that emotional fine line - between the little graces of life that make it so much fun – and getting deep in over your head? For Juliette and Valmont, seduction is salesmanship. Each new amour carefully planned. They have the emotional detachment of swingers. Throwing themselves into every passionate encounter with finesse. Only to return to the deeper affection they have for each other. "Love", as the English poet once said, "should be a strictly physiological matter, with just that amount of natural emotion that goes with it." Think of a jazz musician

  • and Director Roger Vadim obviously does – this film is scored by


Thelonius Monk. There are fixed parameters in jazz, but opportunities for wide variation in between. Juliette and Valmont enjoy those variations. Then report back to the other affectionately. Or even help each other plan the improvisations.

A book that has been filmed many times, this early Vadim version is not only one of his best movies. He manages to reduce the bitching to a grand dramatic flourish, not a raison d'etre. Unsurprisingly. He was known off-screen for his sensual and avant-garde lifestyle. On-screen he can portray sensuality with realism and accuracy. (Even if the nudity is tame by today's standards.) Unlike most leads, Valmont doesn't just make girls swoon by appearing in frame. He tells them what they want to hear. If it weren't for the moralistic ending deemed necessary by popular culture, the movie could be a handbook of seduction. For the script has a feeling of authenticity.

Vadim has been described as the "classiest exploitation filmmaker who ever lived." Bardot, one of his five wives, called him, 'seduction itself.' (Of the men she married after him, she said dismissively, "They were only husbands.") The skill with which Valmont and Juliette entrance even gorgeous young ingénues is masterful. If all lovers possessed such consummate ability, might the world be a happier and less frustrating place? But, inevitably, our pair not only misuse their technique, failing to put the good of their conquests uppermost, but fall into the one trap they thought they could always avoid . . .

Cinematography in Dangerous Liaisons is straightforward cinema at its finest. The vicarious pleasure of boldly careering down the Alps almost made me want to take up skiing too. Simple use of black and white photography is mirrored in the appealing, clear-cut personas that Valmont projects. He lies in the snow, confidently dressed in black, with the virtuous Marianne all in white nest to him. Simple shots. Valmont on a train station - silhouetted against the steam. Figures on an empty beach – plus a few horses. Such composition is breathtaking. Especially with the high-keyed psychological tension that runs through. And when someone gets a sock to the jaw, it sounds real, not like it usually does 'in the movies'.

Temptation to go beyond the bounds of their seducers' art has a number of dramatic purposes. It provides a great theatrical crescendo. It gives a nod to the original book. And it 'keeps the peace' with the morality of monogamy. As Valmont's hedonism leaves its own well-defined limits, he shouts over the jazz, like a soloist insisting on ill-timed attention.

The didactic attitudes to pleasure of the day are one of the reasons that Vadim's original Dangerous Liaisons works better than in more modern interpretations. Today's woman (and man) likes to make independent choices, as well as be wooed intelligently. The careful plotting of Vadim's philanderers is more evil in a time when 'goodness' is equated with sexual ignorance Juliette and Valmont are 'clear-headed' rather than 'jealous' of each other's affairs. They have been together eleven years. Does no-one observe that this is a longer innings (by their own admission) than any of their more conservative friends? Instead of the Machiavellian rendering of the protagonists in other versions, Juliette and Valmont are ultra-chic. And, until they come off the rails, ultra-desirable.

Dangerous Liaisons is the movie that brought Jeanne Moreau (Juliette) to an international audience. Her full-on pout projects an aura of sexuality (compare her here with her performance in films such as Lumiere and L'Adolescent to see what a consummate act it is). She conquers us by identifying her 'amoral' lifestyle with a moral high ground (and one which indeed persists longer and more convincingly than that of her husband). When she refuses to sleep with him early on in the movie, she explains that she is never 'unfaithful' to her lovers. She shares the details of her current suitor with him intellectually rather than physically. And she is the first to be appalled at the human wreckage that Valmont's unconscious search for emotional truth is leaving in its wake.

We maybe tend to think of French New Wave films as being terribly provocative. Yet they could only be provocative within the bounds of the strong French censorship of the time. Films about Indochina and Algeria were halted. Dangerous Liaisons was briefly suppressed for painting an unflattering portrait of French diplomats. The Centre National de la Cinématographie strengthened its power over controversial scripts after its release. But the New Wave 'rebelliousness' – associated with the influential Cahiers du Cinema group of directors like Godard and Truffaut – was initially that of that of the 'youth class'. It was in relation to Vadim's work that the term was first coined.

Even sophistication has its limits. And this film dashes the intellectualism of high art on its head before bringing us to its gratuitously high moral conclusion.


8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Drummer som1950
Discuss Les liaisons dangereuses (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?