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The Draughtsman's Contract (1982)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 6,101 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 34 critic

Mr. Neville, a cocksure young artist is contracted by Mrs. Herbert, the wife of a wealthy landowner, to produce a set of twelve drawings of her husband's estate, a contract which extends ... See full summary »

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Title: The Draughtsman's Contract (1982)

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Director: Peter Greenaway
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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
R Neville / Mr Neville
...
Virginia Herbert / Mrs Herbert
Anne-Louise Lambert ...
Mrs. Talmann (as Anne Louise Lambert)
...
Mr Talmann
Neil Cunningham ...
Thomas Noyes / Mr Noyes
Dave Hill ...
Mr Herbert
David Gant ...
Mr Seymour
David Meyer ...
The Poulencs
Tony Meyer ...
The Poulencs
Nicholas Amer ...
Mr Parkes (as Nicolas Amer)
...
Mrs Pierpont
Lynda La Plante ...
Mrs Clement (as Lynda Marchal)
...
The Statue
...
Philip
Steve Ubels ...
Mr. van Hoyten
Edit

Storyline

Mr. Neville, a cocksure young artist is contracted by Mrs. Herbert, the wife of a wealthy landowner, to produce a set of twelve drawings of her husband's estate, a contract which extends much further than either the purse or the sketchpad. The sketches themselves prove of an even greater significance than supposed upon the discovery of the body of Mr. Herbert. Written by Paul Kevin Harm <pkharm@papyrus-inc.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

drawing | contract | artist | vomit | urination | See more »

Taglines:

A landscape of lust and cunning. [Video Australia]

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

30 June 1983 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Tegnerens kontrakt  »

Box Office

Budget:

£300,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Peter Greenaway, a former art student, created the sketches that feature in the film. See more »

Goofs

The cooing of a collared dove is not a sound that would have fallen on Jacobean ears, as the species was unknown in Britain until 1955. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mr. Noyes: Mr. Chandos was a man who spent more time with his gardener than his wife. They discussed plum trees - ad nauseam. He gave his family and his tennants cause to dread September, for they were regaled with plums till their guts rumbled like thunder and their backsides ached from overuse. He built the chapel at Fouvant, where the pew seats are made of plumwood, so the tennants still have cause to remember Chandos through their backsides - on account of the splinters.
See more »

Connections

References Asylum of Satan (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Watery Death
(uncredited)
Written by Michael Nyman
Performed by Nyman Band
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Can Mathematics Be Erotic?
20 October 2005 | by (North Carolina, United States) – See all my reviews

Hugely enjoyable, if somewhat a tad too clever for its own good. A very good English director's attempt to be more continental, by being deliberately obscure, and throwing in large dollops of raunchy eroticism. Imagine if you will an episode of PBS's Mystery set during the Restoration, with a script by Einstein, and direction by Frederico Fellini.

Two excellent stage actors - Anthony Higgins and Janet Suzman - in combination with the very sultry and seldom seen Australian actress Anne Louise Lambert, act their sexy sox off in this delightful delicate pastry of a movie. In the year 1694 an artist is commissioned to create a series of precise drawings of an enormous country house. The twist is that his agreed form of payment is most unusual.

Michael Nyman's score is a careful, yet loud, modern arrangement with contemporary wind and string instruments. The photography by Curtis Clark is incredible, and these two creative artists convince you, you are in the 17th Century. The interior scenes are lit only by candlelight - as was also the case in Kubrick's superb historical masterpiece Barry Lyndon. This movie somehow combines elements of sophisticated themes of woman's self-empowerment, the inhumanity of the aristocracy, mathematics, and Benny Hill eroticism. Really rather wonderful and unique, but also in-retrospect, less than the sum of its parts. For a superior Peter Greenaway picture, try Drowning By Numbers, A Zed and Two Naughts, and The Cook, the Wife, etc..


5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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