MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 6,123 this week

The Draughtsman's Contract (1982)

7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 6,001 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 »

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 30 Mar 2011
 
a list of 24 titles
created 28 Dec 2011
 
a list of 31 titles
created 12 Feb 2012
 
a list of 31 titles
created 17 Jun 2012
 
a list of 29 titles
created 09 Apr 2013
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Draughtsman's Contract (1982)

The Draughtsman's Contract (1982) on IMDb 7.3/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Draughtsman's Contract.
2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Citizen Kane (1941)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore
L'Avventura (1960)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A woman disappears during a Mediterranean boating trip. But during the search, her lover and her best friend become attracted to each other.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Gabriele Ferzetti, Monica Vitti, Lea Massari
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A psychoanalyst and his family go through profound emotional trauma when their son dies in a scuba diving accident.

Director: Nanni Moretti
Stars: Nanni Moretti, Laura Morante, Jasmine Trinca
Lantana (2001)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The relationships of four couples unravel after the discovery of a young woman's body in Lantana bush in suburban Sydney.

Director: Ray Lawrence
Stars: Anthony LaPaglia, Geoffrey Rush, Barbara Hershey
Spider (2002)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A mentally disturbed man takes residence in a halfway house. His mind gradually slips back into the realm created by his illness, where he replays a key part of his childhood.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson, Gabriel Byrne
Doubt I (2008)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A Catholic school principal questions a priest's ambiguous relationship with a troubled young student.

Director: John Patrick Shanley
Stars: Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years just before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery.

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Christian Friedel, Ernst Jacobi, Leonie Benesch
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young priest taking over the parish at Ambricourt tries to fulfill his duties even as he fights a mysterious stomach ailment.

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: Claude Laydu, Nicole Ladmiral, Jean Riveyre
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The setting is Vienna. A young American woman is brought to a hospital after overdosing on pills, apparently in a suicide attempt. A police detective suspects foul play on the part of her ... See full summary »

Director: Nicolas Roeg
Stars: Art Garfunkel, Theresa Russell, Harvey Keitel
Humanité (1999)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When an 11-year-old girl is brutally raped and murdered in a quiet French village, a police detective who has forgotten how to feel emotions--because of the death of his own family in some kind of accident--investigates the crime, which turns out to ask more questions than it answers.

Director: Bruno Dumont
Stars: Emmanuel Schotté, Séverine Caneele, Philippe Tullier
12 Angry Men (1957)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

A dissenting juror in a murder trial slowly manages to convince the others that the case is not as obviously clear as it seemed in court.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A woman struggles to interact with her family and find her place in society after spending fifteen years in prison.

Director: Philippe Claudel
Stars: Kristin Scott Thomas, Elsa Zylberstein, Serge Hazanavicius
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:

artist | contract | drawing | indignant | dutch | 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:

The Draughtsman's Contract  »

Box Office

Budget:

£300,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Greenaway's original cut ran over four hours. He has stated his intention to edit the cut footage, along with additional outtakes, into an entirely new feature entitled "The Hedgecutters". 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

Referenced in The Serpent's Kiss (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Disposition Of The Linen
(uncredited)
Written by Michael Nyman
Performed by Nyman Band
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An eye for optical theory
17 April 2001 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland) – See all my reviews

In this much criticised and often misunderstood movie, Greenaway brings us a rich, allegorical riddle that luxuriates in its idyllic restoration setting. It succeeds on its own merits even if the story may confuse the viewer at first, the sheer pun and wit of the script and extravagant use of costume and visual gag see to that. We have enormous wigs, living statues that really pee, an indulgence of fruit, erotic interludes and a general celebration of pleasure. Behind this is a brilliantly constructed story that can be appreciated on a number of different levels. We have an 'Agatha Christie' style country house murder mystery, an investigation of class and religious opposition at the end of the 17th century, a philosphical study of the problem of artists' perception of the world (is what we 'see' what we actually perceive it to be?).

At root though, Greenaway knows his mythology and understands the role of the fertility rite across societies and cultures. In this allegory, Mrs Herbert persuades the Draughtsman (Mr. Neville) to draw her husband's estate, sexual favours being the lure. The drawings are merely a front for a deeper and darker motive: ensuring that the matrimonial line will produce the heir to the country estate. The line is blocked by lack of a direct heir, the infertility of Mrs. Herbert's son in law and the fact that women cannot inherit the property. Evidence of Mr Neville's indiscretion eventually emerges in the 12 drawings for all to see -discarded clothing, ladders leading up to bedrooms- all rendered faithfully by the draughtsman who tries 'never to distort, nor dissemble' what he sees through his optical device. In so doing, he seals his fate. Mrs Herbert ensures that blame for both the death of her husband and adultery of her daughter is put on Neville. By the end of the movie he (and his drawings) are redundant, since we can assume he has borne the heir.

In ancient Greece, the Gods ruled the seasons and the fertility of the land. Here, Mrs Herbert draws the link between those times and her role as the real custodian of the 'fertility' of her husband's estate. Watch for the scene near the end when she places the pomegranate on Neville's stomach. The women are in control throughout, the men mere bit players, the drones and worker bees. Watch and listen with care! This is a film that repays many viewings. 'There is much there to be surprised at, and applauded!!'.


74 of 79 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Does the car ruin it for anyone else? ebm83
A snake for your Orangerie? glevine1
Nyman's grind hywel-5
The Green Man buyabiznatch
The Hedgecutters (original 4 hour version) amadeusrabbit-1
Does anybody know what that device is called? GreenPlum
Discuss The Draughtsman's Contract (1982) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?