IMDb > The Draughtsman's Contract (1982)
The Draughtsman's Contract
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The Draughtsman's Contract (1982) More at IMDbPro »

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Peter Greenaway (writer)
View company contact information for The Draughtsman's Contract on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 June 1983 (Netherlands) See more »
A landscape of lust and cunning. [Video Australia]
Mr. Neville, a cocksure young artist is contracted by Mrs. Herbert, the wife of a wealthy landowner... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Master's Smile See more (35 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Anthony Higgins ... R Neville / Mr Neville

Janet Suzman ... Virginia Herbert / Mrs Herbert
Anne-Louise Lambert ... Mrs. Talmann (as Anne Louise Lambert)

Hugh Fraser ... 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)

Suzan Crowley ... Mrs Pierpont
Lynda La Plante ... Mrs Clement (as Lynda Marchal)

Michael Feast ... The Statue

Alastair Cumming ... Philip
Steve Ubels ... Mr. van Hoyten
Ben Kirby ... Augustus
Sylvia Rotter ... Governess
Kate Doherty ... Maid
David Joss Buckley ... Mr Porringer (as Joss Buckley)
Michael Carter ... Mr Clarke (as Mike Carter)
Vivienne Maya ... Laundress
Geoffrey Larder ... Mr Hammond
Harry Van Engel ... Servant (as Harry van Engel)
George Miller ... Servant

Directed by
Peter Greenaway 
Writing credits
Peter Greenaway (writer)

Produced by
David Payne .... producer
Original Music by
Michael Nyman 
Cinematography by
Curtis Clark (photography)
Film Editing by
John Wilson 
Casting by
Lucy Boulting 
Art Direction by
Bob Ringwood 
Costume Design by
Sue Blane 
Makeup Department
Christine Allsopp .... make-up assistant
Lois Burwell .... make-up
Robbie Gardner .... wig and hair stylist
Peter King .... wig and hair stylist
Peter Owen .... wigs created by
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Andy Powell .... assistant director
Art Department
Kenneth Breese .... calligraphy
Alan Brown .... painter
Bob Coleman .... carpenter
Jane Hamilton .... design assistant
Digby Howard .... design assistant
Michael Hunter .... props
Tom Raeburn .... props (as Tommy Raeburn)
Charlie Simmons .... construction manager
Peter Greenaway .... drawings: Mr. Neville (uncredited)
Sound Department
Tony Anscombe .... dubbing mixer
Bob Doyle .... sound assistant
Godfrey Kirby .... sound
Doctor Lion .... dubbing editor
Clive Osborne .... sound assistant
Lionel Strutt .... A.D.R.
Aad Wirtz .... assistant dubbing mixer (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
John Swinnerton .... rostrum camera operator (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Simon Archer .... grip
Simon Archer .... stills
Steve Blake .... gaffer
Luke Cardiff .... camera assistant
Curtis Clark .... lighting cameraman
Hugh Gordon .... rostrum camera
James Merrell .... stills
Paul Woods .... assistant gaffer
Gordon Wright .... rigger
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Caroline Bayliss .... assistant costumes maker
Sue Blane .... costume
Ellen Cairns .... assistant costumes maker
Sue Langridge .... wardrobe
Colin Macneil .... costumes made by
David Perry .... costume design co-ordinator
Tony Williams .... wardrobe (as Anthony Williams)
Editorial Department
John Taylor .... assistant editor
Music Department
Alexander Balanescu .... musician
Malcolm Bennett .... musician
David Cunningham .... music producer
Ben Grove .... musician
John Harle .... musician
Ian Mitchell .... musician
Michael Nyman .... musician
Elisabeth Perry .... musician
Edward Pillinger .... musician
J. Martin Rex .... music engineer (as Martin Rex)
Christopher Royall .... musician: counter-tenor (as Chris Royale)
Steve Saunders .... musician
Keith Thompson .... musician
David White .... musician
Stina Wilson .... musician
Tony Cousins .... post-production music editor (uncredited)
Andrew Findon .... musician: baritone sax (uncredited)
Brad Grisdale .... assistant music engineer (uncredited)
Barry Guy .... musician: double bass (uncredited)
Dave Hunt .... assistant music engineer (uncredited)
Michael Nyman .... music supervisor (uncredited)
Henry Purcell .... music consultant (uncredited)
Steve Smith .... assistant music engineer (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Rupert Christie .... driver
Michael Coulson .... driver
Safi Farrah .... driver
Gillian Strachan .... driver
Other crew
Peter Broughan .... production officer
Len Brown .... laboratory supervisor
Hugh Gordon .... titles
Fiona Latto .... production secretary
Marie Meyrick .... production assistant
Peter Sainsbury .... head of production
Peter Greenaway .... hand double: Anthony Higgins (uncredited)
Len Anderson .... special thanks
Rita Anderson .... special thanks
Debbie Arnold .... special thanks
Janice Chaney .... special thanks
Melvin Chaney .... special thanks
Nigel Coates .... special thanks
Nick Coker .... special thanks
James Hall .... special thanks
Graham Howes .... special thanks
Johannes Jacobus .... special thanks
Nigel Jenkins .... special thanks
Dominic Meyrick .... special thanks
Mr. S.W. Mountain .... special thanks (as Mr SW Mountain)
Mrs. R. Newton .... special thanks (as Mrs R Newton)
Dudley Tate .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
108 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Australia:MA (DVD rating) | Finland:K-16 | Germany:16 | Iceland:16 | Italy:VM14 | Portugal:M/12 (Qualidade) | South Korea:18 | Spain:13 | Sweden:11 | UK:AA (original rating) | UK:15 (tv rating) | UK:15 (video rating) (1986) (1994) | USA:R

Did You Know?

Director Peter Greenaway, a former art student, created the sketches that feature in the film.See more »
Anachronisms: 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 »
[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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Peter Greenaway in Indianapolis (1997) (V)See more »
Disposition Of The LinenSee more »


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27 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
Master's Smile, 20 January 2005
Author: Galina from Virginia, USA

The first Peter Greenaway's feature "The Draughtsman's Contract" (1982) - is absolutely delightful, devilishly clever (just imagine the best Agatha Christy's mystery with all sorts of clues and suspects but without Poirot or Ms. Maple to explain in the end whodunit and why. You are on your own to try to figure out - everything you need to know is right there), and funny (Yes, Greenaway can be funny!) art film - the perfect example of an art film. It combines the elements of social satire with murder mystery, meditates on the power of art and role of an artist, studies family drama and mothers – daughters love and understanding, perfectly wraps it in sensual pleasure - and what the pleasure it is. I know I will watch it again because it is a feast for eyes (I've seen big budget movies that looked plain comparing to this one shot on the limited funds), ears (Michael Nyman wrote one of the best score ever for this film) and for brain - there are mysteries and puzzles in every frame and in every dialog.

There is couple of Greenaway's thoughts on his first film and on the films that influenced him from the interview that was published in L'Avant-Scene Cinema", No 333, October 1984:

"Majority of my films may be viewed on several levels. Thus, in "The Draughtsman's Contract" there was the desire to open the symbolism of plants and fruits, to study the connections between the aristocrats and the common people, the conflicts between the worlds of gentlemen and of servants. With my films, I hope to generate interest, to stimulate imagination, to wake feelings...

I consider that 90% of my films one way or another refers to paintings. "Contract" quite openly refers to Caravaggio, Georges de la Tour and other French and Italian artists...

Before the work on the film began, I did not explain to film crew what I wanted, but I showed them five European films: "Fellini's Casanova", "The Last Tango in Paris" by Bertolucci, "The Marquise of O" by Eric Rohmer, "Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach" by Jean-Marie Straub and, most importantly, "Last Year at Marienbad" by Alain Resnais which has been the most influential film for me."

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