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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7.3/10   7,253 votes »
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Up 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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 »
1 win & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Self Referential Allegorical Mystery See more (39 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 G. Cumming ... Philip (as Alastair Cumming)
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 Chandler ... 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
John Speer .... sound: Cine Lingual
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:MA15+ (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
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The feature film was originally produced for British public-service television broadcaster Channel 4.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:
Chasing Sheep Is Best Left To ShepherdsSee more »


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35 out of 48 people found the following review useful.
Self Referential Allegorical Mystery, 22 July 2000
Author: tedg ( from Virginia Beach

Is Greenaway our most intelligent filmmaker? One of them at least. He is master of lush self-referential allegory. Here this is hung on a mystery masquerading as restoration comedy. Just maintaining the period and manner is quite a feat.

Self-reference. The film is about an artist who creates rich images that include incongruous elements. The arrogance of the artist is balanced by his blindness as to the meaning, the context of what the images reveal. Both the artist and the viewers are confused by the meaning and flummoxed by the events that the meaning triggers. Greenaway clearly means this to extend to himself, his film and the incompleteness of what we the viewers see. The drawings and the drawer's hands are in fact his.

Fantasy-allegory. This is a film richer in symbology than Drowning and Cook, but probably less so than the later `book' movies. Great attention has been spent on recondite supplementary images, including a central painting in the house being itself painted by the draftsman and filmmaker. I viewed it (the whole film) once just for details. The living statue is only the most obvious illogical element, and in fact draws attention away from other smaller visual diversions.

Mystery artifice. The whole environment is one of genteel artifice, hiding cruel mechanics of conspiracy. The cleverness of the construction is that Greenaway and us are full conspirators. No one, not us, him or the characters shown fully understand what is going on. The mystery form has always been a dialog between artist and consumer, a contest to see who can outwit whom. Very clever use of the mystery form here to include us in the artifice by not ever `playing fair.'

Restoration comedy. Past the visual allegory and the fantasy mystery and the self-reference is a restoration comedy which taken straight is hilarious. The statue is from this form.

My only criticisms are minor. This film contains a restrained story, and incidentally all sex takes place offscreen. Why be so conservative in these areas? Also, Lady Herbert required a more powerful actress I think.

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