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Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

A scheming widow and her manipulative ex-lover make a bet regarding the corruption of a recently married woman.



(play), (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Won 3 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Valerie Gogan ...
Joanna Pavlis ...
Nicholas Hawtrey ...
Paulo Abel Do Nascimento ...
François Lalande ...


In 18th century France, the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont play a dangerous game of seduction. Valmont is someone who measures success by the number of his conquests and Merteuil challenges him to seduce the soon to be married Cecile de Volanges and provide proof in writing of his success. His reward for doing so will be to spend the night with Merteuil. He has little difficulty seducing Cecile but what he really wants is to seduce Madame de Tourvel. When Merteuil learns that he has actually fallen in love with her, she refuses to let him claim his reward for seducing Cecile. Death soon follows. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Lust. Seduction. Revenge. The Game As You've Never Seen It Played Before.


Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

24 February 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Relaciones peligrosas  »


Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$34,700,000, 31 December 1989
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Malkovich and Uma Thurman would later appear in Jennifer 8 (1992). See more »


In Madame de Rosemonde's garden, Valmont sits behind Madame de Tourvel and asks "Why are you so angry with me?" The camera then cuts to a close-up of Tourvel's face, and Valmont is sitting much closer behind her. See more »


Madame de Rosemonde: I'm sorry to say this, but, those who are most worthy of love are never made happy by it.
Madame Marie de Tourvel: But, why? Why should that be?
Madame de Rosemonde: Do you still think men love the way we do? No... men enjoy the happiness they feel. We can only enjoy the happiness we give. They are not capable of devoting themselves exclusively to one person. So to hope to be made happy by love is a certain cause of grief.
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Referenced in Bollywood Hero: Episode #1.1 (2009) See more »


Organ Concerto No. 13 in F.
Written by George Frideric Handel (as Georg Friedrich Händel)
Performed by Leslie Pearson
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User Reviews

on my top 10 list
2 June 2005 | by See all my reviews

This movie is so incredibly well done, and all three lead characters are at their peak career performances. It is clever, funny, and tragic all rolled together, and one that you will be thinking about long after the movie is over. Of the three main characters, Michelle Pfeiffer has the least stretching to do as an actor, but her character calls for a demure, soft-spoken individual. John Malkovitch and Glenn Close are both deliciously malicious and carry the film well. Keanu Reeves is better suited for an action film - he appears wooden - but does a decent job, anyway. Lastly, Uma is refreshing and captivating, and plays opposite John Malkovitch without losing her identity. All in all, masterful, and visually and intellectually stimulating to watch. Still to this day it holds its' own in a world where action is the name of the game.

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