Dangerous Liaisons (1988) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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
  • Eighteenth century France. Former lovers, the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, who are among the Paris aristocracy, take pleasure in their games of sexual manipulation. While Valmont, who is renowned as a rakish playboy, does it to prove to himself that he can have any woman he wants with love never in the equation, Merteuil does it in an effort to level the playing field between the sexes in their class, while truly enjoying the cruelty of it all. No person is immune as collateral damage in their end goals. In order to get back at Bastide, the first and only man to have ever jilted her, Merteuil wants Valmont to deflower Bastide's intended, the innocent Cécile de Volanges, Merteuil's niece who spent her teenaged years in a convent and whose mother has just released her in order for her to enter into womanhood with Bastide, about which she is unaware. Bastide would only find out about Cécile not being a virgin on their wedding night. Merteuil offers herself sexually to Valmont as a reward. Valmont, however, declines as it would be too unchallenging a task, and as he has his eyes set on another conquest, namely Madame de Tourvel, a highly virtuous married woman who is staying temporarily with Valmont's aunt, Madame de Rosemonde, at her country château. Valmont's goal is not only to sleep with Madame de Tourvel, but to get her truly to want him. As such, Merteuil decides to enlist the unwitting help of the Chevalier Danceny, a poor music teacher, in her game, she planning to maneuver Danceny and Cécile into a relationship, which in reality could never happen due to their differing social classes. Danceny taking Cécile's virginity would be a bonus as the shame to Bastide would be greater than if Valmont did so. As Valmont's own set quest is a greater challenge, Merteuil does still offer herself to him if he succeeds in seducing Madame de Tourvel. As Merteuil and Valmont spend time with this collective group in their games of sexual manipulation, they may find that their modus operandi may be forever changed, but each for different reasons.

    - Written by Huggo
  • Set in France around 1760, the Marquise de Merteuil needs a favour from her ex-lover, Vicomte de Valmont. One of the Marquise de Merteuil's ex-lovers, Gercourt, is betrothed to a young, virtuous, woman called Cecile de Volanges. The Marquise would like Valmont to seduce Cecile before her wedding day, thus humiliating Gercourt. Meanwhile, Valmont has a conquest of his own in mind: Madame de Tourvel, a beautiful, married, and God fearing woman. The Marquise doesn't think that Valmont can seduce Mme de Tourvel. She tells him that if he can provide written proof of a sexual encounter with Mme de Tourvel, she will offer him a reward: one last night with her. Valmont, however, will find himself falling in love with Mme de Tourvel, and facing the deadly jealousy of the Marquise de Merteuil. All along, Cecile de Volanges is used as a pawn in this game of sexual conquest and scorned love.

    - Written by <bennettc@kwanza.com>
  • Set in Rococco France, a scheming widow and her ex-lover make a bet regarding the corruption of a recently married woman. The ex-lover, Valmont, bets that he can seduce her, even though she is an honorable woman. If he wins, he can have his lover to do as he will.

    - Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>
  • A scheming widow and her manipulative ex-lover make a bet regarding the corruption of a recently married woman.

    - Written by Noah Orent


In pre-Revolution Paris, the Marquise de Merteuil (Glenn Close) plots revenge against her ex-lover, the Comte de Gercourt...

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