MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 244 this week

The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover (1989)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  6 April 1990 (USA)
7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 23,383 users  
Reviews: 169 user | 68 critic

The wife of an oafish restaurant owner becomes bored with her husband and considers an affair with a regular patron.

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Related News

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 20 Dec 2010
 
a list of 40 titles
created 04 Jul 2011
 
a list of 23 titles
created 03 Jun 2012
 
a list of 39 titles
created 01 Jan 2013
 
a list of 36 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover (1989)

The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover (1989) on IMDb 7.5/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover.

User Polls

6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Tired of her husband's philanderous ways, the mother of two daughters drowns her husband. With the reluctant help of the local coroner, the murder is obscured. Her daughters are having ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Bernard Hill, Joan Plowright, Juliet Stevenson
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Anthony Higgins, Janet Suzman, Anne-Louise Lambert
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

As a young girl in Japan, Nagiko's father paints characters on her face, and her aunt reads to her from "The Pillow Book", the diary of a 10th-century lady-in-waiting. Nagiko grows up, ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Vivian Wu, Ewan McGregor, Yoshi Oida
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An American architect arrives in Italy, supervising an exhibition for a French architect, Boullée, who is famous for his oval structures. Through the course of 9 months he becomes obsessed ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Brian Dennehy, Chloe Webb, Lambert Wilson
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Oliver Deuce, a successful doctor, is shattered when his wife is killed in a freak car accident involving the car being driven by Alba Bewick colliding with a very large rare bird. His twin... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Brian Deacon, Eric Deacon, Andréa Ferréol
8 ½ Women (1999)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Following the death of a mother, a father and son open up a brothel in their Genevan estate after watching (1963).

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: John Standing, Matthew Delamere, Vivian Wu
Fantasy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An exiled magician finds an opportunity for revenge against his enemies muted when his daughter and the son of his chief enemy fall in love in this uniquely structured retelling of the 'The... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: John Gielgud, Michael Clark, Michel Blanc
Nightwatching (2007)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An extravagant, exotic and moving look at Rembrandt's romantic and professional life, and the controversy he created by the identification of a murderer in the painting THE NIGHT WATCH

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Martin Freeman, Emily Holmes, Eva Birthistle
The Falls (1980)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The planet has been affected by a mysterious occurrence known as the Violent Unknown Event, or V.U.E. It has caused immortality and disability. Victims have learned new and peculiar ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Peter Westley, Aad Wirtz, Michael Murray
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Raymond J. Barry, Noraly Beyer, Stephen Billington
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A movie about the corruption in all levels of society. A baby is born from a supposed-to-be virgin woman, so a chain of hysteria about divine intervention in the birth takes place.

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Julia Ormond, Ralph Fiennes, Philip Stone
History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Ornella Muti, Ennio Fantastichini, Remo Girone
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Richard
...
...
...
Michael
...
Mitchel
...
Cory (as Ciaran Hinds)
Gary Olsen ...
Spangler
Ewan Stewart ...
Harris
...
Turpin (as Roger Ashton Griffiths)
...
Mews
Liz Smith ...
Grace
...
Patricia
Janet Henfrey ...
Alice
Arnie Breeveld ...
Eden
Tony Alleff ...
Troy
Edit

Storyline

The wife of a barbaric crime boss engages in a secretive romance with a gentle bookseller between meals at her husband's restaurant. Food, colour coding, sex, murder, torture and cannibalism are the exotic fare in this beautifully filmed but brutally uncompromising modern fable which has been interpreted as an allegory for Thatcherism. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Lust...Murder...Dessert. Bon Appetit!

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

NC-17 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

6 April 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Spica  »

Box Office

Gross:

$7,724,701 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R-rated)

Sound Mix:

(as Dolby Stereo in selected theatres)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

First of four on-screen collaborations between Michael Gambon and Ciarán Hinds, culminating in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), in which they play brothers Albus and Aberforth Dumbledore. See more »

Quotes

Georgina: Try the cock, Albert. It's a delicacy, and you know where it's been.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits epilogue: "And a special thanks to those very many people who patiently & repeatedly performed as patients & nurses in the hospital ward, and as diners in the Hollandais Restaurant." See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Terrifically complex, terrifically beautiful, and just plain terrific.
20 November 2005 | by (Bronx, New York) – See all my reviews

Here's the weird secret of this movie: you might actually enjoy it.

Peter Greenaway once commented, "film is too important to be left in the hands of story- tellers." Like almost everything Godard ever said, it's a preposterous statement that ought to be heeded.

As a filmmaker Greenaway has always delighted in puzzle-pictures; from the twin-based symmetry of "A Zed and Two Naughts" to the subliminal counting-game of "Drowning by Numbers" to the mad frames-within-frames of "Prospero's Books" his films resemble nothing so much as one of Graeme Base's wonderful children's' books ("The Eleventh Hour" and "Animalia" for instance) brought to life. Plus, of course, a great deal of nudity and assorted nastiness-- enough to get the works of one of the most original filmmakers living a rather sordid reputation.

So, once you've recovered from the visceral shock of watching "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover" the first time, take a step back and watch it again. Yeah, I mean that, do it. Look at it this time as you might a painting by Heironymus Bosch: what appears to be a madman's chaotic hellscape turns out to have a precise allegorical order, and contains such a wealth of symbolism that one viewing cannot possibly be enough to absorb it all. A scene that may seem gratuitously horrific (a naked couple enclosed in a truck full of rotting meat-- probably the moment that jolted me the most) in fact reveals a medievalist's precision (Adam and Eve, cast from Paradise for the First Big Sin, are suddenly subject to the corruption of the flesh). An abstract concept is thus made perfectly and accessibly literal.

Different viewers may prefer to see this movie as religious allegory, political screed, or wry class commentary. The fact is it is all of these, and probably more. The irony of Greenaway's quote above is that he is in fact story-telling on several levels at once. (It's the same irony in the comment that "Seinfeld" was a "show about nothing" when in fact there was more going on per episode than in any other ten sitcoms. It just wasn't "simple.")

In response to criticism over the bloodshed in his movies, Godard once said "It isn't blood, it's red." Meaning: it's all part of a composition, the way color is used on a painter's canvas. It's there for a point, just like Greenaway's explicit yet elegant shocks. With that mind, watch this movie, and enjoy it. It's sharp, gruesomely witty, and as remarkable to look at as almost anything in the Met. If you can handle really thinking, you can handle this, and we all can, can't we?


55 of 73 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Albert Spica, the most odious film character ever. leucrottabob
More artistic movies like this? panospcm
Why this movie isn't on the top 250 is beyond me... bplex
Out of print? joenonneman
Ludicrous theory (to be taken with a grain of salt) AudemarsPiguet
Great Fan, but having a big frustration... What about you? paulpenet

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?