6.4/10
3,258
51 user 26 critic

The Comfort of Strangers (1990)

R | | Drama, Thriller | April 1991 (USA)
An English couple holiday in Venice to sort out their relationship. There is some friction and distance between them, and we also sense they are being watched. One evening, they lose their ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Robert
...
Colin
...
Mary
...
Caroline
Manfredi Aliquo ...
Concierge
David Ford ...
Waiter
...
Waiter
Rossana Canghiari ...
Hotel Maid
Fabrezio Sergenti Castellani ...
Bar Manager (as Fabrizio Castellani)
Mario Cotone ...
Detective
Giancarlo Previati ...
First Policeman
Antonio Serrano ...
Second Policeman
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Storyline

An English couple holiday in Venice to sort out their relationship. There is some friction and distance between them, and we also sense they are being watched. One evening, they lose their way looking for a restaurant, and a stranger invites them to accompany him. He plies them with wine and grotesque stories from his childhood. They leave disoriented, physically ill, and morally repelled. But, next day, when the stranger sees them in the piazza, they accept an invitation to his sumptuous flat. After this visit, the pair find the depth to face questions about each other, only to be drawn back into the mysterious and menacing fantasies of the stranger and his mate. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The appearance of innocence. The heat of desire... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for obsessive and perverse sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

April 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cortesie per gli ospiti  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,244,381 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Robert: Let me tell you something: My father was a very big man. And all his life he wore a black mustache. When it was no longer black, he used a small brush, such as ladies use for their eyes. Mascara.
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Connections

Spoofed in Borderline (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

CANTANDO CON LE LACRIME AGLI OCCHI
by Betty Curtis
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User Reviews

Great Walken, Great Pinter
9 October 2004 | by (New Jersey, USA) – See all my reviews

A British couple contemplating marriage (Natasha Richardson and her young, handsome paramour, played by Rupert Everett) take a vacation in Venice, to sort things out, as the Brits say. There they meet a local bar owner named Robert, played by Christopher Walken, a lyrical, dramatic fellow always going on about incidents in his childhood, his father, his grandfather, his virility and the like. His personality contrasts sharply with that of the Everett character, who is withdrawn and tentative. The Brits are strangely drawn to Robert and to his odd, sexually frank wife, played by Helen Mirren in the sort of role she apparently was born to play. But they are also at times revolted. They are vaguely aware that the Venetian couple have an unnaturally intense interest in them; the contact also seems to stimulate them, both sexually and emotionally.

No need here to go into the truly shocking denouement, beyond to say that it is what you would expect from anything in which Pinter has a hand. As always, his dialog achieves unique power through its precision and understatement. Best line -- Mirren's "I'll tell you where you are -- on the other side of the mirror." Positively chilling, positively precise.

Fine, fine acting, especially the tragic, sinister Walken, who is I think incapable of giving a bad performance -- this is probably the best I have ever seen him. Gorgeously and lushly filmed, with every scene bathed in deep colors and haunting, orchestral music. A deeply affecting film, well worth seeing.


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