117 user 38 critic

Dangerous Beauty (1998)

A Venetian courtesan becomes a hero to her city, but later becomes the target of an inquisition by the Church for witchcraft.

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2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Serafino Franco
Elena Franco
Minister Ramberti
Grant Russell ...
Francesco Martenengo


In 16th century Venice, courtesans enjoy unique privileges: dressed richly in red, they read, compose poetry and music, and discuss affairs of state with the men who govern the Republic. When Veronica Franco comes of age, she cannot marry Marco Venier, whom she loves, because she is well born but penniless. Her choice: cloister or courtesan. She steels her heart, and with beauty and intelligence becomes the best. She's a heroine when she helps convince France to aid Venice in war with Turks, but when plague descends, the Church charges her with witchcraft. At her inquisition, she must match wits with an old rival, speak for all women, and call courage from Venier. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Passion. Seduction. Betrayal. A Scandalous Love Story. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some scenes of strong sexuality, and for nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 February 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Courtesan  »

Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$105,989 (USA) (20 February 1998)


$4,530,929 (USA) (3 July 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The alternate title for this movie, "The Honest Courtesan", comes from the term 'cortigiana onesta' which denoted a courtesan who, while sex may or may not have been part of her obligations, was paid mainly to be a companion for intellectual stimulation and/or her poetic or musical talent. See more »


At several times in the movie, one can clearly see the church of Santa Maria della Salute, one of Venice's landmarks. However, it could not possibly have been there at the time of Veronica Franco -- it was built a century later. See more »


Paola Franco: Courtesans, my dear, are the most educated women in the world.
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La Morisque
from "Dancerie"
Composed by Tylman Susato
Edizione L'Oiseau Lyre
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User Reviews

Good Story, Pretty Flat Delivery
9 March 2014 | by (your daughters bedroom) – See all my reviews

I'm somewhat surprised to see this film rated so highly after watching it. I shall warn you that the film is neither as sexy as it may seem, nor is it nearly as well told as some may lead you to believe. The story here is definitely an interesting one, and even a fairly important one; However the execution leaves a lot to be desired.

The film claims to be a true story, which much of it likely is, but it is not told in an authentic way whatsoever, and that is my biggest dislike of the film. Few of the scenes seem like they are something that would have gone down quite the way the film tells us they did. It's just too far from reality. I'm not totally against films being unreal, or fantastical; But to me it just doesn't work well when you claim that you are telling a true story, but then most of the film is filled with scenes that don't really feel like they are portraying real characters and situations. This film feels more like a cartoon version of Venice circa the late 1500's, early 1600's. Nothing really fits quite right in this film despite the good story, and even at times despite some good dialogue. There are better versions of Fanny Hill out there that are comparable to this, and certainly more believable.

I'm sure this is one of those rare case of where a film about a prostitute is actually more appealing to women, then to men. Like another well known film of this sort, Pretty Woman, the film mixes prostitution with romance, which to me is not a problem at all if it's pulled off well. Unfortunately it just isn't pulled off that well in this case. Pretty Woman is easily a better film in my view, at least it has some good laughs and some fun and engaging characters, which this film for the most part does not.

My rating 4.5/10

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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