117 user 37 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


A life without compromise. 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?


During King Henry's visit, a monk is forcibly detained in an attempt to give Henry a paper. In reality, King Henry III was killed exactly so: a monk, under the subterfuge of giving Henry a private message, fatally stabbed him while whispering in his ear. See more »


At the end of Veronica's sword fight with Maffeo, Veronica jumps into the gondolas. As she does so, she discards the black cape she already had thrown down on the staircase in both gondolas. See more »


Beatrice Venier: Do you know what my daughter's nurse told her today? "In a girl's voice lies temptation - a known fact. Eloquence in a woman means promiscuity. Promiscuity of the mind leads to promiscuity of the body." She doesn't believe it yet, but she will. She'll grow up just like her mother. Marry, raise children and honor her family. Spend her youth in needlepoint and rue the day she was born a girl. And when she dies, she'll wonder why she obeyed all the rules of God and Country for no biblical hell ...
See more »


La Morisque
from "Dancerie"
Composed by Tylman Susato
Edizione L'Oiseau Lyre
See more »

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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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