119 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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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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


Born without privilege. Bound by tradition. She found the courage to follow her heart. 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) (22 February 1998)


$4,530,929 (USA) (5 July 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Veronica Franco depicted in the film was a real person. She was born in 1546 and died in 1591, at the age of forty-five. She was the most famous courtesan in Italy, but she was also famous for her satire and for her poetry. See more »


When Veronica and Marco are in the gondola, Marco's arm is alternately up/down between shots. See more »


Paola Franco: Courtesans, my dear, are the most educated women in the world.
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Saltarello Zorzi
Written by Anonymous
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User Reviews

One of the Most Beautiful Love Stories…and Based on a True Story
8 January 2009 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In 1583, Venice is the richest and most decadent city in Europe and its women are treated like property and few even knew how to read. The youth and witty Veronica Franco (Catherine McCormack) and the wealthy Marco Venier (Rufus Sewell), who is the brother of her best friend Beatrice (Moira Kelly), are in love for each other, but her mother can not afford the dowry for their marriage. When Marco tells Veronica that they can not marry to each other because he should have a marriage of state and his parents would oppose due to their social differences, Veronica's mother Paola Franco (Jacqueline Bisset) tells her heartbroken daughter that she was a courtesan in the past, and now Veronica shall learn how to be a courtesan to support the family. The poetess Veronica becomes the most famous courtesan in Venice, loved by the powerful elite except Marcos. When the Turks threaten Cyprus, Veronica spends the night with King Henry (Jake Weber) and he gives the necessary ships to protect Cyprus. When the Inquisition comes to Venice, she is accused of witchcraft by the Church.

"Dangerous Beauty" is one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever seen, and based on a true story. Catherine McCormack is extremely gorgeous and this is probably her best role along her career, with a stunning performance. This movie is quite perfect, with a wonderful story, excellent screenplay, magnificent direction, witty dialogs, a fantastic cast and awesome cinematography, set decoration and costumes in the environment of Venice in the Sixteenth Century. It is impressive how this movie excited me with the most different emotions and I have just included it in my list of favorites. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "Em Luta Pelo Amor" ("In Fight for Love")

27 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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