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Dangerous Beauty (1998)

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A Venetian courtesan becomes a hero to her city, but later becomes the target of an inquisition by the Church for witchcraft.
2 nominations. See more awards »



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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

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?


Drew Barrymore turned down the role of Veronica Franco. 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 »


Marco Venier: You must save yourself.
Veronica Franco: How?
Marco Venier: Confess... whatever foolishness they put before you...
Veronica Franco: That I am a witch?
Marco Venier: What does it matter what you say to these hypocrites?
Veronica Franco: I would be saying it.
Marco Venier: There is no honor with fools like these. God will forgive you.
Veronica Franco: Marco, if I give them my lie, I give them my soul. I'll lose everything I ever was. My love, my words, my heart.
Marco Venier: Yes, but you would live.
Veronica Franco: As someone else.
See more »


Ungaresca e saltarello
in "Artificio Scientia La Selena"
Composed by Giorgio Mainiero
Per S. Naria Della Pace
See more »

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User Reviews

An amazing piece of work...
8 March 2005 | by (Florida) – See all my reviews

A very under rated movie... The visuals are amazing, and really opens up your eyes to a piece of history that is generally ignored. Veronica Franco was a real person, and Catherine McCormack does her justice.

The movie is not the speediest, but the learning process, and the development of the situation is excellent. The music is also very good, I believe by George Fenton, and suits and supports the music and is worth the listen all on its own.

Even my husband loves to watch this movie with me, and its one of our well beloved date movies, sensual, moving, yet ultimately triumphant. In an odd sort of way, I got an almost female version of Braveheart in the courtroom scene at the end... Try it! It's worth it!

50 of 62 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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I rolled my eyes SO many times in this movie... lizzy_m3
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You Gotta Love Rufus Sewell... mimer74
why did she reject maffio? DinahtheCat
Anyone Not Like Marco? e-d-nelson
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