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Cruel Intentions (1999)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  5 March 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 142,502 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 747 user | 100 critic | 24 from Metacritic.com

Two wealthy step-siblings of an elite Manhattan prep school make a wager: to de-flower the new headmaster's daughter before the start of term.



(novel), (screenplay)
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7 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Herta Ware ...
Mrs. Sugarman
Hiep Thi Le ...


Kathry Mertieul and Sebastian Valmont are seductive, manipulative step-siblings who get what they want when they want it. Kathryn makes a bet with Sebastian: Sebastian must bed Annette, the headmaster of their school's daughter, before the end of summer break. Annette has stated that she would wait until love and marriage to sleep with a man. If Kathryn wins, she gets Sebastian's vintage 1959 Jaguar Roadster. If Sebastian wins, he gets Kathryn, the only girl he knows he'll never have. Also in play is Cecil, a naïve girl whose mother had enlisted Kathryn to help her fit in at her new school. However, Kathryn (with Sebastian's help) plans to ruins Cecil's reputation as revenge on Kat's ex-boyfriend, who left her for Cecil.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

virgin | love | seduction | bet | wager | See All (133) »


In the game of seduction, There is only one rule: Never fall in love See more »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual dialogue and sexual situations involving teens, language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

5 March 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cruel Inventions  »

Box Office


$10,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$13,020,565 (USA) (5 March 1999)


£4,080,631 (UK) (13 August 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Neal H. Moritz contractually agreed to the film being rated R, and nothing less. Sony (the studio) agreed. See more »


When Katherine and Cecile are in the park kissing, Cecile's hair is behind the green clip, when the kiss it's covering the green clip, then when they finish the green clip is exposed again. See more »


Sebastian: Night Sweetpea.
See more »


Version of Nebezpecné známosti (1980) See more »


Coffee & TV
Written by Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Steven Alexander, James Rowntree and Dave Rowntree (as David Rowntree)
Performed by Blur
Courtesy of EMI Records Ltd./Virgin Records America Inc.
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd./EMI Blackwood Music Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Scandalously Ruthless
13 June 2001 | by (Detroit,MI) – See all my reviews

I'm writing on this movie because there is probably no bigger afficionado on this subject than myself. I've seen this movie thousands of times and must say that it is exquisite. The portrayal of Valmont by Ryan Phillippe is magnificent, and its intriguing to know that the object of his affection, Annette (Reese Witherspoon), is his real life wife. Sarah Michelle Gellar does easily the best acting of her career, not that that says too much. The story is one that has been done many times over (Dangerous Liaisons, Valmont), however, this was an excellent adaptation to this age group and these current times. The fact that the 20 somethings are portraying 17 year old kids is unnoticeable because of the great acting and the portrayal of the story. Phillippe is easily the highlight of the film with his slick portrayal of Valmont. His disregard for others feelings and emotions is ruthless. The piece is without comparison of the trend of terrible teen movies made in the late 90's-early 00-01. This is the only one that takes a serious storyline and portrays it with enough maturity to appeal not only to teens but older audiences as well. The one problem I do have with the movie is the way that Sebastian turns from so evil and wicked to this love sick kid at the end of the film. When you see the deleted scenes on the DVD, you see the original cut of the climatic scene between Valmont and Merteuil. In this scene rather than walk out in near tears, Valmont slaps Kathryn and demands her end of the bet, before he is finally denied and then leaves. This would be a much better scene than the one used. It goes along with the entire idea of the character and when he turns to a sap you feel like Sebastian is turning to a sappy wimp. The film is still an excellent piece and should be regarded as an admirable adaptation of the novel "Les Liasons Dangereuse".

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