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Cruel Intentions (1999)

R | | Drama, Romance | 5 March 1999 (USA)
0:31 | Trailer

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



(novel), (screenplay)
458 ( 49)
7 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs. Michalak
Herta Ware ...


Kathryn Merteuil 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, daughter of the headmaster at their school, 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 Cecile, 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 ruin Cecile's reputation as revenge on Kat's ex-boyfriend, who left her for Cecile.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In the game of seduction and betrayal, how far will you go? 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 USA:

$13,020,565, 7 March 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Ottman's score was originally used during the trailer, however his score was rejected shortly before the film was released and was replaced by Ed Shearmur. See more »


Sebastian's Journal has the word "friendship" spelled as "freindship". See more »


Annette: I don't believe you.
Sebastian: There's something I have to tell you.
Annette: Tell me.
Sebastian: This isn't working out for me anymore.
Annette: [not taking Sebastian seriously] Yeah, me neither.
[kisses Sebastian and he doesn't respond]
Annette: What's wrong?
Sebastian: It's not you. It's me... I'm completely fucked up.
Annette: What are you saying?
Sebastian: I thought I was in love with you but it was just a lie.I wanted it to work but unfortunately, I feel nothing.
See more »


References Coneheads (1993) See more »


Trip on Love
Written by Tom Kimmel and Liz Vidal
Performed by Abra Moore
Courtesy of Arista Records Inc.
Published by WB Music Corp./Maverick Music & Samaxian Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Wonderfully twisted.
8 January 1999 | by See all my reviews

I have recently seen the movie "Cruel Intentions," and let me say it is one of the best films I've seen in a long while. As a big movie buff, I always see the latest movies on opening night, but I got a chance to see this one months before it will be released. Sarah Michelle Gellar is a stunning actress, and portrays Kathryn extremely well. Her character is evil and cunning, and is delivered with such grace and perfection... Ryan Phillippe is excellent as well, and he portrays Sebastian Valmont with as much talent as the lovely Ms. Gellar. They work very well together, as they did in their last movie together, "I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER"

Reese Witherspoon gives a nice performance as well, and Selma Blair's acting is worthy of as much recognition as Ms. Gellar's.

Anyway, I should stop ranting about the cast... the story is a great update of "Dangerous Liaisons," with a perfect mix of satire, wit, and drama. Writer Roger Kumble certainly has a sick sense of humor, and I applaud him for that. This is the most beautiful, wicked film since "Wild Things," and though that may not impress some people, oh well. I thought it was incredible.

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