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Cruel Intentions (1999)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  5 March 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 141,454 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 748 user | 99 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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Title: Cruel Intentions (1999)

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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) »


They're old enough to know better, but too young to care. 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:





| |

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
See  »

Did You Know?


The final straw in snagging Christine Baranski, who only had to work three days, was that her daughters were big Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) fans and were giddy that she could work with Sarah Michelle Gellar. See more »


When Kathryn first shows Sebastian's diary to the camera, the front page says "Cruel Intentions". A short time later, the front page says "Cruel Inventions" (the movie's working title). See more »


Sebastian: You could be a model. It's too bad you're not sexy.
See more »


Version of Kiken na kankei (1978) See more »


Written by Nina Persson and Peter Svensson
Performed by The Cardigans
Courtesy of Stockholm Records
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Music
Published by Stockholm Songs AB
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

C(R)OOL Intentions
3 March 2001 | by (Palmerston North, New Zealand) – See all my reviews

This film (based on the 1988 hit 'Dangerous Liasons' starring Glenn Close, Michelle Pfieffer and John Malkovich) is a great movie intended for the older teenagers, and stars fine young acting talent.

Rich kid Kathryn ('Buffy The Vampire Slayer's Sarah Michelle Gellar) bets her equally jaded step-brother Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe; 'I Know What You Did Last Summer', which co-starred Sarah) that he can't seduce good girl, and virgin, Annette (played by Ryan's real-life wife Reese Witherspoon).

Along the way, Kathryn tries to help sexually-inexperienced Cecile (Selma Blair) get some action in her life, while she starts screwing Cecile's ex-music instructor! Sound weird? It is. It's basically about 2 rich snobs who mess with the lives of those around them, just because their lives get boring.

This film also stars Joshua Jackson ('The Skulls', 'Urban Legend', TV's 'Dawson's Creek) as Sebastian's gay best friend, who also gets involved in the use or be used storyline. Fellow teen-movie star Tara Reid ('Urban Legend', 'American Pie') also has a small role, as Sebastian's psychiatrists's daughter.

This film is pretty intense and deals with sex, drugs, seduction and alienation in a brave, way that makes it appealing to all teenagers. Not for the light hearted, more daring than anything like 'She's All That' and 'Never Been Kissed', but it's still good fun!

77 of 112 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Sebastian should have ended up with Katherine. FridaJosefin
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