7.6/10
60,200
150 user 56 critic

Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

A scheming widow and her manipulative ex-lover make a bet regarding the corruption of a recently married woman.

Director:

Stephen Frears

Writers:

Christopher Hampton (play), Choderlos de Laclos (novel) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,010 ( 37)

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Won 3 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Glenn Close ... Marquise de Merteuil
John Malkovich ... Vicomte de Valmont
Michelle Pfeiffer ... Madame de Tourvel
Swoosie Kurtz ... Madame de Volanges
Keanu Reeves ... Chevalier Danceny
Mildred Natwick ... Madame de Rosemonde
Uma Thurman ... Cécile de Volanges
Peter Capaldi ... Azolan
Joe Sheridan ... Georges
Valerie Gogan Valerie Gogan ... Julie
Laura Benson ... Emilie
Joanna Pavlis Joanna Pavlis ... Adèle
Nicholas Hawtrey Nicholas Hawtrey ... Major-domo
Paulo Abel Do Nascimento Paulo Abel Do Nascimento ... Castrato
François Lalande François Lalande ... Curé
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Storyline

In 18th century France, the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont play a dangerous game of seduction. Valmont is someone who measures success by the number of his conquests and Merteuil challenges him to seduce the soon to be married Cecile de Volanges and provide proof in writing of his success. His reward for doing so will be to spend the night with Merteuil. He has little difficulty seducing Cecile but what he really wants is to seduce Madame de Tourvel. When Merteuil learns that he has actually fallen in love with her, she refuses to let him claim his reward for seducing Cecile. Death soon follows. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Lust. Seduction. Revenge. The Game As You've Never Seen It Played Before.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 February 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Relaciones peligrosas See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$34,700,000, 31 December 1989
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Due to budget constraints, some of the costumes were made using sari fabric and (technically anachronistic) prints by Scalamandre. Lace trims dating from the Victorian and Edwardian eras were also used. See more »

Goofs

In Madame de Rosemonde's garden, Valmont sits behind Madame de Tourvel and asks "Why are you so angry with me?" The camera then cuts to a close-up of Tourvel's face, and Valmont is sitting much closer behind her. See more »

Quotes

Marquise de Merteuil: When it comes to marriage, one man is as good as the next. And even the least accomodating is less trouble than a mother.
See more »

Connections

Version of Untold Scandal (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Ombra mai fu
(from opera "Serse")
Written by George Frideric Handel (as Georg Friedrich Händel)
Performed by Paulo Abel Do Nascimento sopranista
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive.
24 July 2000 | by TheJudge-2See all my reviews

You wouldn't necessarily think that an adaptation of an albeit famous 17th century French novel would make a relevant and fascinating piece of cinema... but it does.

The first thing that strikes you is how well the film is lit and shot. The period locations and costumes are visually sumptuous and perfect. Better yet, the acting entirely matches the skill of the direction that takes its method from the theatre - emotions are conveyed by expression and not dialogue. Glenn Close gives her best performance on celluloid as the scheming Madame de Merteuil, amorally hellbent on bending everyone to her will, no matter the method or the cost, and John Malkovitch is her perfect foil as the cynical hedonistic but world-weary Valmont. Michelle Pfeiffer engages our empathy as the tortured and manipulated target of Malkovitch's desire and Close's plotting.

The film is basically a morality tale, but one that fascinates in its exposure of ego, vanity, intrigue and the war between the genders, subjects that are timeless in their relevance, despite the period setting. The storyline, which sticks faithfully to the original novel, remains compelling throughout as we watch deceits within deceits take their tragic course. Whole-heartedly recommended - take your time over it, and enjoy.


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