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The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)

NC-17 | | Crime, Drama | 6 April 1990 (USA)
The wife of an abusive criminal finds solace in the arms of a kind regular guest in her husband's restaurant.

Director:

Peter Greenaway

Writer:

Peter Greenaway
Reviews
Popularity
3,148 ( 489)

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7 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Bohringer ... Richard
Michael Gambon ... Albert
Helen Mirren ... Georgina
Alan Howard ... Michael
Tim Roth ... Mitchel
Ciarán Hinds ... Cory (as Ciaran Hinds)
Gary Olsen Gary Olsen ... Spangler
Ewan Stewart ... Harris
Roger Ashton-Griffiths ... Turpin (as Roger Ashton Griffiths)
Ron Cook ... Mews
Liz Smith ... Grace
Emer Gillespie ... Patricia
Janet Henfrey Janet Henfrey ... Alice
Arnie Breeveld Arnie Breeveld ... Eden
Tony Alleff Tony Alleff ... Troy
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Storyline

The wife of a barbaric crime boss engages in a secretive romance with a gentle bookseller between meals at her husband's restaurant. Food, colour coding, sex, murder, torture and cannibalism are the exotic fare in this beautifully filmed but brutally uncompromising modern fable which has been interpreted as an allegory for Thatcherism. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Lust...Murder...Dessert. Bon Appetit! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

NC-17 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Netherlands | UK | France

Language:

English | French | Dutch

Release Date:

6 April 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$7,724,701
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R-rated)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (as Dolby Stereo in selected theatres)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Greenaway uses specific colors to represent each set of the film. The exterior of Le Hollandais is predominantly blue. The kitchen is mostly green. The seating area of the restaurant is red and the restrooms are stark white. The color of Georgina's dress and the sashes that Albert and his associates wear change to match this scheme as the characters move from room to room. The color of Georgina's cigarettes also changes to match the color of the set as she moves. See more »

Goofs

When Albert (Michael Gambon) goes into the ladies' toilet and starts throwing women out of the cubicles, the second one has, as you would expect, her underwear around her knees. But her skirt rides right up, revealing that she is still wearing her underwear, and that the ones below are a prop. See more »

Quotes

[Cut to opening scene, Albert's gang has Roy nude, smeared feces on his body, strapped to the ground, and Albert pisses on him]
Albert: Now, I'll give you a good dinner. You're gonna have a nice clean. Now, you behave yourself in the future and pay for what I ask you or next time I'm gonna make you eat your own shit
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits epilogue: "And a special thanks to those very many people who patiently & repeatedly performed as patients & nurses in the hospital ward, and as diners in the Hollandais Restaurant." See more »

Alternate Versions

An edited, R-rated version is available on video. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cine Terapia: Cine Terapia - Juan Carlos Maneglia (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Memorial
Written by Michael Nyman
Performed by The Michael Nyman Band
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Symbolism and art!
31 March 2004 | by vdgSee all my reviews

A play. A director. A crazy writer. Some more crazy actors. A perfect score. Mix them together, add a doze of Antonioni and Fellini, and you'll get this movie. This is not your usual film, and for the majority of people this would be `THE' craziest movie ever! But, for sake of art and originality, please see this movie with an open mind and take it as is: an expression of originality and creativity. The costumes, the scenes, and the cinematography are like from a play in the decadent times. Very intriguing transitions from one scene to another, changing the light/costumes/music all at the same time, but following the same scenario idea, makes you wonder if the director/writer were `awake' when they created this.

…or a better way of saying something about this movies: `it's a Greenaway'. You see a Dali painting and you know is by Dali, the same with this film: something that you'll always associate with Greenaway and his original way of seeing the world.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


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