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Valmont (1989)

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Set in Baroque France, a scheming widow and her lover make a bet regarding the corruption of a recently married woman. The lover, Valmont, bets that he can seduce her, even though she is an... See full summary »

Director:

Milos Forman
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Popularity
1,469 ( 4,694)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Firth ... Valmont
Annette Bening ... Merteuil
Meg Tilly ... Madame de Tourvel
Fairuza Balk ... Cecile
Siân Phillips ... Madame de Volanges (as Sian Phillips)
Jeffrey Jones ... Gercourt
Henry Thomas ... Danceny
Fabia Drake ... Madame de Rosemonde
T.P. McKenna ... Baron
Isla Blair ... Baroness
Ian McNeice ... Azolan
Aleta Mitchell Aleta Mitchell ... Victoire
Ronald Lacey ... José
Vincent Schiavelli ... Jean
Sandrine Dumas ... Martine
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Storyline

Set in Baroque France, a scheming widow and her lover make a bet regarding the corruption of a recently married woman. The lover, Valmont, bets that he can seduce her, even though she is an honorable woman. If he wins, he can have his lover to do as he will. However, in the process of seducing the married woman, Valmont falls in love. Based on the same novel as "Dangerous Liaisons." Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

As unpredictable as love itself.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 November 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ha-Peetooim Ha-Assurim Shel Velmont See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$33,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$96,008, 19 November 1989, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,132,112
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Wil Wheaton was originally chosen to play Danceny, but the producers of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) would not release him from his commitments, and the role went to Henry Thomas. See more »

Goofs

In the bathtub, talking with Valmont, Madame's negligee makes dramatic shifts on and off the legs from one shot to the next. See more »

Quotes

Madame de Volanges: Did I show you the cabinet I gave Cecile? It's an exquisite piece. Well, I told her: "You can lock all your secrets in there." Do you know what she said? "Maman, you know it will never be locked." Isn't that the sweetest thing a daughter can say to her mother?
Mertuil: Oh! Yes, yes.
Madame de Volanges: Well, it's locked.
Mertuil: Oh.
Madame de Volanges: I have a duplicate key of course.
Mertuil: Of course.
See more »

Connections

Version of Eiskalte Engel (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Les Songes de Dardanus
Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performed by the orchestra of the The Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields
See more »

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User Reviews

Better than the other version
14 December 2004 | by pekinmanSee all my reviews

Milos Forman's version of 'Dangerous Liasons' was relegated to the second tier at the time of its release, which occurred close on the heels of Stephen Frears' version starring Glenn Close and John Malkovitch. I saw them both in the theatre when they were released and from the start enjoyed Forman's film far more than Frears'.

Annette Beining is a wonderful Madame de Mertueil, beautiful, intelligent, ruthless and in the end tragic. Glenn Close is pretty two-dimensional by comparison for Frears. And Colin Firth is more the laughing cavalier, with a heart, than was John Malkovitch for Frears, who mostly grimaces smugly and is highly distasteful and ego-centric. I liked Firth's sense of humor about himself, it makes the ending more poignant.

On paper some of the casting of Forman's version seems questionable, but all, except one, work very well. Most surprising was Henry Thomas's young lover. Thomas can be a dull actor but his reticent performance is apt for the gauche young man learning the ropes of 18th century Parisian society. Fairuza Bulk is delightful and funny as the virginal Céline. The supporting cast, notably Fabia Drake's dotty old Madame de Rosemond, are excellent. Siân Philips and Jeffrey Jones provide some very funny moments, though their characters are anything but "funny".

Only Meg Tilly falls short. Her American accent and modern delivery of the lines is disappointing. But she is a good actress and manages to convince in the end, though a more "Frenchified" performer would have served the story more effectively.

The music, cinematography and choreography are superb. The settings are very beautiful.

Forman's 'Valmont' deserves to be reconsidered by those critics who found it lacking when it first appeared.


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