6.3/10
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The Comfort of Strangers (1990)

R | | Drama, Thriller | April 1991 (USA)
A couple retreat to Venice to work on their relationship, but an encounter with a stranger leads them into a world of intrigue - where their darkest desires are in reach.

Director:

Paul Schrader

Writers:

Ian McEwan (novel), Harold Pinter (screenplay)
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Christopher Walken ... Robert
Rupert Everett ... Colin
Natasha Richardson ... Mary
Helen Mirren ... Caroline
Manfredi Aliquo ... Concierge
David Ford David Ford ... Waiter
Daniel Franco ... Waiter
Rossana Canghiari Rossana Canghiari ... Hotel Maid
Fabrizio Sergenti Castellani Fabrizio Sergenti Castellani ... Bar Manager (as Fabrizio Castellani)
Mario Cotone Mario Cotone ... Detective
Giancarlo Previati Giancarlo Previati ... First Policeman
Antonio Serrano Antonio Serrano ... Second Policeman
Learn more

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Storyline

An English couple holiday in Venice to sort out their relationship. There is some friction and distance between them, and we also sense they are being watched. One evening, they lose their way looking for a restaurant, and a stranger invites them to accompany him. He plies them with wine and grotesque stories from his childhood. They leave disoriented, physically ill, and morally repelled. But, next day, when the stranger sees them in the piazza, they accept an invitation to his sumptuous flat. After this visit, the pair find the depth to face questions about each other, only to be drawn back into the mysterious and menacing fantasies of the stranger and his mate. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A story of passionate obsession. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for obsessive and perverse sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Christopher Walken said in an interview that he kept the clothes he wore in this movie designed by Georgio Armani. See more »

Quotes

Caroline: I knew that fantasy was passing into reality. Have you ever experienced that? It's like stepping into a mirror.
See more »

Connections

References Rosemary's Baby (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Amorevole
Written by Pino Massara, Vito Pallavicini and Vittorio Buffoli
Performed by Nicola Arigliano
See more »

User Reviews

Great Walken, Great Pinter
9 October 2004 | by lawfellaSee all my reviews

A British couple contemplating marriage (Natasha Richardson and her young, handsome paramour, played by Rupert Everett) take a vacation in Venice, to sort things out, as the Brits say. There they meet a local bar owner named Robert, played by Christopher Walken, a lyrical, dramatic fellow always going on about incidents in his childhood, his father, his grandfather, his virility and the like. His personality contrasts sharply with that of the Everett character, who is withdrawn and tentative. The Brits are strangely drawn to Robert and to his odd, sexually frank wife, played by Helen Mirren in the sort of role she apparently was born to play. But they are also at times revolted. They are vaguely aware that the Venetian couple have an unnaturally intense interest in them; the contact also seems to stimulate them, both sexually and emotionally.

No need here to go into the truly shocking denouement, beyond to say that it is what you would expect from anything in which Pinter has a hand. As always, his dialog achieves unique power through its precision and understatement. Best line -- Mirren's "I'll tell you where you are -- on the other side of the mirror." Positively chilling, positively precise.

Fine, fine acting, especially the tragic, sinister Walken, who is I think incapable of giving a bad performance -- this is probably the best I have ever seen him. Gorgeously and lushly filmed, with every scene bathed in deep colors and haunting, orchestral music. A deeply affecting film, well worth seeing.


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Details

Country:

USA | Italy | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Comfort of Strangers See more »

Filming Locations:

Italy See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,537, 17 March 1991

Gross USA:

$1,244,381

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,244,381
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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