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Indecent Proposal (1993)

R | | Drama, Romance | 7 April 1993 (USA)
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A billionaire offers one million dollars to a young married couple for one night with the wife.

Director:

Adrian Lyne

Writers:

Jack Engelhard (novel), Amy Holden Jones (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,334 ( 324)
7 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Redford ... John Gage
Demi Moore ... Diana Murphy
Woody Harrelson ... David Murphy
Seymour Cassel ... Mr. Shackleford
Oliver Platt ... Jeremy
Billy Bob Thornton ... Day Tripper
Rip Taylor ... Mr. Langford
Billy Connolly ... Auction M.C.
Joel Brooks ... Realtor
Pierre Epstein Pierre Epstein ... Van Buren
Danny Zorn Danny Zorn ... Screenwriter
Kevin West ... Screenwriter
Pamela Holt ... David's Girlfriend
Tommy Bush Tommy Bush ... David's Father
Mariclare Costello ... David's Mother
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Storyline

A young couple very much in love are married and have started their respective careers, she as a real estate broker, he as an architect. She finds the perfect spot to build his dream house, and they get loans to finance it. When the recession hits, they stand to lose everything they own, so they go to Vegas to have one shot at winning the money they need. After losing at the tables, they are approached by a millionaire who offers them a million dollars for a night with the wife. Though the couple agrees that this is a way out of their financial dilemma, it threatens to destroy their relationship. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A husband. A wife. A millionaire. A proposal

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 April 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ein unmoralisches Angebot See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$38,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$106,614,100

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$266,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The movie is very loosely based on Jack Engelhard's novel. While it does contain the story idea of "a million dollars for one night with a man's wife", most of the book focuses on Arab-Israeli intrigue. See more »

Goofs

After Gage leaves the room where he has just signed the agreement with Murphy's attorney, he buttons his suit coat twice. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
David: [sitting on a pier] Losing Diana is like losing a part of me. I thought nothing could change the way we felt about each other. I thought we were invincible.
Diana: [riding in a bus] Someone once said, if you want something very badly, set it free. If it comes back to you, it's yours forever. If it doesn't, it was never yours to begin with. I knew one thing, I was David's to begin with, and he was mine.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Seinfeld: The Secretary (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

A Love So Beautiful
By Roy Orbison & Jeff Lynne
Performed by Roy Orbison
Courtesy of Virgin Records America, Inc.
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User Reviews

An interesting idea is condensed into a superficial and glossy affair that does nothing of value
27 December 2005 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

David and Diana had been in love since college and married into a dream life where both are happy and able to pursue their dreams together. However they hit upon hard times when Diana's real estate work dries up and soon the pair decide that the only option available to them is a literal last throw of the dice with their last few thousand in Vegas. Despite an early winning streak they end up worse than they started. About to head off, Diana catches the eye of gambling billionaire John Gage who uses her as a lucky charm to win another million or so. Afterwards they get together to play some pool and Gage turns the conversation to the idea of what money can and can't buy – specifically offering the Murphy's a cool $1,000,000 for one night spent with Diana.

When this film came out, the basic concept was enough to give it lots of free advertising by getting the nation asking itself "what would I do?" and all the hype over that allowed the producers of the film to avoid people finding out that there really wasn't much worth seeing passed this question. It should have been so different though, because it could have been a classic morality tale that went deep within the characters to see what is there. However it doesn't really do this and instead we are left with a rather vacuous affair that is given plenty of gloss but is essentially lacking in interesting things to say. The tensions between David and Diana never get beyond the level of strops and it never even makes an attempt at moral debate.

The fact that the characters are so thin doesn't help either. David and Diana are basic but the real failing is in Gage; he should be a rather sinister figure who plays with people like he plays with his money but instead he is just a twinkling eye and a sly smile – in fact, he is Robert Redford. This is part of the problem because, although the material is weak, the cast cannot do anything to improve the situation. Redford is far too smooth and playboyish to really convince in the main role – he cannot tap into any darkness or complexity and his failing is just one of the film's failings. Moore doesn't help either with a basic role where she doesn't seem to understand what her character is supposed to be feeling and therefore cannot convince in many of her scenes. Meanwhile Harrelson puffs and blows on cue but adds little. The support cast features turns from Platt, Cassel, Connelly and Thornton but aside from being recognisable faces they don't add much. Lyne directs with typical glossy style but he has no clue how to get deeper into the characters and story so instead just throws in lots of exploitative but empty scenes in the hope of somehow emotionally engaging his audience.

Overall this is not an awful film but it is so superficial and hollow that it is just bland and glossy. It only is made worse when you think of the potential it had to be a complex and insightful modern morally piece. Those happy with the substance and complexity of a slushy music video will enjoy it but the majority will leave it wondering what all the fuss was about and how such an interesting concept was so completely fouled up.


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