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The Serpent's Kiss (1997)

R | | Drama | 15 May 1997 (France)
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1:24 | Trailer

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Young Dutch landscape architect Meneer Chrome comes to a remote English estate where Thomas Smithers lives with his wife, Juliana. Smithers is determined to leave as his legacy a fabulous ... See full summary »

Director:

Philippe Rousselot

Writer:

Tim Rose Price (original screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ewan McGregor ... Meneer Chrome
Greta Scacchi ... Juliana
Pete Postlethwaite ... Thomas Smithers
Richard E. Grant ... James Fitzmaurice
Carmen Chaplin ... Thea / Anna
Donal McCann ... Physician
Charley Boorman ... Secretary
Gerard McSorley ... Mr. Galmoy
Britta Smith Britta Smith ... Mrs. Galmoy
Susan Fitzgerald Susan Fitzgerald ... Mistress Clevely
Pat Laffan ... Pritchard
Rúaidhrí Conroy ... Physician's Assistant
Henry King Henry King ... Lead Reaper
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
David Byrne David Byrne ... Garden Boy
Caimin Danaher Caimin Danaher ... Garden Boy
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Storyline

Young Dutch landscape architect Meneer Chrome comes to a remote English estate where Thomas Smithers lives with his wife, Juliana. Smithers is determined to leave as his legacy a fabulous garden, to be carved from a wild patch of land beside his home. Chrome receives written instructions from his unseen master via a secretary, and the master is Juliana's cousin, Fitzmaurice, who had romance with Juliana when they were young and plans to make Thomas bankrupt via setting up extravagant garden and to make Juliana come back to him. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 May 1997 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

A kígyó csókja See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Never theatrically released in the UK, or Ireland, where it was filmed See more »

Quotes

Chrome: Your servant.
Thea: Your mistress.
See more »

Connections

References The Draughtsman's Contract (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

 
His own version of Versailles
4 April 2014 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

I'm afraid a lot in America won't get the significance of The Serpent's Kiss as far as the gardens were concerned. At the point of time that this film is depicting 1699 in the reign of William I in Great Britain, the rich nobility even the nouveau rich that Peter Postlethwaite is portraying had this passion for ornate gardens. It was a style trend among those who could afford it. King Louis XIV in France designed the best for Versailles and everyone tried to copy him. So Postlethwaite who is a munitions manufacturer by trade and rich because of it has to have the most ornate garden in the kingdom so he can proclaim his status to the world.

Enter Ewan MacGregor who plays a Dutch designer of gardens, he even worked for William of Orange. He goes to work for Postelthwaite and his wife Greta Sacchi to do his own version of Versailles and he's encouraged in this by Sacchi's cousin Richard Grant who has more than a passing interest in this project. It's his hope to bankrupt Postelthwaite and in turn win Sacchi for himself. Grant got something on MacGregor and he forces MacGregor to help him in his designs.

Without the ornate status symbol garden Postelthwaite may still go bankrupt as he has an ill daughter in Carmen Chaplin and he's paying some heavy duty bills to quack doctors for her care.

Some really fine mansion gardens in the UK that are great tourist attractions still serve as the backdrop of a most aesthetically pleasing film. Things don't quite work out for the plotter Grant and the people he uses and the ones he plots against. But that you see the film for.

If you understand the concept that in 1699 those ornate gardens were a status symbol than The Serpent's Kiss will make sense to you.


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