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Cruel Intentions (1999)

R | | Drama, Romance | 5 March 1999 (USA)
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2:20 | Trailer

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In 9 theaters near Ashburn VA US [change]

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Two vicious step-siblings of an elite Manhattan prep school make a wager: to deflower the new headmaster's daughter before the start of term.

Director:

Roger Kumble

Writers:

Choderlos de Laclos (novel), Roger Kumble (screenplay)
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Popularity
627 ( 408)
7 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sarah Michelle Gellar ... Kathryn Merteuil
Ryan Phillippe ... Sebastian Valmont
Reese Witherspoon ... Annette Hargrove
Selma Blair ... Cecile Caldwell
Louise Fletcher ... Helen Rosemond
Joshua Jackson ... Blaine Tuttle
Eric Mabius ... Greg McConnell
Sean Patrick Thomas ... Ronald Clifford
Swoosie Kurtz ... Dr. Greenbaum
Christine Baranski ... Bunny Caldwell
Alaina Reed-Hall ... Nurse (as Alaina Reed Hall)
Deborah Offner ... Mrs. Michalak
Tara Reid ... Marci Greenbaum
Herta Ware Herta Ware ... Mrs. Sugarman
Hiep Thi Le ... Mai-Lee
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Storyline

Kathryn Merteuil and Sebastian Valmont are seductive, manipulative step-siblings who get what they want when they want it. Kathryn makes a bet with Sebastian: Sebastian must bed Annette, daughter of the headmaster at their school, before the end of summer break. Annette has stated that she would wait until love and marriage to sleep with a man. If Kathryn wins, she gets Sebastian's vintage 1959 Jaguar Roadster. If Sebastian wins, he gets Kathryn, the only girl he knows he'll never have. Also in play is Cecile, a naïve girl whose mother had enlisted Kathryn to help her fit in at her new school. However, Kathryn (with Sebastian's help) plans to ruin Cecile's reputation as revenge on Kat's ex-boyfriend, who left her for Cecile.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the game of seduction and betrayal, how far will you go? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual dialogue and sexual situations involving teens, language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Vietnamese | French

Release Date:

5 March 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cruel Inventions See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,020,565, 7 March 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$38,328,567

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$75,902,208
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The movie was originally called "Cruel Inventions", but test audiences thought that made it sound like a science fiction film, so the name changed before it was released. See more »

Goofs

When they are in the New York Subway, we can see a Los Angeles Metro train in the background. See more »

Quotes

Sebastian: Night Sweetpea.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the Italian version the kiss between Kathryn and Cecile is censored: the second try Kathryn makes to teach Cecile french kissing is cut; she takes off the sunglasses, but in the next scene she has them on again. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: To Josh, With Love. (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Comin' Up From Behind
Written by Sherry Fraser
Performed by Marcy Playground
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Published by WB Music Corp./Porcelain Throne
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

They're old enough to know better and too young to care!
21 February 2002 | by Old JoeSee all my reviews

I have recently been seeing a psychiatrist about a few troubles. In one of his sessions, he bought up about the movie Cruel Intentions, which I absolutely loved. He said he loved the start of the movie where the evil Sebastian says to the Psychologist `You have beautiful legs, I would love to photograph them'. This then sets the tone for one of the best teen films that the world has seen. Based on the movie Dangerous Liaisons, Cruel Intentions goes down as one of my top five favourite films of all-time.

A sex-obsessed rich boy Sebastian sets out to win his greatest "conquest" - a girl who has proclaimed in a Teen magazine that she will wait until marriage to lose her virginity. The teen is egged on by his sister, Catherine, an evil scheming girl in her own right. The two have a wager on whether Sebastian can achieve his conquest. If he wins, he gets a night of bliss with his stepsister, if she wins, she keeps his most prided possession, his Jaguar convertible!

Well this is a brilliant backstabbing, bitchy, love and hate war movie. I cannot remember a movie like it in my time. The theme of the movie was priceless. Having two rich hobnob kids toying with various people's emotions in their neighborhood was just great. In fact it is not at all silly to think that this does not happen in real life, because if you don't believe that then you are very naïve.

There are many people who need to be praised for this classic movie. Director Roger Kumble did a great job in bringing this movie to our screens. He added so many little `steamy' pieces to this movie that it was never going to fail. Then you have the producer Neal H. Moritz who also allowed this film to shine. He gave this film all the right production touches, which I can only praise.

Then you have the wonderful cast that was assembled for Cruel Intentions. The main star for this film would have to be the gorgeous Sarah Michelle Gellar. She was outstanding as the horrible Catherine. Her character while at times was extremely hard to like, she was almost too hard to not want to like. I mean she was every guy's fantasy. Sexually liberated (and not afraid to admit it), then all she wanted to do is screw up all her enemies at the same time. Then you have the patronising and ‘stud man' Sebastian, played by Hollywood hunk Ryan Philippe. His performance in this film was also first class. I thought his character was a lot more likable then Catherine's, but you could sometimes want to strangle him for the way he screws with people, just like his stepsister does, and then still seemingly gets more women dying to be with him.

Other cast members just help to make this film an extraordinary viewing experience. Reese Witherspoon is fantastic as the pure and innocent, Annette. She helps to balance the sour bitchy side of the cast, with her friendly almost sickening goody goody side. I am looking forward to seeing Witherspoon in the comedy, Legally Blonde, directed by new Australian director Robert Luketic. Selma Blair was also very good in her role as the dumb and very naïve Cecil. The kissing scene that she has with Gellar was one of the highlights of the film, with the kiss being voted the best onscreen kiss a few years ago.

Then this film has another great side to it, that of the soundtrack. It has so many great songs on it. Placebos tune `Every me, Every you' helps start this movie off, then you get songs such as Colorblind by Counting Crows and the classy, Bitter Sweet Symphony, by the Verve. This would have to be one of the world's most popular soundtracks from where I view it.

In conclusion, Cruel Intentions is a film I can say I love and that I can learn from. People in real life do use people and do hurt them. I know this because I was involved in such a scenario not so long ago. Nothing was ever happy until it was a fight and scrag. I will go as far to admit that I was confronted with a real life Catherine, a person who was such a goody goody on the outside, but the real person on the inside is a person that loves to cause trouble and will go out of her way to do it. Anyone who is like that is a real low-life in my view. Get swept up in the nasty love triangle, ‘Cruel Intentions'!

Rating: 5 Stars or 10/10


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