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Cruel Intentions (1999)

R | | Drama, Romance | 5 March 1999 (USA)
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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
1,157 ( 223)
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:

What you can't have, you can't resist. 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 film was shot in a six week period. See more »

Goofs

When Sebastian drives home after going to lunch with Clorissa, he makes a U-turn which forces the taxis behind to stop. However, they start honking when his car goes right - this was obviously planned because there was no reason to assume he would U-turn. See more »

Quotes

Blaine Tuttle: Now, just think for a minute. This girl... Annette Hargrove, she said someone wrote her a letter explaining all about you. Where did you say she was from?
Sebastian: Kansas. Who the hell do I know in Kansas?
Blaine Tuttle: Greg McConnell.
Sebastian: The football stud?
Blaine Tuttle: Mm hm. He's from Kansas City. I wouldn't be surprised if he was your rat.
Sebastian: It would make sense... McConnell hates me. I fingered his girlfriend at Homecoming last year.
Blaine Tuttle: I... don't think that bothered him so much.
Sebastian: What do you mean?
Blaine Tuttle: Well, let's just say that Greg likes ...
[...]
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 State of Play: Episode #1.4 (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Ordinary Life
Written by Kristen Barry
Performed by Kristen Barry
Courtesy of Virgin Records America Inc.
Published by EMI Virgin Music Inc./Luleil Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Clever, witty and very sensual
2 May 2010 | by BernardoLimaSee all my reviews

In this film wealthy prep school student Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) bets her stepbrother Sebastian (Ryan Phillipe) that he can't deflower the virginal Annette (Reese Witherspoon) before the school year begins. If he fails to accomplish this task, Kathryn gets his Jaguar Roadster; if he succeeds, he gets an evening of pleasure with Kathryn.

I just finished watching Cruel Intentions and what a pleasant surprise this film turned out to be. I guess the best way to describe it is as a sexy and seductive thriller. The film is very clever and bold but above all, extremely engaging and entertaining. Dealing with this kind of subject...making this kind of film...it's definitely not easy. Usually these kind of films come off somewhat "fake" and lame; corny, whatever you want to call it. Thankfully, Cruel Intentions went the other way, probably thanks to the witty and sharp dialogue and a very good direction.

Ryan Phillippe delivered a terrific performance and so did Reese Witherspoon. I was actually a bit disappointed with Sarah Michelle Gellar, her acting was not very convincing at times to say the least but honestly, the story is so engaging that I was able to overlook that flaw. Another aspect that really took me by surprise was the musical score. Cruel Intentions has one of the best soundtracks I have ever seen in films. There's some great well known songs like Skunk Anansie's "secretly" and Placebo's "every me and every you", but there's also some fast paced instrumental tracks throughout the film that really compliment the scenes. Overall, a great watch and so much more then a teen film.

7.5/10


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