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Cruel Intentions (1999)

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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)
Reviews
Popularity
1,100 ( 81)
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, There is only one rule: Never fall in love 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

Swoosie Kurtz also appeared in Dangerous Liaisons (1988) which, like this film, is based on the Choderlos de Laclos novel "Les Liaisons Dangereuses". See more »

Goofs

Cecile's cello teacher says "OK now let's try the G major scale. Once again. And remember, the 3rd note is sharp". The G major scale is G-A-B-C-D-E-F#-G and the 3rd note is not sharp (#). See more »

Quotes

Sebastian: Read this.
[puts down a copy of "seventeen" magazine on the table]
Kathryn: I know how to alleviate menstrual cramps, thank you very much.
See more »

Connections

References Spartacus (1960) 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

See more »

User Reviews

 
Has some redeeming qualities, but I don't recommend this one
12 February 2000 | by XophianicSee all my reviews

The main reason I wanted to see this one is because I am a big SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR fan. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER is one of my all-time favorite shoes. I also rather like REESE WITHERSPOON and a few of the other actors in this movie. The plot also seemed original and interesting, and of course there was no hiding the sexy scenes that seemed like it would add to the plot. It turns out this movie is just a collection of these scenes, with a seemingly original, but actually predictable, plot to hold them together.

Kathryn Merteuil (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillippe) are two victims of bad parenting. They are two rich stepchildren who enjoy making other students miserable. Kathryn, with a reputation as the perfect student, often uses others to ruin people's lives. Sebastian, who has a very nasty reputation that he is proud of, prefers to do the work himself. He finds an attractive girl, charms her over, sleeps with her, and finally ruining her reputation. Kathryn has set her sights on the ditsy Cecile Caldwell (Selma Blair), while Sebastian goes for the great challenge of seducing and ruining the all-American, virgin, goody-goody Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon). Sebastian has a bet with Kathryn that he can win Annette over. If she wins, she gets his Jaguar. If he wins, she gets to sleep with her.

The plot, in writing, sounds fairly original. This is really just a shield. In truth, this movie is a mixture of two things. One is a predictable love story. The other is a bunch of scenes intended to turn on the teenagers who watch it, and get them to watch it over and over. I am a teenager, and I had no real desire to watch this movie again afterwards.

The acting is about even. Sarah Michelle Gellar does an excellent job as the scheming, evil rich-b***h. Reese Witherspoon did a pretty good job, but her character was not especially interesting. Joshua Jackson and Selma Blair are extremely annoying in this movie, which is good because it is what they are meant to be. Blair did better than Jackson, for the record. Ryan Phillippe did OK, but I really didn't buy his evil rich-guy character. The characters in this movie aren't anything great. This is probably because the two main characters are rich mean people, which most viewers can't relate to or enjoy much. The target audience is obviously teens, but these people, although cute, probably remind them too much of students they hate. Witherspoon's character is a little 2D, mostly because she was underplayed and the two main characters were overplayed. Blair's character is pretty fun.

The movie is very predictable. I had the entire movie figured out by the previews, and my theory (which was correct) didn't change at all watching this movie. There is only one part I didn't see coming, which happens near the end. The ending of this movie is the best part, even though I saw it coming since the beginning.

If you feel like getting drunk and watching a movie with college buds so you can drool and howl at the TV, this movie is a good choice. Most teenagers would probably enjoy it too, especially fans of the actors, but I can't say I recommend this one.


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