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
1,154 ( 244)
8 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:

Everyone does it...but nobody talks about it. 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Production designer Jon Gary Steele had it so that all of the locations they were permitted to paint were painted in dark colors. "I see the movie as very much a tragedy," Steele said in the film's production notes. "Since we were using a young cast, I didn't want it to feel like a young, bright teen film, because it's not. It's very tragic; everyone basically loses." See more »

Goofs

Blaine's pile of marijuana changes size between shots. See more »

Quotes

[on Greg being gay]
Blaine Tuttle: He used to sneak into my dorm room drunk every night. We'd go at it for a little while, and then, as soon as he'd come, he'd start freaking out. "What are you doing, man? I'm not a fag. If you tell anybody, I'm gonna kick your ass!" God. The only reason I let him keep up the charade is because the man's got a mouth like a HOOVER, Ooooof!
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Alternate Versions

In the basic cable version, the scence where Kathrine is telling Bunny about the letters Cecil has recieved from Ronald, the sales woman ask Kathrine if she'll be taking the dress she was looking at when Ms. Caldwell first come into the store, Kathrine says yes, then pulls out her wallet and tells the sales lady that she has forgotten her credit card, Bunny hands the sales lady her card and tells Kathrine it's the least she could do for telling her about Cecil and Ronald. The scene where Kathrine and Sebastian pull Ronald in to talk to them she's wearing the dress. See more »

Connections

References Higher Learning (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Secretly
Written by Skin and Len Arran
Performed by Skunk Anansie
Courtesy of Virgin Records Limited
Published by Chrysalis Music
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User Reviews

Clever, witty and very sensual
2 May 2010 | by imdbblSee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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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

Gross USA:

$38,773,785

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$76,347,426
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS (Digital DTS Sound)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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