7.7/10
55,754
147 user 52 critic

Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

A scheming widow and her manipulative ex-lover make a bet regarding the corruption of a recently married woman.

Director:

Writers:

(play), (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,835 ( 463)

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Won 3 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Georges
Valerie Gogan ...
Julie
Laura Benson ...
Joanna Pavlis ...
Adèle
Nicholas Hawtrey ...
Major-domo
Paulo Abel Do Nascimento ...
Castrato
François Lalande ...
Curé
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Storyline

In 18th century France, the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont play a dangerous game of seduction. Valmont is someone who measures success by the number of his conquests and Merteuil challenges him to seduce the soon to be married Cecile de Volanges and provide proof in writing of his success. His reward for doing so will be to spend the night with Merteuil. He has little difficulty seducing Cecile but what he really wants is to seduce Madame de Tourvel. When Merteuil learns that he has actually fallen in love with her, she refuses to let him claim his reward for seducing Cecile. Death soon follows. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Lust. Seduction. Revenge. The Game As You've Never Seen It Played Before.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

24 February 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Relaciones peligrosas  »

Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$34,700,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Malkovich, who played the Vicomte de Valmont, directed a 2012 French-language production of the Christopher Hampton play for the Parisian company Théâtre de l'Atelier. When it later toured the U.S., it was presented in French, with English supertitles (even thought Hampton wrote his play in English). See more »

Goofs

In Madame de Rosemonde's garden, Valmont sits behind Madame de Tourvel and asks "Why are you so angry with me?" The camera then cuts to a close-up of Tourvel's face, and Valmont is sitting much closer behind her. See more »

Quotes

[Cécile is startled by a sudden noise, Valmont gets up to investigate]
Vicomte de Valmont: It's only the wind.
[Cécile is gasping]
Vicomte de Valmont: Where are you? It's nothing to be frightened about.
Cécile de Volanges: Yes there is. I'm bleeding!
See more »

Connections

Version of Les liaisons dangereuses (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Ombra mai fu
(from opera "Serse")
Written by George Frideric Handel (as Georg Friedrich Händel)
Performed by Paulo Abel Do Nascimento sopranista
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive.
24 July 2000 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

You wouldn't necessarily think that an adaptation of an albeit famous 17th century French novel would make a relevant and fascinating piece of cinema... but it does.

The first thing that strikes you is how well the film is lit and shot. The period locations and costumes are visually sumptuous and perfect. Better yet, the acting entirely matches the skill of the direction that takes its method from the theatre - emotions are conveyed by expression and not dialogue. Glenn Close gives her best performance on celluloid as the scheming Madame de Merteuil, amorally hellbent on bending everyone to her will, no matter the method or the cost, and John Malkovitch is her perfect foil as the cynical hedonistic but world-weary Valmont. Michelle Pfeiffer engages our empathy as the tortured and manipulated target of Malkovitch's desire and Close's plotting.

The film is basically a morality tale, but one that fascinates in its exposure of ego, vanity, intrigue and the war between the genders, subjects that are timeless in their relevance, despite the period setting. The storyline, which sticks faithfully to the original novel, remains compelling throughout as we watch deceits within deceits take their tragic course. Whole-heartedly recommended - take your time over it, and enjoy.


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