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Cruel Intentions (1999)

R | | Drama, Romance | 5 March 1999 (USA)
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.

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7 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Herta Ware ...
Mrs. Sugarman
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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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

5 March 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cruel Inventions  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$13,020,565 (USA) (5 March 1999)

Gross:

$38,201,895 (USA) (30 July 1999)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Columbia Pictures wanted Katie Holmes to play Annette, but Roger Kumble didn't think she had enough strength of character for the role. Ryan Phillippe was already signed on as Sebastian when Kumble asked about his girlfriend, Reese Witherspoon. "So, basically, we took Reese out to dinner to get her drunk, and we ended up getting drunk," Kumble revealed in 2014. "And I literally got down on my knees and begged her: 'Please, it'll be 15 days, you'll be great.'" Witherspoon agreed. See more »

Goofs

In the closing scene Kathryn looks up at the students after skimming through the pages of Sebastian's journal and they are all looking at her. They are all standing in a shaded area with absolutely no sunlight on them. Just a second later there's a closeup shot of one of the same students and there's sunlight on his face. See more »

Quotes

Kathryn: [referring to Annette] She's really getting to you, isn't she?
Sebastian: If you must know, yes. I can't stand that holier-than-thou bullshit, and yet, I'm completely infatuated with her.
[pauses]
Sebastian: She made me laugh.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Scary Movie (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Bittersweet Symphony
Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
Lyrics by Richard Ashcroft
Performed by The Verve
Worldwide copyright owner ABKCO Music Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A fantastic update about the rules of seduction
14 August 2001 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

Cruel Intentions was my favorite movie when I was 14, to me it was everything I just wanted to be as a teen, despite how cruel and manipulative Katheryn was, I thought she was the coolest and strongest female character I'd ever seen on film. Now a couple years afterwards I read the book and saw the original Dangerous Liasons with John Malkovich and Glenn Close, I still very much enjoy Cruel Intentions. Like I said, this was just a terrific updated version of the ultimate story of love and betrayal, it was a little Dawson's Creek at times, but from what angle they went at, it was understandable. It had the biggest stars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillipe, Reese Withersppon, Tara Reid, Joshua Jackson, and Selma Blair. May I say they gave extremely impressive performances, but the best without a doubt goes to Sarah Michelle Gellar, she was just ultimately brilliant as Kathryn Muertiel, the cruelist girl in school who's goal isn't to be the most popular, but to dominate everyone's innocence.

Kathryn and Sebastion are step brother and sister, they have a partnership together to work the school into a total wave of turning the most innocent into the most corrupted. They also have a love for each other, but Kathryn is the only girl Sebastian can't have, it kills him and she teases him constantly over it. Kathryn asks Sebastian if he could help her corrupt the girl that took her boyfriend, Cecil, a naive young girl who is under Kathryn's wing, but isn't aware of her intentions. But the plot thickens when Kathryn finds out that Cecil is in love with her black music teacher which her mother wouldn't like very much. Then Sebastian finds a girl, Annette, who believes that people shouldn't experience the act of love until they are in love. He and Kathryn make a bet while he seduces Cecil, that if he can corrupt Annette, he gets to bed Kathryn. But there's one problem, he might be in over his head when he starts to fall in love with Annette.

Cruel Intentions is a great movie with good, strong performances. For what might have been a typical teen movie, this was just a good idea on where the director made decisions on how to make the story real. It's very romantic, heart breaking, and even has it's dark comedic moments for a little breath of air. I will always recommend this film to anyone, it's a great story. I would also highly recommend to watch Dangerous Liasons along with Cruel Intentions, so you have a little bit of a different variety. You'll find yourself a bit seduced with these movies.

9/10


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