7.6/10
60,402
151 user 56 critic

Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

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

Director:

Stephen Frears

Writers:

Christopher Hampton (play), Choderlos de Laclos (novel) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
2,634 ( 494)

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL
Won 3 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Valmont (1989)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

France before 1789: When a widow hears that her lover is to marry her cousin's daughter, she asks the playboy Valmont to take the girl's virginity. But first she bets him, with her body as prize, to seduce a virtuous, young, married woman.

Director: Milos Forman
Stars: Colin Firth, Annette Bening, Meg Tilly
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The lives of two struggling musicians, who happen to be brothers, inevitably change when they team up with a beautiful, up-and-coming singer.

Director: Steve Kloves
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Michelle Pfeiffer, Beau Bridges
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Young lovers Hero and Claudio, soon to wed, conspire to get verbal sparring partners and confirmed singles Benedick and Beatrice to wed as well.

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Keanu Reeves
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A tale of nineteenth-century New York high society in which a young lawyer falls in love with a woman separated from her husband, while he is engaged to the woman's cousin.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A married man's one-night stand comes back to haunt him when that lover begins to stalk him and his family.

Director: Adrian Lyne
Stars: Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The centuries old vampire Count Dracula comes to England to seduce his barrister Jonathan Harker's fiancée Mina Murray and inflict havoc in the foreign land.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An ex-Marine turned teacher struggles to connect with her students in an inner city school.

Director: John N. Smith
Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, George Dzundza, Courtney B. Vance
Love Field (1992)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When a woman enrout to JFK's funeral befriends a black man's daughter, they experience numerous revelations and hardships.

Director: Jonathan Kaplan
Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, Dennis Haysbert, Stephanie McFadden
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A married soldier returning from World War II poses as a pregnant woman's husband to save her from her father's anger and honor.

Director: Alfonso Arau
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Anthony Quinn
Working Girl (1988)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a secretary's idea is stolen by her boss, she seizes an opportunity to steal it back by pretending she has her boss' job.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver
Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Three single women in a picturesque village have their wishes granted, at a cost, when a mysterious and flamboyant man arrives in their lives.

Director: George Miller
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Cher, Susan Sarandon
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Johnny has just been released from prison, and gets a job in a café beside waitress Frankie. Frankie is a bit of a loner, but Johnny is determined their romance will blossom.

Director: Garry Marshall
Stars: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hector Elizondo
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Glenn Close ... Marquise de Merteuil
John Malkovich ... Vicomte de Valmont
Michelle Pfeiffer ... Madame de Tourvel
Swoosie Kurtz ... Madame de Volanges
Keanu Reeves ... Chevalier Danceny
Mildred Natwick ... Madame de Rosemonde
Uma Thurman ... Cécile de Volanges
Peter Capaldi ... Azolan
Joe Sheridan ... Georges
Valerie Gogan Valerie Gogan ... Julie
Laura Benson ... Emilie
Joanna Pavlis Joanna Pavlis ... Adèle
Nicholas Hawtrey Nicholas Hawtrey ... Major-domo
Paulo Abel Do Nascimento Paulo Abel Do Nascimento ... Castrato
François Lalande François Lalande ... Curé
Edit

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 February 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Relaciones peligrosas See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$34,700,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Glenn Close and Swoosie Kurtz previously appeared in The World According to Garp (1982). 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

Marquise de Merteuil: When one woman strikes at the heart of another she seldom misses, and the wound is invariably fatal.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.67 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

La Cetra Op. 9, Concerto No. 9
Composed by Antonio Vivaldi
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A lavish and superbly cruel film that easily engages with a strong story, great characters and strong performances
13 February 2006 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

The Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil is a harsh and cold woman who views other women as her rivals as clearly as she holds them publicly close as friends. Victomte Sebastien de Valmont is equally out for the destruction of women but does so by seducing and destroying them. Merteuil turns to Valmont to seduce the chaste Cecile de Volanges, thus destroying her marriage but Valmont cannot help and feel that it is all too easy and instead wagers sex with Merteuil against him being able to seduce the notoriously moral Marie de Tourvel.

While children flock to the infinitely inferior Cruel Intentions, the viewer of more discerning taste will always stick with this classy, rich and enjoyable version of Dangerous Liaisons. The plot can be summarised simply but has several strong threads running together to create an involving game of seduction and cruelty. The say the film is nasty and cruel is to perhaps not stress highly enough how enjoyable it is for being so; it is done with such a taste for it that it makes it engaging while also being repulsive in the depths the games go to. It develops very satisfyingly and I easily found myself drawn into it. It is to the credit of Hampton's script that I found the characters both horrible but yet also engaging – unlike Cruel Intentions where I just hated their vacuous selfishness and couldn't barely bring myself to care about them enough to even dislike them. No, with DL the characters are much stronger and much more appealing while simultaneously managing to be cruel and repulsive.

The cast rise to the material and I'm hard pressed to think of a similarly starry cast where all involved turn in such rich performances. Close is maybe not the most obvious of roles but she is all the better for it, turning in one of the most deliciously scheming and cruel characters I can recall seeing. With the excesses it is to her credit that she is so subtle and restrained for the majority. Malkovich has more fun with a showier character and makes it look easy where really it is challenging to play such an anti-hero and keep the audience onside while also pushing them away. Although these two make up the majority of the film, the smaller roles are also very well filled. Pfeiffer is brilliant; Thurman gets the mix of innocence and sexuality just right and Reeves is, well, not rubbish. I refrain from giving any credit to Kurtz simply because I think she lost whatever she was due by appearing in the same role in the MTV remake. Frears' direction is great and he makes good use of close-ups and other reoccurring techniques; he is well supported by his costume and set designers who combine to produce a tangible sense of time and place that is befitting the lavish feel of the whole film.

Overall this is a fine film that is driven by so many factors that it is hard to pin down just one. The script is well written and produces an engaging and tasty plot for adults to get into. The characters are both engaging and repulsive and are well delivered by a cast that give roundly strong performances. All this comes together to produce a fantastically cruel film that just shows how poor Cruel Intentions was and what an insult to the intelligence it is.


8 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 151 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows to Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse all our free movies and TV series

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed