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Ohtlikud armusuhted (1988) online

Ohtlikud armusuhted (1988) online
Original Title :
Dangerous Liaisons
Genre :
Movie / Drama / Romance
Year :
Directror :
Stephen Frears
Cast :
Glenn Close,John Malkovich,Michelle Pfeiffer
Writer :
Christopher Hampton,Choderlos de Laclos
Budget :
Type :
Time :
1h 59min
Rating :
Ohtlikud armusuhted (1988) online

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Red - Eriti ohtlikud agendid". Afrikaans: John Malkovich. لعربية: جون مالكوفيتش. asturianu: John Malkovich. Bahasa Indonesia: John Malkovich.

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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.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Glenn Close Glenn Close - Marquise de Merteuil
John Malkovich John Malkovich - Vicomte de Valmont
Michelle Pfeiffer Michelle Pfeiffer - Madame de Tourvel
Swoosie Kurtz Swoosie Kurtz - Madame de Volanges
Keanu Reeves Keanu Reeves - Chevalier Danceny
Mildred Natwick Mildred Natwick - Madame de Rosemonde
Uma Thurman Uma Thurman - Cécile de Volanges
Peter Capaldi Peter Capaldi - Azolan
Joe Sheridan Joe Sheridan - Georges
Valerie Gogan Valerie Gogan - Julie
Laura Benson 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

When the novel "Les Liaisons dangereuses" by Choderlos de Laclos was first published in 1782, it was considered so scandalous, that when Queen Marie Antoinette commissioned a copy for her personal library, she had to have it bound in a blank cover, so that no-one would recognize the author's name or title.

Alan Rickman made the role of Valmont famous in London and on Broadway. However, filmmakers wanted to cast an established actor in the role, so Rickman wasn't even considered. Rickman ended up making his Hollywood debut as Hans Gruber in Die Hard (1988) instead.

Michelle Pfeiffer was offered the role of the Marquise de Merteuil in Valmont (1989), but she chose to play Mme. de Tourvel in this film instead.

Drew Barrymore was screentested, and came close to getting the role of Cécile.

Director Stephen Frears and Screenwriter Christopher Hampton were so taken upon meeting Mildred Natwick, they hadn't realized that they'd forgotten to offer her the part of Valmont's aunt, until after they'd parted company.

Annette Bening was considered for the role of the Marquise de Merteuil and ended up playing that role in the film Valmont (1989).

All of the principal characters are portrayed by American actors.

Sarah Jessica Parker was originally offered the role of Cécile, but turned it down.

Glenn Close was unavailable until midway through filming, due to having just given birth to her daughter.

Madonna wore one of Glenn Close's costumes from the film at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards during her eighteenth-century themed performance of "Vogue".

Mildred Natwick's final film.

Swoosie Kurtz also appears in the updated version of Laclos' novel, Жестокие игры (1999).

The film was rushed into production at the insistence of the producers and the studio to beat the competing Valmont (1989) to theaters.

Due to budget constraints, some of the costumes were made using sari fabric and (technically anachronistic) prints by Scalamandre. Lace trims dating from the Victorian and Edwardian eras were also used.

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).

The only film that year nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and not in any Best Motion Picture category at the Golden Globes.

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.

The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to be also nominated for Best Costume Design.

Not only do Michelle Pfeiffer (Madame de Tourvel) and Uma Thurman (Cécile de Volanges) share the same birthday - April 29th - but the two would go on to play Batman villains. Pfeiffer played Catwoman in Batman Returns (1992), and Thurman played Poison Ivy in Batman & Robin (1997).

The original Broadway production of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" by Christopher Hampton opened at the Music Box Theater in New York City on August 30, 1987, ran for 149 performances and was nominated for the 1987 Tony Award (New York City) for the Best Play.

Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 400 movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.

The film cast includes one Oscar winner: Peter Capaldi; and five Oscar nominees: Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, Uma Thurman, and Mildred Natwick.

Glenn Close and John Malkovich would work again with Stephen Frears in Мэри Райли (1996).

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

Uma Thurman and Keanu Reeves also appear in Даже девушки-ковбои иногда грустят (1993).

Michelle Pfeiffer would work again with Stephen Frears in Дорогуша (2009).

John Malkovich and Uma Thurman would later appear in Дженнифер 8 (1992).

Many actors and actresses from the cast appeared in several films with Jason Robards, Jr.: Swoosie Kurtz was in Bright Lights, Big City (1988), Keanu Reeves in Parenthood (1989), Glenn Close in Газета (1994), and Michelle Pfeiffer was in Тысяча акров (1997).

Glenn Close came up with her character's final scene. When Frears gave her the line in the text about the character: "her soul was on her face," Close thought for a minute and stated: "I know how to show that."

A scene was shot with Glenn Close's character facing the guillotine, but it was discarded.

User 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.


"Dangerous Liaisons" is this incredible movie that is so under rated. It's the battle of the sexes and this book was written over 200 years ago! I love to know that there was this same problem that we still have to this day. That's why enjoyed "Dangerous Liaisons" so much because it proves that we have so many differences from the opposite sexes. Men are usually expected to have sex and with a few clever words destroy women's reputations in minutes, while women have to be careful of sleeping with whom, because it's considered shameful.

Glenn Close plays Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil, a proper lady with a secretive double life of sex and wishing to destroy a girl's reputation for revenge on her ex for dumping her for this young lady. She also makes a bet with her closest friend, Vicomte Sébastien de Valmont played by John Malkovich, that he could not bed a lady of such high stature and morals, in return if he succeeds, he will finally have the conquest he's been dreaming of, bedding Marquise Isabelle. I don't care what people say, this was Glenn's best performance and she was so brilliant. Her speech of "Dominate your sex and avenge my own" was perfect and as a woman I rooted for her in the story. She is a tragic figure that was over looked by many as just another slut. Glenn had my sympathy and I agreed with a lot of her dialog.

John as Valmont was absolutely perfect, he's not that sexy looking but has such charm and charisma on the screen you believe him as a lady's man. "It's beyond my control", he repeats this several times throughout the film and it becomes more darker each and every time he says it to Michelle's character. He does the Marquise a favor of bedding young Cecile to help the Marquise's plan of revenge and does such a good job. It was almost too easy for him, but he has a more difficult task of bedding Madame Marie de Tourvel who is married and has very high morals and standards of God and love. He falls in love with her in the process of getting to know her and is so believable, you can see how it breaks his heart to break her's. But he feels he must stand by his reputation and your own heart goes out to him despite his cruel manors as a "man".

Michelle Pfeiffer as Marie de Tourvel is so beautiful and elegant and is the only one who knows of Valmont's true side. But she cannot help but fall for his charm and love for her, when she talks to his aunt, this is one of the most true speeches ever in cinema that all women can relate too "I'm sorry to say this but those who are most worthy of love are never made happy by it. Do you still think men love the way we do? No... men enjoy the happiness they feel. We can only enjoy the happiness we give. They are not capable of devoting themselves exclusively to one person. So to hope to be made happy by love is a certain cause of grief." That is so incredibly and painfully true that Marie knows better but can't help but give herself to Valmont.

Swoosie Kurtz, Uma Thurman, and Mildred Natwick are all so exceptional and amazing as well in the film. They truly bring the story to life and keep it going with their dialog and actions. Keanu? Shudder, his acting is like... how do I put this delicately? I think it's... wood. :) Otherwise, trust me this is one of the best movies of all time. This deserves higher than a 7.6 and should be in the top 250. But it's beyond my control. :D



The Age of Enlightment gave to the world some pretty controversial minds. At one end of the spectrum there was the Marquis de Sade who, no secret to anyone, created the concept that is now known as sadism. At the other end there is Choderlos de Laclos, who is widely known for creating this story which in essence is very close to Sade's dark heart even when it never reaches the extremes of his florid depictions of ritualistic, sexual perversion.

DANGEROUS LIAISONS, based on the novel "Les Liaisons Dangereuses", is this tale, Laclos' most known, adapted many times for television and screen, but never like this with such attention to detail to make it as French as possible, and bringing a classical sensibility to the front. Stephen Frears, in his American film debut, creates a lush visage of restrained yet swooning passions, icy stares, and hushed, measured speeches against the backdrop of the Ile-de-France and should have been the film of the year had it not been for the usual sentimentalism prevalent during the 1980's which gave the major awards to RAINMAN, a film centered around autism that, while delicate as a subject matter was hardly dramatic and today is barely memorable.

On the other hand, this story is. The dark comedy that pins two bored aristocrats against each other as they play God with other people's lives without realizing the devastating consequences that will result from this has been the stuff of legend and allure. Glenn Close, John Malkovich, and Michelle Pfeiffer all are beyond awards in their exacting and multidimensional portrayals of three very different people caught in a web of deceit. However the star of this adaptation has to be Christopher Hampton who immortalizes Laclos' vision in a subtle, yet powerful story filled with subtext and restrained cruelty. He's the one who suggests pages about his characters, most tellingly of the Marquis de Merteuil in three key scenes: in the first, opening sequence (which she also shares with the Vicomte de Valmont), she admires her reflection in a mirror with a smug expression akin to the Mona Lisa. She is in control and about to go through with her activities. She is dressed into an orgy of corsets and fabric, looking directly into the camera -- the Vicomte does the same as he is dressed -- which sets their characters' tones. They are mirror images of one another, each in their gender. Both are apparently, in full control.

The second telling revelation of the Marquise is when she arrives to the Volanges' to give advice to Cecile about virtue. You can see how she has her Mona Lisa smile on, which as soon as she gets off her carriage turns to a rictus of anguish. Cut to her later saying about shame: "You find the shame is like the pain. You only feel it once." As her head rests against a window you may see her eyes briefly moisten. Her expression is, however, blank, but very deep and expressive. It's the first time she cracks open the door to her inner face, but just a little and only for a second, but what a second! The last time Hampton describes Merteuil is in a scene which mirrors the first scene: watch how again, she looks at herself in her mirror. Her traps have been discovered and she faces her own self and uncertain future, having destroyed everyone around her and being left alone. It's the calm right before the taking of the Bastille, hence why the timing of the story has to be in the Eighteenth Century, right before the French Revolution. And in being so revealing while using expressions, Hampton creates the internal dialog that was the driving force behind the epistolary nature of the novel. His rendition of the Madame de Tourvel and Valmont are no less complex. Michelle Pfieffer, with minimal dialog and her wide, doe eyes, is given a rewarding role that explodes during her face-off with Malkovich when her character is betrayed. Their physicality skirts with sadism and sets the stage for Valmont's own internal pain as he faces his own mortality, since he has been led to destroy the one he loves, and for a promise and nothing else.

It's been no mystery that films that lose to other, "of the moment" films become timeless and the stuff that makes movie magic. DANGEROUS LIAISONS, nearly twenty years later, still bites, especially when from a light comedy it becomes this horrific monster staring at us from the abyss, more so because of the exquisite cruelty that we cause to others in the name of reputation and vanity. And in that, the Marquise is right: vanity and love are incompatible. Just look at Valmont and you will see why.


This movie is elegant. The performances are magnificent. John Malkovich is totally believable as the sector that destroys the life of countless naive women. Glenn Close is amazing as one of the greatest "bitches" of the story of cinema. Michelle Pfeiffer and Keanu Reeves gave their best performances ever and Uma Thurman is amazing with a tremendous mix of innocence and sexuality. The script and the direction really made an amazing job giving an environment of sickness and degradation. The makeup and the beautiful costumes only aggregate the force that the story needed to be told. An amazing movie you really wish to enter in that snake's nest. Highly recommended.


This movie is so incredibly well done, and all three lead characters are at their peak career performances. It is clever, funny, and tragic all rolled together, and one that you will be thinking about long after the movie is over. Of the three main characters, Michelle Pfeiffer has the least stretching to do as an actor, but her character calls for a demure, soft-spoken individual. John Malkovitch and Glenn Close are both deliciously malicious and carry the film well. Keanu Reeves is better suited for an action film - he appears wooden - but does a decent job, anyway. Lastly, Uma is refreshing and captivating, and plays opposite John Malkovitch without losing her identity. All in all, masterful, and visually and intellectually stimulating to watch. Still to this day it holds its' own in a world where action is the name of the game.


I believe this is the best of the four adaptations of the play/novel Dangerous Liaisons.

Glenn Close plays Mertuil, who, with Malkovich's Valmont, manipulate and seduce others for entertainment. In comes Michelle Pfieffer's beautiful Madame de Tourvel, whose husband is off at a trial (or something to that extent). Valmont realizes what a capture it would be if he were to succeed in seducing her, and making her forget all her vows of fidelity. Uma Thurman also has a smaller part, one of those who was seduced by Valmont.

Uma Thurman is great, Michelle Pfieffer is exquisite, but it's Close and Malkovich who dominate the screen. Close's mercilessly cunning character has most of the great lines. When asked if betrayal is her favourite word, she replies, "No. Cruelty is. It's much more nobler, don't you think". Malkovich plays a Machiavellian character you lies and cheats to get what he wants

The climax is thrilling, and the finale is incredible. Glenn Close's performance was certainly worthy of the Oscar nomination, and maybe the award. It is her best performance.


Stephen Frears directs a top-notch movie adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos' novel about several manipulative Rococo-era French aristocrats. Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil (Glenn Close) is a seductively evil character who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Vicomte Sebastien de Valmont (John Malkovich) knows how to trick the peasants into thinking that he's a good guy, despite his vampiric intentions. Madame Marie de Tourvel (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Le Chevalier Raphael Danceny (Keanu Reeves) may be only products of this vile society, but they are practically helpless to do anything about it. Maybe it's a little strange to see Keanu Reeves in a movie like this, but he makes the best of his role. All in all, "Dangerous Liaisons" is a movie that you can't afford to miss. Perfect.


I loved this movie. Glenn Close was wonderful as usual, John Malkovich (wonderful as the bad guy we all love to hate in every movie) and Michelle were great, and the ending was great although sad. Glenn Close should have won the Oscar, as well as Michelle. Costumes and sets are beautiful. Watch this one if you are in the mood for betrayal, deception and characters that you want to slap.
the monster

the monster

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon.)

This is a tale about the ancien régime in 18th century France before the revolution in which the moral decadence of the privileged classes rivaled that of Sodom and Gomorrah and the ancient Romans. The story comes from a novel by Choderlos de Laclos that was made into a stage play by Christopher Hampton. It is a cynical satire on human sexuality as well as a very subtle examination of sexual hypocrisy and desire, a kind of oh so sophisticated laugh at bourgeois morality that would have delighted Voltaire and Moliere and greatly amused Shakespeare. It is a tale of elaborate lechery and revenge that backfires because it seems that anybody, even the most jagged rake can fall in love, and thereby become the victim.

John Malkovich plays the rake, Vicomte de Valmont, whose sole purpose in life is to seduce women, rob them of their virtue and then move on. Glenn Close plays his back-stabbing confidante and one-time lover, the Marquise de Merteuil. Michelle Pfeiffer plays the coy and virtuous Madame de Tourvel, who is to be Valmont's latest conquest. Uma Thurman is cast as a teenaged ingenue who is betrothed to Merteuil's lover while Keanu Reeves plays her naive music teacher and would be lover, Chevalier Danceny. Stephen Frears, who has directed such diverse films as The Grifters (1990) and My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), after a somewhat cryptic start, does an excellent job of bringing the biting cynicism of Laclos and Hampton to the screen.

I know of two other versions of this film, Milos Forman's Valmont (1989), starring Colin Firth and Annette Bening, and Roger Vadim's Dangerous Liaisons (1960). Regrettably , I haven't seen Vadim's film, but Forman's Valmont is excellent. In polite society comparisons are said to be odious. I shall proceed anyway:

John Malkovich vs. Colin Firth. Malkovich is widely recognized as a great actor, but he is clearly miscast in this role, yet he brings a predatory dimension to the part that is in keeping with the overall psychology of the movie. Firth, while not as celebrated for his acting skills as Malkovich, is nonetheless a fine actor, and his charm and playful inventiveness are more in keeping with the character of Valmont, whom women love. Call it even.

Glenn Close vs. Annette Bening. Again Close is considered the more accomplished actor, but Bening is sexier, prettier and considerably more charming. Whether that is a plus as far as the reality of the novel and play are concerned is debatable. For my part I found Bening a lot more fun to watch. Edge to Bening.

Michelle Pfeiffer vs. Meg Tilly. Pfeiffer is a much bigger star and has more experience as an actress. She is beautiful, but Tilly is more passionate. Pfeiffer was nominated for an academy award for best supporting actress for her work, but did not win. Personally I thought Tilly was more believable and was especially effective in projecting first the repressed passion and then the complete abandonment as she gives herself to Valmont. Pfeiffer's portrayal of Tourvel's coy awakening, with just a hint of duplicity, and then her utter dissolution when he leaves her, was star quality. Edge to Pfeiffer.

Uma Thurman vs. Fairuza Balk. I loved them both. Thurman, of course, is a more statuesque beauty with a polished and controlled acting style, but Balk's wide-eyed innocence was a delight. Call it even.

Keanu Reeves vs. Henry Thomas. Thomas was cute, but almost too juvenile to be believed. Reeves seemed just right for the part. Clear edge to Reeves.

Frears vs. Forman. Frears's direction was more cynical, especially in the duel between Valmont and Merteuil in which their mutual and complementary debauchery is in sharp focus. And his resolution was more clearly defined. Forman's strength was in the delight and playfulness of many of the scenes, especially those relating to the seduction of Tourvel. His direction was more comedic and he allowed a greater development of secondary characters, while Frears concentrated more on the two leads. I give a very small edge to Forman, but would not argue with those preferring Frears.

Bottom line: I liked Forman's movie better, but the voters at IMDb.com preferred Frears's Dangerous Liaisons, giving it an average of 7.7 stars out of ten to 6.7 for Valmont.

Some bon mots:

Valmont tells Madame de Tourvel as he dumps her, "My love had great difficulty outlasting your virtue. It's beyond my control."

Valmont demands that the Marquise de Merteuil reply to his proposal of a night together, will it be love of war? He says, "A single word is all that is required." Long pause, and then she gives him three, "All right. (Pause.

Cut to satisfied smile on Valmont's face.) War."

When Valmont returns from making love to Madame de Tourvel he reveals to Merteuil that for the first time he may be in love. He relates his feelings to her, "I love her. I hate her..." The camera turns to Close, who yawns.

Valmont's aunt while consoling Madame de Tourvel, who has confessed that she is in love with Valmont and can't help herself, says, reflecting the wisdom of all who have been there, "In such matters all advice is useless."

Toward the end, Valmont says, "I have no illusions. I lost them on my travels."


Vicomte de Valmont (John Malkovich) is set out to seduce the virtuous lady Madame de Tourvel (Michelle Pfeiffer) and the young virgin Cecile de Volanges (Uma Thurman), and the mastermind behind these dangerous games is Marquise de Merteuil (Glenn Close), who also manages to seduce Chevalier Danceny (Keanu Reeves), who has fallen in love with Cecile. According to the plan, de Valmont must betray and dump de Tourvel in the end and satisfy de Merteuil's desire for revenge. Watching de Tourvel succumb to her manipulation and suffer is her ultimate pleasure, and as well as Cecile's loss of innocence. Meanwhile, de Valmont has also become a pawn of de Merteuil's and eventually becomes a pitiful victim- he falls in love with de Tourvel, but, when he painfully chooses to carry out his mission, he breaks her heart by saying 'it is beyond my control'. Followed by an untypical ending for a Hollywood film.

The costume design and the set design are fabulous indeed, but the acting is even more superb (except Keanu Reeves- he REALLY couldn't act, why didn't they find someone else?)- Glenn Close was simply stunning and John Malkovich was perfect for his role and he was just so wicked that I wish I was the one being seduced by him! HE WAS (AND STILL IS) HOT. Michelle Pfeiffer was convincing as the broken-hearted de Tourvel and the transformation of Uma Thurman's character- Cecile, is simply amazing. The dialogue is well-written, the direction is good, and the story is just fascinating. Highly recommended. John Malkovich once again impresses me. I also recommend the modern version remake 'Cruel Intentions', which I watched years later after seeing 'Dangerous Liaisons'.


This movie had an extraordinary cast (the incomprehensibly bad Keanu Reeves definitely excluded) which created a movie that still looks great 15 years later. I watched "Cruel Intentions" before "Dangerous Liaisons" and I like both of them, but in a different way. "Cruel Intentions" is a very cool movie mostly intended for the younger generations, simplifying the plot but still maintaining the very essence while "Dangerous Liaisons" puts more importance to the actors performance. Malkovich is amazing, so is Glenn Close and I especially liked the 17 year old Uma Thurman! 8/10


!!!Spoilers aplenty!!!

Since Frears' "Dangerous Liaisons" is set in the time of de Laclos' Text, unlike e.g. "Cruel Intentions," it is important to note that the novel as a thinly disguised attack on the Ancien Regime - hence no redemption is possible, the end in death a necessity.

The narrative relying far more on dialogue than action, I think Stephen Frears made the right choice in not "speeding up" the piece by frequent cutting. The pace at which the cabal develops is leisurely going towards slow, but I think that is advantageous. This is because its very slowness allows us to appreciate the atmosphere in which Merteuil and Valmont plan the ruination of innocents: boredom, really. They have nothing better to do, so destroying others is a pastime to them.

The settings, costumes, and makeup reinforce this atmosphere - they are splendidly done, and one may well talk of oppressive opulence. The opening of the film actually puts costume and make-up to symbolic use; it is inspired: we follow Merteuil and Valmont through their morning toilette, getting dressed and made up, foreshadowing the masquerade they put on and in which they both are actors, but Merteuil is eventually revealed to be the director.

The casting I thought superb. Malkovich is in my opinion perfectly suited to play Valmont precisely because he is not conventionally attractive. The character relies on his powers of manipulation and the occasional subterfuge for his `conquests,' and Malkovich achieves an accomplished embodiment of both - impossible to say no to, with just that necessary element of ruthlessness. There have been complaints that Glenn Close is not attractive enough to be the Marquise, but I disagree. Her character is motivated by a will to control and dominate. As she says herself: `I was born to dominate your sex and to avenge my own' or words to that effect. Her sexuality similarly is not driven purely by pleasure, hence her refusal to give Valmont his reward. She sees him not conforming to the part she has `written' for him and re-establishes herself as unattainable unless he brings the ultimate sacrifice. And Glenn Close delivers this calculating woman so convincingly that it is easy for me at least to understand why Valmont would go to any length to bed her. Just as he wants Tourvel to betray everything she ever believed in, he wants the controlling Merteuil to submit to him - hence the repeated reminders of their past love. Merteuil at one point says that he was the only one she (almost? I'm not entirely sure) lost control with.

The supporting actors I also find well chosen. Reeves may seem a strange choice, but the character is a bit of a wet blanket to start with, and he gives the docile creature easily manipulated by Valmont and Merteuil quite well. But better are Pfeiffer and Thurman, who both undergo convincing changes from innocents abroad to someone well on the way to a willing pupil of the Marquise and Vicomte (in Thurman's case) and to someone genuinely suffering from the opposing demands of morals and love (Pfeiffer).

If you only watch one dialogue-driven costume drama set in the eighteenth century this year, make it this one (though if you can take more, give `The Madness of King George' a look-in, too).


Glenn Close, John Malcovich and Michelle Phieffer head an all star cast in this lavish tale of Sex, Deception and delicious wickedness. Beneath the heaving corsets of 18th century France there lies a world of lust and deportuary which this film reveals.

Glenn Close instructs her deviously seductive lover, John Malcovich to seduce the innocent Madame de Tourvelle (Michelle Pheiffer) a women renound for her religious beliefs, if he succeeds then she shall give him her body in one night of lust, but, one obstacle arises that she did not count on, the pair fall in love - thus beginning a battle of witts and seduction.

This is a must see movie for everyone as is its counterpart - Cruel Intentions, a modern reworking of Dangerous Liaisons


After hearing for years how wonderful this movie is, I finally sat down and watched it, and was thoroughly disappointed. I especially found Malkovich a bit too whiny to be believable as the Vicomte de Valmont. He is supposed to be a lover of many women but I find it hard to believe many would be drawn to him in this film. Glenn Close does perform well except that I don't believe her character could be believed to be anything but a hardened woman, disappointed in love and badly used in marriage. I do credit Michelle Pfeiffer as giving a good performance as Madame de Tourvel. It is believable although not quite as I had pictured it when reading the book.

I have not seen the more recent film, "Cruel Intentions" based on the book, but I have seen "Valmont". Of the two versions, I much prefer "Valmont". Although it does not follow the book's plot, it is definitely believable and Annette Bening is exactly how I would picture Madame de Mertueil: absolutely an angel in public, but cunning and deceitful behind the scenes. Colin Firth seems a far more likely Valmont, very likeable and difficult for a woman to resist. My only complaint with that film was the lack of consistency in the accents of the characters.


This playfully cynical costume drama exposes the difference between the polite manners and bloodthirsty morals of mid 18th century nobility, as the Maquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont (Glen Close and John Malkovich, respectively) exercise their wiles in competitive games of sex and corruption. The film highlights some of Stephen Frears' most self-assured direction to date, but screenwriter Christopher Hampton's adaptation of his own successful stage play lacks teeth: the supposedly razor-sharp dialogue all too often sounds wooden and anachronistic (try to recall a single line afterward), and the dramatic payoff is unaccountably soft. The scenario demands to be read as a microcosm of the eternal battle between the sexes, with women using sex to gain power and men using power to get sex, but the message is mixed: in the end Malkovich is redeemed by true love, while Close is ruined by it. Deep down it's simply a modern soap opera in fancy period dress, enjoyable but wildly overpraised.


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.


I think is strange no one has mentioned this before. Valmont tells Cecile that he slept with her mother before she was born. Madame de Volange did not sleep in the same room as her soon to be husband, and could therefor visit Valmont in his room that night. She became pregnant that night, and since she did not want Valmont as her husband, she therefor told the other man that he was the father, and they had to get married. Later in the movie, Cecile becomes pregnant with Valmont, but has a miscarriage. That is because the baby was a result of father and daughter incest. Read the book, and watch the movie closely, there are more clues..


I saw this movie about a week ago and thought it was quite good and rather fascinating. I really liked it. It was quite faithful to the book. `Dangerous liaisons' was interesting from beginning to end. I can't believe how incredible this movie was. I like John Malcovich's performance. He showed us his great acting skills. He was certainly well cast to play the main character Vicomte de Valmont. He really envelops himself into the role quite well. What about Glenn Close? I think she was amazing, I never thought she could act in films as interesting as this one. This movie is utterly stupendous. Have a look at the scenery in 18th century France where this movie takes place. It's great. I really enjoyed this movie every minute; Nevertheless I don't understand why some people said that this movie was too slow. I don't think it was slow. I think it was very fast instead, because the movie just lasted two hours. It wasn't definitely that long and slow. Glenn Close must have been the academy award winner for best actress in a leading role. Anyway, I think this movie was wonderful. The ending was thoroughly appropriate, Look at Glenn Close's face expressions when she's wiping her face and getting teary-eyed for having been ashamed in front of everybody because of what she did. She was certainly mean. This movie shows us that everybody gets what they deserve. She reminds me of Kathryn (Sarah Michell Gellar) in "Cruel intentions". Cruel intentions was Ok; however `Dangerous liaisons' was much better. I really enjoyed this more than cruel intentions even though it's the same story.

As for Michelle Pfieffer, What can I say? I think she was wonderful to portray Madame de Tourve. She's a revelation, What a tremendous actress!. Her academy award nomination for best actress in a supporting role was very well-deserved. I like the scene as she dies, but she dies realizing that Vicomte de Valmont loved her with his whole being. All in all. It's worth watching and beautiful visually, the costumes are stunning. I'm glad this movie was over-rated. Glenn Close is one of the best actresses I have ever seen. Two thumbs up!! 9/10


I just finished this movie and my only reaction was, wow. What an astounding film. Nuanced in every way, epic, moving, real. Glenn Close and John Malkovich dominate the screen. In my opinion, Madame de Mertruil is the most fascinating character... both a villain and a victim. A powerful woman in an age where women had little power. The scene that really illustrated this was when she told Valmont that she never took another husband so that she could never again be ordered around. She has manipulated and done terrible and unspeakable deeds, caused two deaths, ruined lives, but she is not entirely unsympathetic. And at the end we see her once again in front of the mirror, and she's truly lost everything. An epic film. Absolutely must see.


I have seen this film numerous times and is has massive obvious appeal. It's visually very beautiful, the photography the costumes and so on and I think all of the performances are either good or exceptional; I refer to those given by Glenn Close and John Malkovich, Who I consider to be one of the finest actors of his generation and a personal favourite. That the principal players are considered to be insufficiently physically attractive for the roles they play, I find curious. They are not conventionally attractive and I believe that adds interest, authority and an undeniable sense of power to the performances and the way the characters are presented. They are flawed, self regarding manipulative bullies whose behaviour is thoroughly vile but they also have enormous appeal. They are driven by a need to control the fate of others but are unable to control their own fate; they are equally victims.

Conversely the character of Mm. de Tourvel as played by Michelle Pfeiffer is, in comparison, fairly colourless and uninteresting and her beauty is a hindrance rather than a help. Her soul is presented a pure but it is not, of course. She, as others, caved into her desires when her capacity to resist was sufficiently eroded. Valmont is well aware that he will succeed, though he didn't expect to fall in love and thus lose all control of the consequent course of events.

For me, the weakest performance and the weakest character was that of Cecile Valanges played by Uma Thurman. There is little for her to do and she is not given much of a personality, even when one takes into account her young age. A performance which is thoroughly overlooked is that of Peter Capaldi as the Vicomptes clearly devoted manservant. He is aware of his masters nature but is able to see beyond this to the point of developing a love for him. The entire dual scene with Danceny is the most moving in the film when Valmont allows himself to be released from his torment. Particularly moving is the moment when Azolan places Valmont jacket around his deceased body as Danceny looks on apparently filled with a sense of regret. As this is interspersed with Danceny fulfilling Valmonts request to tell the dying Mm. de Tourvels of his immense love for her, the poignancy of their respective passing is added to tenfold. It is one of the most moving pieces of film I have seen. It is also the perfect build up to the final scenes in which the Marquise learns of Valmonts death and is so desperately distraught she appears tearing at her own skin before collapsing to the floor. She has lost all control but her character has not lost the sympathy of the audience. She has finally given into her true feelings and is, in the process is destroyed. Her final and very public destruction as she looks around, only her eyes moving, at the baying onlookers at the opera, who have, through the circulation of correspondence between her and Valmont, been made aware of the wicked acts planned and executed by both, is an acting triumph. The character is hollow and irreparably broken.


"Les Liaisons Dangereuses" (Dangerous Liaisons) has been one of my favorite books ever since I read it in a college French class a few years before the movie came out. It is a novel of dark wit and keen insight into human behavior and psychology. I was really looking forward to seeing the film. Well, to me, it was a major disappointment.

For one thing, I don't think this movie was well-cast. I like John Malkovich (I think he was excellent in "In the Line of Fire," "Places in the Heart," and even in a small part in "Jennifer Eight"), but he was the wrong person to play Valmont. Yes, he does a good job of conveying the character's perfidy and viciousness, but in my view, he was so lacking in charm that he just wasn't very credible as a master seducer; not did he come across as smooth and aristocratic, the way he should. It didn't help that at some points, the film had him acting more like a frat boy than an aristocrat -- like flick his tongue at one of his conquests, or sprint up the stairs yelling "Success!" after "scoring" with another.

Glenn Close was better as Madame de Merteuil, but while she captured the duplicity of the Marquise -- the surface sweetness concealing an essential ruthlessness -- she didn't exude sexual magnetism, either. The only good choices were Michelle Pfeiffer, lovely and touching as the beguiled Madame de Tourvel, and Swoosie Kurtz in the minor part of Madame de Volanges. Uma Thurman was mostly forgettable as Cecile, and the less said of Keanu Reeves as Danceny, the better.


The screenplay was mostly quite good, and the writers did a very successful job of adapting a novel that consisted of exchanges of letters. I certainly don't fault them for not being 100% faithful to the novel -- that often doesn't work on the screen. However, some of the departures from the book didn't work well at all and didn't make much sense. I cannot for the life of me understand why Cecile's young suitor Danceny was turned into a music teacher. (In the novel, he sings duets with Cecile, but doesn't teach her.) Danceny is an aristocrat and a social equal of the other characters; an 18th Century French aristocrat would never have been employed as a music teacher, or as anything else for that matter! (Had he been a commoner, he never could have challenged Valmont to a duel.)

Another problem: in the novel, when Valmont breaks up with Madame de Tourvel at the Marquise's instigation, he does so by sending her a casually cruel letter -- copying it word for word from the Marquise's letter. I know it wouldn't have been very dramatic. However, in the film, when he announces the breakup to de Tourvel in a face-to-face confrontation, it takes away some of that casual cruelty... especially since he shows far too much emotion. Madame de Tourvel would have figured out that something was going on and he didn't really want to dump her.

Finally, the ending was artificially sweetened. A dying Valmont asks Danceny to tell Madame de T. that he loved her and that the only true happiness he had ever experienced was with her; Danceny goes over to see the ailing Madame de T. and gives her Valmont's message before she dies. The ending of the novel is far more ambiguous. While Valmont does profess love for Madame de Tourvel and regret for what he has done to her, whether he is sincere or faking it in order to win her over one more time and feed his own ego is left deliberately unresolved. And while he does write her a letter of apology, she is delirious when she received it. There is no consolation for her before she dies.

"Les Liaisons Dangereuses" is still awaiting a worthy screen adaptation. (The 1989 film "Valmont" by Milos Forman wasn't all that good and strayed way too far from the plot of the novel.) Personally, I'm inclined to think that the only way justice can be done to the book is in a miniseries of 6 hours or so, like the one they recently did of "Pride and Prejudice." It's the only way to capture the novel's psychological subtleties and the subplots that are quite crucial to character development.


For ages now, ever since I first saw it, I absolutely adore this film. I can watch this again and again, because it is so well directed, acted, shoot, designed and researched.

I have watched it several times and yet I have not discovered any flaws in acting or directing. (The flaws usually start to show if you watch something several times)This is one of the films that gets better each time you watch it as you discover new layers in the story and characters.

John Malkovich and Glenn Close are absolutely brilliant as leading characters, the Machiavellian duo of 18th century aristocrats. Their acting is immaculate and powerful. Down to the very smallest nuances.

This film contains lots of barely-there nuances on characters faces that speak volumes about their background story or true feelings. The nuances on the face of Mrs Merteuil are simply wonderful: for a split second, when she knows nobody watches her she shows her true face; then puts on a most elaborate social mask at the next moment.

I absolutely love that S. Frears has not chosen pretty faces for main characters. Some viewers have complained that Malkovich and Glose as principal master seducers aren't looking sexy enough themselves. I think this is a slightly primitive view of the matter.

I love the fact that at the beginning they both come across as almost ugly and you think now really? But as the film goes on both become more and more attractive and seductive. Which means sexuality and attractiveness does not come down to pretty face. It is the character, soul inside the body that makes it attractive or not. And Mmoiselle Mertuil and Valmont both have this attractiveness of sinful and evil.

But one of the masterstrokes of this film is that we eventually see that they are not fully evil, that even they have the piece of soul that is sincere, suffers and longs for true love.

We understand, bit-by-bit that something has happened both to Mertuil and Valmont that has lead them to these evil games and ridiculing true love. Even though true love is what they foremost long, they would never admit it. That is why this story is timeless and very much contemporary. As what we see in the contemporary world, love, specially love between the man and a woman is what is least valued and cared for. Everything else seems to be more important – imago, power, money, success – and people stamp mercilessly over the gift given to them, disposing it as something inferior. And forgetting they once were able to love.

As for comparison with Milosh Forman film – the latter was OK, but not nearly as powerful and deep as Mr Frears'is version. In fact, the pretty faces in Forman's film made it more Hollywood cream-cake-like. This is not to say actors were bad, as I love Colin Firth and Anette Bening, but in this film their pretty faces simply did not cut. They were a kind of. too pretty, lacking the edge.

I think it also the genius of Stephen Frears, how the film starts as a light comedy of manners and eventually escalates into a Greek tragedy.

All casting was excellent. Some have complained about casting of Keanu Reeves, but I do not see why. I thought he like everyone else was spot-on for his role. He and Uma Thurman provided some very humorous moments as naive, puppy-like lovers, helpless pray for the sharks.

If you liked this film then I assume you would also like Frears'is other masterpiece with a similar theme, "The Grifters". It is set in the second half of 20 the century in USA and the protagonists are three con artists. It is as good as the Liasons, and these two belong to my top five films of all times.


Having been wronged by their former partners Marquise Isabelle de Mertueil (Glenn Close) and Vicomte Sebastian De Valmont (John Malkovich) hatch a plan to get even. Mertueil challenges Valmont to bed the soon to be married 17 year old Cecile de Volanges (Uma Thurman). Having determined that this challenge alone will be too easy for him, bed-hopping Valmont also sets about trying to seduce prim and proper Madame de Tourvel (Michelle Pfeiffer) whilst her husband is away. His prize for completing these tasks is Mertueil herself, but is all this as easy as Mertueil and Valmont hope?

Cruel Intentions was a loosely based remake of this film which came out 11 years later; I enjoyed Cruel Intentions the first time I watched it and have seen it several times since, but sadly I didn't enjoy Dangerous Liaisons quite as much.

I think the problem here is that I didn't find the story quite as involving; it was a bit talky for my liking and if truth be told it was probably a little over-plotted as well. In some ways, I was also a little turned off by the fact that it featured a bunch of rich aristocrats - I just found it all a little bit pretentious which is why I generally don't like period dramas. Dangerous Liaisons just seemed to amble along without ever really involving me in the story. Cruel Intentions told pretty much the same story in just over 90 minutes and one has to wonder why the writers felt the need for this film to run close to the 2 hour mark? The truth is that there just isn't enough material here to warrant that kind of run time.

Another problem I had here was that I never really felt any connections to any of the characters; they weren't really fleshed out particularly well and at the end of the day I just felt like I'd spent 2 hours looking at cardboard cut-outs in pretty costumes. I also had a bit of an issue with Keanu Reeves character; he was the music teacher in this and aside from his wooden performance, he added nothing to the film and may as well not have been in it (compare that to how important the music teacher was to the plot in Cruel Intentions).

Aside from an obviously miscast Keanu Reeves; the performances were all excellent with particular praise going to Malkovich, Close and Thurman. Thurman was perhaps the biggest revelation and I felt that she accentuated vulnerability and was actually very good.

The film doesn't even shine at the end and has a rather formulaic and obvious ending. To me the whole film just felt rather flat and un-exciting. I found the ending to Cruel Intentions to be moving and somewhat surprising.

Dangerous Liaisons has far too much polish on it for it to be a truly bad film, but it's also not involving enough for it to be considered a great film. I thought Cruel Intentions was a better film to be honest.


Rich and bored aristocrats in Rococo France play high-stakes games of passion and betrayal.

I was born too late, and somehow "Cruel Intentions" was more familiar to my generation than this film. Somehow it went under my radar until now (2015), which seems like a real shame. Some great plot elements, full of devious deceit. And a solid cast, including the pre-fame Uma Thurman and a very young Keanu Reeves (who acts as strange as always).

There is added weight to this film when compared to "Cruel Intentions" because of the aristocratic atmosphere. As powerful as rich teenagers may be, the French nobility is even more so. This also adds an element of rape that is somewhat disturbing. Although there is no violence, John Malkovich's character uses trickery to force himself on various women (including one who may even be his own daughter). No good.


Set in the aristocratic Paris of 1760, "Dangerous Liaisons" tells an enthralling story of love, deceit and manipulation. With a lifetime experience as manipulators and reputation injurers, the Marquise de Merteuil (Glenn Close) and the Vicomte de Valmont (John Malkovich) unite to plot against their mutual rivals. Merteuil seeks revenge against an ex-lover by destroying his future wife's honor. Valmont wants to improve himself in the "seduce and destroy" game he's used to play, by choosing a target more difficult than ever: Madame de Tourvel (Michelle Pfeiffer). Attracted by each other's machiavellianism, the two conspirators arrange an additional challenge: achieving Madame de Tourvel's seduction becomes a condition for Valmont to deserve a night with Merteuil. But as the story unfolds, involving more and more characters, the two protagonists will dramatically lose control over their games.

The roles are played to perfection by each actor in the cast, Close and Malkovich stand beyond reproach, Reeves and Thurman make excellent appearances in two of their earlier roles, but Michelle Pfeiffer is the one who moves us most, as we witness her desperately fighting against her feelings in order to keep her integrity. Praises should not be directed solely to the cast: sets, lighting, costumes, music… everything immerses us into the atmosphere of that time, and makes us feel as if we're really part of the story. The quality of the production shows how an all-American team used his appreciation of French culture to succeed in its adaptation. I have watched this movie about 15 times and still didn't find any flaw. In my opinion, it deserves 10 out of 10.

Another thing to note is the French audio track. I usually watch American movies in their original language, but in this Blu-Ray, both languages are remarkably done. The ancient French phrasing plunges us even more in the ambiance of this time.

But if there's only one reason one should purchase this Blu-Ray (released in February 2012), it's the story. The progress of events fascinates us, fastens us to our chair, and makes us beg for more, until it leads us to one of the most unforgettable climax in movie history. An ending that keep us thinking about the tormented relationships between love and pride, between love and the ones who play with it.