Dangerous Liaisons

A scandalous, often-censored literary sensation for two centuries and a highbrow international theatrical hit, Les Liaisons Dangereuses has been turned into a good but incompletely realized film.

With:
Glenn Close John Malkovich Michelle Pfeiffer Swoosie Kurtz Mildred Natwick Uma Thurman

A scandalous, often-censored literary sensation for two centuries and a highbrow international theatrical hit, Les Liaisons Dangereuses has been turned into a good but incompletely realized film.

This incisive study of sex as an arena for manipulative power games takes too long to catch fire and suffers from a deficient central performance.

Choderlos de Laclos’ 1782 epistolary novel expertly chronicled the cunning, cold-blooded sexual calculations of the French pre-revolutionary upper class as represented by two of its idle, brilliant members, the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont. Former lovers, these two ideally matched players hatch schemes of deceit, revenge and debauchery.

The classic rake, Valmont (John Malkovich) at the outset is challenged by Merteuil (Glenn Close) to deflower a 16-year-old virgin, Cecile de Volanges (Uma Thurman), before Merteuil’s former lover can go through with his marriage to the exquisite adolescent.

Valmont considers this too easy, however, and instead proposes to seduce Madame de Tourvel (Michelle Pfeiffer), a virtuous, highly moral married woman.

Glenn Close is admirably cast as the proud, malevolent Merteuil while the real problem is Malkovich’s Valmont. This sly actor conveys the character’s snaky, premeditated Don Juanism. But he lacks the devilish charm and seductiveness one senses Valmont would need to carry off all his conquests.

1988: Best Art Direction, Adapted Screenplay, Costume Design.

Nominations: Best Picture, Actress (Glenn Close), Supp. Actress (Michelle Pfeiffer), Score

Dangerous Liaisons

Production: Warner. Director Stephen Frears; Producer Norma Heyman, Hank Moonjean; Screenplay Christopher Hampton; Camera Philippe Rousselot; Editor Mick Audsley; Music George Fenton; Art Director Stuart Craig

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1988. Running time: 120 MIN.

With: Glenn Close John Malkovich Michelle Pfeiffer Swoosie Kurtz Mildred Natwick Uma Thurman

More Film

  • (L to R) Young Tanya (JESSICA

    'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying

    A scandalous, often-censored literary sensation for two centuries and a highbrow international theatrical hit, Les Liaisons Dangereuses has been turned into a good but incompletely realized film. This incisive study of sex as an arena for manipulative power games takes too long to catch fire and suffers from a deficient central performance. Choderlos de Laclos’ […]

  • Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

    'Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants' Stage Musical in the Works

    A scandalous, often-censored literary sensation for two centuries and a highbrow international theatrical hit, Les Liaisons Dangereuses has been turned into a good but incompletely realized film. This incisive study of sex as an arena for manipulative power games takes too long to catch fire and suffers from a deficient central performance. Choderlos de Laclos’ […]

  • Sundance Film Festival Placeholder

    Sundance Festival's Economic Impact Jumps Up 26% From 2017, Study Says

    A scandalous, often-censored literary sensation for two centuries and a highbrow international theatrical hit, Les Liaisons Dangereuses has been turned into a good but incompletely realized film. This incisive study of sex as an arena for manipulative power games takes too long to catch fire and suffers from a deficient central performance. Choderlos de Laclos’ […]

  • Aubrey Plaza'Ingrid Goes West' film premiere,

    LA Film Festival Adds Inclusion Initiatives

    A scandalous, often-censored literary sensation for two centuries and a highbrow international theatrical hit, Les Liaisons Dangereuses has been turned into a good but incompletely realized film. This incisive study of sex as an arena for manipulative power games takes too long to catch fire and suffers from a deficient central performance. Choderlos de Laclos’ […]

  • Robin Hood trailer

    Jamie Foxx Teaches Taron Egerton to Steal From the Rich in 'Robin Hood' Trailer

    A scandalous, often-censored literary sensation for two centuries and a highbrow international theatrical hit, Les Liaisons Dangereuses has been turned into a good but incompletely realized film. This incisive study of sex as an arena for manipulative power games takes too long to catch fire and suffers from a deficient central performance. Choderlos de Laclos’ […]

  • 'Dark Knight' Changed Movies, and the

    Christopher Nolan's 'Dark Knight' Changed Movies, and the Oscars, Forever

    A scandalous, often-censored literary sensation for two centuries and a highbrow international theatrical hit, Les Liaisons Dangereuses has been turned into a good but incompletely realized film. This incisive study of sex as an arena for manipulative power games takes too long to catch fire and suffers from a deficient central performance. Choderlos de Laclos’ […]

  • Boy Erased Trailer

    Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe Send Lucas Hedges to Gay Conversion Therapy in 'Boy Erased'

    A scandalous, often-censored literary sensation for two centuries and a highbrow international theatrical hit, Les Liaisons Dangereuses has been turned into a good but incompletely realized film. This incisive study of sex as an arena for manipulative power games takes too long to catch fire and suffers from a deficient central performance. Choderlos de Laclos’ […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content