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1,185 Ratings

Dangerous Liaisons

Directed by Stephen Frears
United States, United Kingdom, 1988
Drama, Romance


Perhaps the most famous of the film adaptations of Choderlos de Laclos’ Les liaisons dangereuses, a pair of rich and bored aristocrats in Rococo France play high-stakes games of passion and betrayal.

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Dangerous Liaisons Directed by Stephen Frears

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1989 | 3 wins including: Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium

1989 | 4 nominations including: Best Picture

Critics reviews

Originally my #1 film for ‘88. Seems a little cute to me now, overly impressed with its own naughtiness; Hampton, whose subsequent work I’ve generally hated, manages to repurpose an amazing number of choice barbs from Laclos’ epistolary source, but subtlety and modulation just aren’t part of his arsenal… Malkovich somehow makes reptilian lechery seem alluring; Close does the same for tight-lipped, dead-hearted cattiness; Pfeiffer is simply heartbreaking. As usual: poor Keanu.
February 12, 2012
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It may sound anachronistic to say so, but the novel is essentially constructed on cubist principles, and a truly “faithful” adaptation would probably be something closer to Last Year at Marienbad than to Hampton and Frears’s Masterpiece Theater version. The major limitation of Dangerous Liasons, in short, is that it presents us only with theatrical, frontal views of Merteuil and Valmont, and reduces the rest of the characters to the status of pawns or props.
January 19, 1989
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