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references

script -- Dangerous Liaisons, screenplay * Price: $8.85
Year: 1988 Stars: Glenn Close, John Malkovitch, Uma Thurman, Michelle Pfeiffer, Swoosie Kurtz, Keanu Reeves, Mildred Natwick Director: Stephen Frears

Choderlos de Laclos' 18th century novel is a monument to lust, guilt and duplicity, written in letter form. One of the film's enormous strengths is scriptwriter Christopher Hampton's decision to go back to the novel, and save only the best from his play. Frears, under commercial pressure but also determined to start afresh, has chosen American actors for the main roles: Malkovich as the professional philanderer Valmont; Close as the sadistic aristocrat with whom he plots to ruin both a social union and a virtuous woman (Pfeiffer, splendid). The result is a sombre, manipulative affair in which the décor is never allowed to usurp our interest. Broader, nastier even than the play, it uses recurring epistolary motifs, shadow and close-up to convey the themes of the piece: the relationships between pleasure and pain, our inability to control others, our endless desire to do so. Malkovich's final demise, run through, wasted and resigned, recalls the misty-eyed days of Fairbanks and Flynn; while Close, all eye-contact, front, and self-possession, ends the film unforgettably as a sacrificial lamb on the altar of decency. SGr
Source : Time Out Film Guide 13

Cruel Intentions is not a patch on the wickedly original film adaptation of the naughtiest novel of pre-Revolutionary France. Everything about this film is perfect: script, costume, the sense of impending doom. Malkovich created the character which he has played ever since in the Vicomte de Valmont, decadent dandy who gets all the girls: Louis Quinze jailbait Cecile (Thurman), wide-eyed Madame de Tourvel (Pfeiffer), and sparring partner Marquise de Merteuil (Close in Cruella form). He falls for Tourvel's nunnish charms, but Merteuil is his perfect match; their scenes together are devastating, and teach you everything you need to know about love.

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Gender Reversals and Gender Cultures: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives by Sabrina Petra Ramet; Routledge, 1996

Choderlos de Laclos

Marquis de Sade

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2003

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AnatolyAntohin
Virtual Theatre: Directing, Acting, Drama, Theory

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