Dangerous Liaisons is a 1988 drama film based upon Christopher Hampton's play, Les liaisons dangereuses, which in turn was a theatrical adaptation of the eighteenth-century French novel Les Liaisons dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos.
Director Stephen Frears, having enjoyed successes in British cinema with My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), Prick Up Your Ears (1987) and Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987), made his Hollywood début with this film.
The performances of Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer, the cinematography of Philippe Rousselot, the costume design by James Acheson, and in particular the screenplay by Christopher Hampton, garnered considerable critical acclaim.
Swoosie Kurtz and Mildred Natwick (in her final film) appeared in supporting roles, as did young relatively unknown actors Keanu Reeves and Uma Thurman, both of whom would go on to achieve fame in the 1990s, with starring roles in Speed (1994) and Pulp Fiction (1994) respectively.
The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and a further six Oscars, eventually winning the awards for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Costume Design, and Best Art Direction.
The Marquise de Merteuil (Glenn Close) calls on her partner, the Vicomte de Valmont (John Malkovich), to seduce Cécile de Volanges (Uma Thurman), the young daughter of Merteuil's cousin, Madame de Volanges (Swoosie Kurtz). By this, Merteuil hopes to have revenge on a former lover, the man to whom Cécile is promised in marriage. At first, Valmont refuses her proposition; he wants to seduce the virtuous Madame de Tourvel (Michelle Pfeiffer), who is spending time at his aunt's house while her husband is abroad.
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