Dangerous Liaisons

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Stephen Frears
Production: Warner Home Video
  Won 3 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 20 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
119 min


Well, my dear...

So how are you adapting

to the world outside?

Very well, I think.

I've advised her to watch and learn

and be quiet except when spoken to.

So we must see what we can devise

for your amusement.

Valmont is here.

You receive him, do you?


So do you.

Monsieur le Vicomte de Valmont,

my child...

...whom you very probably

don't remember...

...except that he is

conspicuously charming...

...never opens his mouth without first

calculating what damage he can do.

Then why do you receive him,


Everyone receives him.


What a pleasant surprise.

Madame de Volanges.

How delightful to see you.

You remember my daughter, Ccile?

Well, indeed, but who could have

foretold she would flower so gracefully?

I wanted to call on you

before leaving the city.


I'm not sure we can allow that.

Why should you want to leave?

Paris in August, you know...

...and it's time I paid a visit on my aunt.

I've neglected her disgracefully.

Madame de Rosemonde

has been good enough...

...to invite us to stay at the chteau.

Won't you please give her

our warmest regards?

I shall make a point of it, Madame.

I think it's time we took you home.

I'm used to being in bed

by nine at the convent.

So I should hope.

Your aunt?

That's correct.

I thought she'd already made

arrangements to leave you all her money.

Do you know why I summoned you

here this evening?

I'd hoped it might be for

the pleasure of my company.

I need you...

...to carry out an heroic enterprise.

You remember when Bastide left me?


And went off with that fat mistress

of yours whose name escapes me.

Yes, yes.

No one has ever done that to me before.

Or to you, I suspect.

I was quite relieved to be rid of her,


No, you weren't.

For some years now,

Bastide has been searching for a wife.

He was always unshakably prejudiced

in favour of convent education.

And now he's found the ideal candidate.

Ccile Volanges.

Very good.

And her 60,000 a year.

That must have played some small part

in Bastide's calculations.

None whatsoever.

Bastide's priority, you see...

... is a guaranteed virtue.

I wonder if I'm beginning to guess

what it is you're intending to propose.

Bastide is with his regiment in Corsica

for the rest of the year.

That should give you plenty of time.

You mean to...?

- She's a rosebud.

- You think so?

And he'd get back from his honeymoon...

...to find himself the laughing stock

of Paris.

- Well...

- Yes.

Love and revenge. Two of your favourites.

No, I can't.


Oh really, I can't.

- Why not?

- Oh, it's too easy.

It is.

She's seen nothing.

She knows nothing.

She's bound to be curious.

She'd be on her back...

...before you'd unwrapped

the first bunch of flowers.

Any one of a dozen men could manage it.

I have my reputation to think of.

I can see I'm going to have

to tell you everything.

- Of course you are.

- Yes.

My aunt is not on her own

just at the moment.

She has a young friend staying with her.

Madame de Tourvel.

You can't mean it.

To seduce a woman famous

for strict morals...

...religious fervour and the happiness

of her marriage...

What could possibly be more prestigious?

I think there's something degrading

about having a husband for a rival.

It's humiliating if you fail,

and commonplace if you succeed.

Where is Monsieur de Tourvel anyway?

Presiding over some

endless case in Burgundy.

I don't think you can hope

for any actual pleasure.

Oh, yes.

You see, I have no intention

of breaking down her prejudices.

I want her to believe in God and virtue

Rate this script:3.7 / 3 votes

Christopher Hampton

Christopher James Hampton, CBE, FRSL (born 26 January 1946) is a British playwright, screenwriter, translator and film director. He is best known for his play based on the novel Les Liaisons dangereuses and the film version Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and also more recently for writing the nominated screenplay for the film adaptation of Ian McEwan's Atonement. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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