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Set in a richly exaggerated 17th-century England, Peter Greenaway's sumptuous and sensuously charged brainteaser catapulted him to the forefront of international art cinema. Adorned with intricate wordplay, extravagant costumes and opulent photography, Greenaway's first narrative feature weaves a labyrinthine mystery around the maxim "draw what you see, not what you know." An aristocratic wife (Janet Suzman) commissions a young, cocksure draughtsman (Anthony Higgins) to sketch her husband's property while he is away--in exchange for a fee, room and board, and one sexual favor for each of the twelve drawings. As the draughtsman becomes more entrenched in the devious schemings in this seemingly idyllic country home, curious details emerge in his drawings that may implicate a murder.
Bolstered by a majestic score by then-newcomer Michael Nyman and stunning cinematography by Curtis Clark that suggests Greenaway has the elements at his beck and call, The Draughtsman's Contract is a luscious cinematic banquet for eye, ear and mind.
- Restored anamorphic transfer, created from Hi-Def elements
- Peter Greenaway commentary and video introduction
- Four deleted scenes
- Behind-the-scenes footage and on-set interviews
- Interview with composer Michael Nyman
- Restoration demonstration
- Production photo and Draughtsman's sketch galleries
- English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
- Original theatrical trailer
- Essays by Greenaway and cinematographer Curtis Clark
"Four Stars. What we have here is a tantalizing puzzle, wrapped in eroticism and presented with the utmost elegance. I have never seen a film quite like it.... His movie is like a crossword puzzle for the senses." --Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times
"The film is mannered and idiosyncratic; the speeches are so arch and twitty they seem to be pitched higher than a dog whistle, and the people talking are popinjays in perukes shaped as geometrically as the shrubs at Marienbad." --Pauline Kael
"Astonishingly elegant... extraordinarily detailed... mind-bendingly rich. The Draughtsman's Contract is fun." --Vincent Canby, The New York Times
I was disappointed in the quality of the cinematography and the film was a bit of a disappointment overall.Published 2 months ago by Dean al
This may be the most perfect movie ever made. While it may seem difficult to follow and requires a lot of knowledge about the historical context, every shot is a work of art. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Ken Baskin
This is a great example of Greeaway's early work. The Sound track is by Michael Nyman. Video is of mixed quality because Greenaway shot much of it on 16mm film but that only adds... Read morePublished 14 months ago by R. V. Clayton
Bad sound on this copy. Spoiled our enjoyment
The movie does not age well, although it still has its moments.
If you'd like to watch a guy have sex with a mother and daughter, and eventually knock one of them up- subsequentially causing his own murder, then this movie is for you!Published 21 months ago by Mandolynn_30
Best for the Scenery.
Some parts were too long or somewhat repeated. Music was interesting. Scenery was great and trues to story.
Peter Greenaway's maddening puzzle of a film, The Draughtman's Contract, involves us in a multi-layered, multi-themed murder mystery involving an artist and an entire cast of... Read morePublished on May 8, 2011 by Tristan
I was disappointed to discover that the version was for Zone 1 countries (US & Canada) even though I ordered the DVD via the Australian Amazon site. Read morePublished on November 16, 2009 by Noel R. Stone