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Valmont

4.1 out of 5 stars 173 customer reviews

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Valmont
Valmont

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Editorial Reviews

This delectable thriller stars Colin Firth (Bridget Jones's Diary) and Oscars® nominee* Annette Bening (American Beauty) as embittered aristocrats who weave a wicked web of cruel intentions and savage seductions. Directed by Oscar® winner** Milos Forman, Valmont is a darkly amusing period drama that issimply a piece of high entertainment (The Hollywood Reporter). In 18th-century France, a cruel and calculating playboy, Valmont (Firth), makes a malicious wager with the equally wicked Madame de Merteuil (Bening): Valmont must dishonor the married Madame de Tourvel (Meg Tilly) by sleepingwith her. If Valmont succeeds, he gets the privilege of Merteuil's bed as well. But when Valmont sets out on his task, the unexpected happens...he falls in love with Tourvel! And now Merteuil will stop at nothing to destroy Valmont's newfound passion. *1990: Supporting Actress, The Grifters; 1999: Actress, American Beauty *1975: Director, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest; 1984: Director, Amadeus

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Product Details

  • Actors: Colin Firth, Annette Bening, Meg Tilly, Fairuza Balk, Siân Phillips
  • Directors: Milos Forman
  • Writers: Milos Forman, Choderlos de Laclos, Jean-Claude Carrière
  • Producers: Michael Hausman, Paul Rassam
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: September 17, 2002
  • Run Time: 137 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000069I02
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,172 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Valmont" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Both "Valmont" and "DL" have their own merits.... but I personally find "Valmont" to be the better movie. REASONS:
1) Its perfect casting - especially Fairuza Balk as the extremely naive and innocent 15-year old Cecile. You must watch this movie to find out just how wonderfully charming and adoring she is. By comparison, Uma Thurman's "Cecile" in "DL" seems too old and sophisticated for the character. Annette Benning is also brilliant as the calculating and scheming "de Merteuil". In "Valmont", de Merteuil appears more human - she shows both her good and bad sides i.e. she's not ALL bad/evil like Glenn Glose's portrayal of the character in "DL". Colin Firth also makes for a more likeable and dashing Valmont than John Malkovich in "DL". I find Glenn Close and John Malkovich's portrayals to be too "scary" for anyone to be genuinely attracted to them. Their characters seem a little too cold and "serpent-like" to me.
2) The sets, cinematography and costumes in "Valmont" are more lavish and beautiful than in "DL". In "Valmont", there are more out-of door scenes e.g. the very lovely scene in the park where Valmont (Colin Firth) manages to coax the shy and proper Mdm de Tourveil (played by the luminous Meg Tilly) to get on the horse with him where he then proceeds to teach her archery, and the ensuing dance-and-picnic scene. In "Valmont", Cecile also plays the harp and sings a couple of beautiful songs.
3) A better screenplay and a more natural dialogue. This adaptation is also more detailed and thorough, and has more humour.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Valmont" is one of my favorite films of all time. It is so lovely to look at, with lavish sets, lovely country locations, exquisitely crafted costumes, and brilliant production design, that I have literally watched it over and over again. When you watch this movie, you are transported into the luxury of 17th Century aristocratic France. It also skillfully integrates music into the production, when Cecile and Madame de Merteuile go to the Opera, or when Cecile is performing songs with her harp. Of course, I want to make it clear to you right now that all reviews claiming that "Dangerous Liaisons" is a better film than Valmont are dead wrong! It is truly a tragic circumstance when a film as beautiful as "Valmont" is overlooked because of an inferior product such as "DL", just because "DL" came out first. Colin Firth is so much more likeable and dashing than John Malkovich. Annette Bening is much better than Glenn Close. In fact, the entire cast is perfect, as is every other detail of this movie, thanks to Director Milos Forman (the quality of this film is no accident). There are also fine supporting performances by Henry Thomas, Jeffrey Jones, Sian Phillips, and the last performance of the legendary Fabia Drake, who steals all the scenes she's in. But what you have to understand about "Valmont" is that it's a different kind of movie than "DL". "Dangerous Liaisons" was a cold, sinister, mean-hearted film. "Valmont" is gay, light-hearted at times, sad, tragic and heartbreaking at others. But it is never cold, and is always beautiful. And I will never neglect to say that Meg Tilly, as Madame de Tourville, is the most lovely, beautiful, and perfect creature to have ever graced the silver screen. Forget about all other actresses, Meg Tilly is the one for me. Fortunately, this film is now scheduled for release on DVD and might get the attention it truly deserves. If ever a film could exploit the brilliance of DVD technology, this one will.
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Format: VHS Tape
I liked this better than Dangerous Liaisons which came out at about the same time. Of course Dangerous Liaisons was very good, and John Malkovich, who played Vicomte de Valmont, is an actor of power, and Glenn Close, who played the Marquise de Merteuil, is highly accomplished, but I preferred the charm of Colin Firth in this film to the brutality of Malkovich, and I thought Annette Bening was just delightful. She played Merteuil with exquisite timing and an ironic witchery and warmth that I shall not soon forget. I preferred her playful, sly wit to Close's cool cynicism.

The story comes from a novel by Choderlos de Laclos set in 18th century France that was made into a stage play by Christopher Hampton. It is a cynical satire on human sexuality as well as a very subtle examination of sexual hypocrisy and desire, a kind of oh so sophisticated laugh at bourgeois morality that would have delighted Voltaire and Moliere and greatly amused Shakespeare. It is a tale of elaborate lechery and revenge that backfires because it seems that anybody, even the most jagged rake can fall in love, and thereby become the victim. The central assumption here is the same as that of the Cavalier poets, namely that marriage kills love. As Merteuil says, "You don't marry your lover."

Meg Tilly played Madame de Tourvel with subtlety and a riveting passion. One of the great sequences in the movie occurs after she has fallen madly in love with Valmont against her will. She stands outside his doorway in the rain for hours looking adoringly and forlornly up at his window. And then she is allowed to enter and receive a cool reception. Valmont says, "Do you want me to lie to you?
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