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Dangerous Liaisons [Blu-ray]

4.6 out of 5 stars 273 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Dangerous Liaisons (BD)

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Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Glenn Close, John Malkovich
  • Directors: Stephen Frears
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 7, 2012
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (273 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004LWZWDS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,569 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dangerous Liaisons [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
At first glance, DANGEROUS LIAISONS appears to be an extravagant eighteenth-century period-piece, which it is; the powdered wigs and overflowing corsets typical of the genre are all here, and the cinematography is appropriately glossy. But boiling beneath the elegant surface are the deviously twisted sensibilities of two monstrous characters--the Marquise de Merteuil (Glenn Close) and the Vicomte de Valmont (John Malkovich), a pair of schemers (and former lovers) who take pleasure in coolly manipulating and seducing those around them. The Marquise challenges the Vicomte to seduce the virtuous Madame de Tourvel (Michelle Pfeiffer), but when the latter finds himself genuinely falling in love with his intended prey, the game quickly turns fatal--with devastating consequences for everyone involved.
A period-piece? Yes, but one honed with a distinctly contemporary menace. It's rare, for example, to find a period-piece with such delicious, razor-sharp dialogue (which garnered the film an Academy Award for Best Screenplay Adaptation). It's also rare to find a period-piece that focuses primarily on sex, but treats its subject matter with so little eroticism. DANGEROUS LIAISONS is more about power and one-upmanship; sex merely serves as the weapon of choice. It's a diabolically entertaining film, a decadent one even; there's something both disturbing and enjoyable about watching the two central characters indulging in their elaborate power plays.
The performances are strong for the most part (Close, Malkovich, and Pfeiffer all received Oscar nominations), although the women fare much better than the men.
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Format: DVD
There's a certain degree of sinful pleasure hidden beneath the depravity of "Dangerous Liaisons," a film that is perversely elegant in its execution and daringly naughty in regard to its story. Based on the novel by Choderlos de Laclos, the script by Christopher Hampton explores the cause and effect nature of love, betrayal, and sinful intentions in both humorous and serious lights. While the material could be easily morose and unaffecting, director Stephen Frears spices up his canvas with a beautiful cast and a well-constructed production design.
At the center of the story are two people who feed on the misery they cause others as a way to keep their urges for one another suppressed. Glenn Close is the seductively evil Marquise de Merteuil, a self-proclaimed "virtuoso of deceit" who believes it her duty to dominate the opposite sex, and avenge her own. Her latest undertaking involves the daughter of her naive friend Madame de Volanges (Swoozie Kurtz), for whom her former lover left her. In hopes of ruining daughter Cecile's (Uma Thurman) reputation, she calls upon beloved friend and partner in evil, Vicomte de Valmont, played by John Malkovich. Valmont, like Merteuil, prides himself on his accomplishments, and prizes the feeling of success that comes with the devastation he causes to women.
But he has different plans in mind, involving the seduction and ruin of one Madame de Tourvel (Michelle Pfeiffer), whose ideals and virtues are the exact opposite of these two wicked souls. His plan is concocted from the most cruel of intentions: to make her want him so badly that she does not relinquish her beliefs, but instead is crushed by them once she gives in to his advances.
Imagine his surprise when he finds that his task will not be as easy as he had at first hoped.
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Format: DVD
The two movies, `Dangerous Liaisons' directed by Stephen Frears and `Valmont', directed by Milos Forman are a real anomoly in that they were released at almost exactly the same time and tell almost exactly the same story, based on an old novel, `Les Liaisons Dangeruese' by Choderlos de Laclos. It is a minor tragedy that `Valmont' received so much less attention and promotion than `Dangerous Laisons'. I suspect that had a lot to do with the fact that `Valmont' was released by the company Orion which may have been in its last throes of survival and simply did not have the means to promote the film.

The only bright side of this situation is that the `Dangerous Liaisons' implementation of this story is much better. It is a sign of the value of `...Liaisons' that it is much better than a really worthy movie.

I believe the difference in the quality of the two movies lies directly on the aptness of the casting and the quality of the acting. On all the lesser qualities which go into making a movie such as set decoration, cinematography, editing, music and the like, the two films are easily on equal terms.

The heart of the matter is in the comparison of `...Liaisons' casting of Glenn Close and John Malkovich in the principle roles versus `Valmont's casting Colin Firth and Annette Bening. While Firth is physically much more believable as a Casanova type, Close and Malkovich are far superior than Bening and Firth at playing world class scoundrels. At the secondary level, `...Liaisons' casting of Uma Thurmen and Keanu Reeves as the two young innocent lovers is immensely more satisfying than the `Valmont casting of unknowns Fairuza Balk and Henry Jones.
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