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Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons) (270-Minute Extended Version in French)

3.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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(Mar 16, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Josée Dayan's latest adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos' classic tale of seduction, betrayal and revenge features an all-star cast including Catherine Deneuve, Rupert Everett, Nastassja Kinski and Leelee Sobieski, and is set in the world of 1960s Parisian high society. The beautiful Madame de Merteuil (Deneuve) seeks vengeance when her ex-lover tells her that he is now engaged to her young goddaughter, Cécile (Sobieski). She turns to her partner-in-crime, Valmont (Everett), famous for his reputation as a Don Juan to seduce Cécile. Valmont gets sidetracked when he goes to visit his aunt and falls for Madame Tourvel (Kinski), a virtuous, married woman who knows of his womanizing ways, but that only makes the challenge more exciting to Valmont. Together, Madame de Merteuil and Valmont make a dangerous team and they will stop at nothing when it comes to matters of the heart.

Special Features

  • 270-minute extended version in French with optional English subtitles
  • Interview with Josee Dayan
  • Photo gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Catherine Deneuve, Rupert Everett, Nastassja Kinski, Danielle Darrieux, Leelee Sobieski
  • Format: Anamorphic, Box set, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • DVD Release Date: March 16, 2004
  • Run Time: 203 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00015YV4K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,241 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons) (270-Minute Extended Version in French)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 4, 2005
Format: DVD
Clocking in at 270 minutes, this 2003 French film version of Choderlos de Laclos' perennially popular 18th century novel "Les Liaisons Dangereuses' about the extant concerns of seduction, betrayal and revenge requires not only a long time segment of your life to enjoy, it also requires much on the part of viewer participation to stay abreast of the fascinatingly tangled plot.

Director Josée Dayan has accommodated Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt's adaptation to the screen and in doing so has updated this elegant, high costume drama into the haute couture setting of Paris in the 1960s. There have been many filmed and staged versions of de Laclos' novel and while they all have had their strong points, for this viewer Dayan's film unravels the plot and the characters with much more finesse and ultimate credibility than the predecessors.

Many have scoffed at the casting of the still gorgeous Catherine Deneuve as Madame de Merteuil, claiming that the author had in mind a much younger femme fatale for this role. But times have changed, women are more sensually alive in the age realm of Deneuve, and for me the casting is perfect: here is a woman of the world who is not just out to spar with Valmont (another very well cast Rupert Everett) in a deadly game of lover's vengeance, she is also facing the fact (like the Marschallin in 'Der Rosenkavlier') that her wealth and aging beauty are on the wane and that makes her a much more fleshed out character.
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Format: DVD
The good thing about this 2003 version is that I kept thinking it was "very current," but it is set in the 1960s. I mean to say that the evil theme and accompanying drama are ageless. The version by Glen Close and John Malkovitch is the standard to me. However, the Catherine Deneuve and Rupert Everett version shines uniquely in its own way. Thus, both versions are exquisite interpretations of a notorious story. This review is about the Short Version in English, not the long version in French.

I have read some reviews here and there on this version that say that Deneuve is not believable as a sex object. My response is that she could be if she was ever a sex object to you. For instance, when she acted in Belle de Jour, or when she was the face for Chanel Couture in the 80s. Thus, the vestige of that profound beauty is preserved in her slightly bloated body and weary face. To me, real beauty is that kind that ages, yet maintains some of the original vitality and aura of its former self. Catherine does this. Moreover, this production emphasizes how lust is absolutely enhanced by wealth, luxury, and power. It is then credible why teenage boys may want to have an affair with a woman old enough to be their mother. That phenomenon can be compared to drinking a 50-year-old cabernet or merlot. What wine connoisseur could resist???? Either sex, when precocious, appreciates instruction from a master. Valmont desires Madame de Merteuil because she is no longer accessible, because she is a master seductress, and not because she is sexy (although the average heterosexual male will find her sexy). She was a very rich, very powerful woman in Haute Parisienne society, which is comparable to heroin to some. Predators thrive on conquests.
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Format: DVD
An excellent adaptation of Laclos' LES LIASONS DANGEREUSES. Most screen adaptations of this novel are several degrees of horrible. The charm of the book, which is absolutely brilliant, is that it is structured by correspondence; it consists of letters between the characters. The literary thrusts in the book, therefore, are often far more delectable than the more literal thrusts between the characters. Thus, adaptation is extremely difficult.
In this film all of the plot points are followed, but with some noticeable changes. First, Gercourt is actually a character, where in the novel he is always significantly absent. Gercourt, however, was miscast. The fellow is just too old to make a credible fiance to a 19-year old girl in 1960s France. Second, obviously, the context is not eighteenth-century France, but an elegant Paris in the Sixties. The cars used in this production are absolutely stunning; they almost glow. Third, Deneuve is a wonderful actress, and her portrayal of Merteuil is far superior to Glenn Close, however she is too old. In the book she was in her late twenties, and a woman in her mid-thirties would have been more credible here.
Also, the writers fleshed out the ending quite a bit in very interesting and humanizing ways, where Laclos sort of just sort of killed everyone off with gusto. The inclusion of all of the characters, and the development of all of their interrelationships makes this a very long movie (270 minutes!). The movie is often visually stunning. Many of the sets absorb light in beautiful ways, radiating their darkness.
This film is infinitely superior to Close and Malkovich's botched DANGEROUS LIAISONS, which was just overblown, overacted ham, in my opinion.
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