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Cruel Intentions [VHS] [1999]

Sarah Michelle Gellar , Ryan Phillippe , Roger Kumble    Suitable for 15 years and over   VHS Tape
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
RRP: 5.99
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Product details

  • Actors: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair, Louise Fletcher
  • Directors: Roger Kumble
  • Writers: Roger Kumble, Choderlos de Laclos
  • Producers: Bruce Mellon, Christopher Ball, Heather Lieberman, Michael Fottrell, Neal H. Moritz
  • Format: Download: Palm Reader
  • Language: English, French, Vietnamese
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Columbia Tristar
  • VHS Release Date: 1 Oct 2001
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004D0CJ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 234,368 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description


This modern-day teen update of Les Liaisons Dangereuses suffered at the hands of both critics and moviegoers thanks to its sumptuous ad campaign, which hyped the film as an arch, highly sexual, faux-serious drama (not unlike the successful, Oscar-nominated Dangerous Liaisons). In fact, Cruel Intentions plays like high comedy for its first two-thirds, as its two evil heroes, rich stepsiblings Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe), blithely ruin lives and reputations with hearts as black as coal.

Kathryn wants revenge on a boyfriend who dumped her, so she befriends his new intended, the gawky Cecile (Selma Blair), and gets Sebastian to deflower the innocent virgin. The meat of the game, though, lies in Sebastian's seduction of good girl Annette (a down-to-earth Reese Witherspoon), who has written a nationally published essay entitled "Why I Choose to Wait." If he fails, Kathryn gets his precious vintage convertible; if he wins, he gets Kathryn--in the sack.

When the movie sticks to the merry ruination of Kathryn and Sebastian's pawns, it's highly enjoyable: Gellar in particular is a two-faced manipulator extraordinaire, and Phillippe, usually a black hole, manages some fun as a hipster Eurotrash stud. Most pleasantly surprising of all is Witherspoon, who puts a remarkably self-assured spin on a character usually considered vulnerable and tortured (see Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Liaisons). Unfortunately, writer-director Roger Kumble undermines everything he's built up with a false ending that's true to neither the reconceived characters nor the original story--revenge is a dish best served cold, not cooked up with unnecessary plot twists. --Mark Englehart,

Product Description

Actors: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair, Louise Fletcher
Director: Roger Kumble
Manufacturer: Columbia Tristar

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "You will be discreet about this. . .?" 24 Jan 2004
Cruel Intentions has been slammed by critics, who have unfairly and unfavourably compared it with 1989's Dangerous Liaisons (both films stem from Choderlos de Laclos's novel, Les Liaisons Dangereuses). Whereas Dangerous Liaisons is fairly faithful to the original, Cruel Intentions manipulates the plot - throwing a twist in the tail - and relocates the milieu from 18th century France to the present-day Upper East Side of New York, where underneath the veneer of respectability, wealthy teenagers plot each other's downfalls.

Stepsiblings Kathryn Merteuil and Sebastian Valmont are two such teenagers. They amuse themselves by arranging reputation-destroying paybacks for those who have wronged them, and make wagers on the outcome. The focus of the movie is Sebastian's attempt to make a conquest of the Headmaster's virginal daughter, Annette (who, in a heavy-handed attempt at symbolism, wears white throughout almost the entire film).

However, the movie certainly has some memorable high points, beginning at the very outset where the camera swoops fast and low over what appears to be a grassy park studded with rocks; only after the camera angles away does the viewer realise - with some discomfort - that the park is in fact a graveyard. The opening scenes also introduce the appealing and well-judged soundtrack, which includes artists as diverse as Placebo and Fatboy Slim. The Verve's song, Bittersweet Symphony, is an absolutely perfect 'just desserts' track at the film's conclusion.

These kids are incredibly nasty and vindictive, but owing to the verbosity of the script and the almost total lack of adult chaperones appearing on screen, it is difficult at times to remember that they are only teenagers. In the end though, perhaps we just like to see someone be very, very wicked and almost get away with it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Modernisations are rarely as good as the original. Often they seem to distort the original text, language and plot beyond recognition so that the author or director can put across extreme feminist, anti-racist/nazi/ageist viewpoint. Quite frankly I have often doubted whether the author could have even read the original, let alone adapted it to reflect modern society. However, this film takes on this difficult task and comes out smelling of talent and success. This did not get the box office acclaim it deserved, indeed it really should be rated higher than the over-romanticised Titanic.Nonetheless, the talented young actors show maturity beyond their years and fill the film with amazing amounts of sexual tension seemingly without any effort at all. It is my opinion, however, that this film can only be appreciated by those who have read the book Les Liasions Dangereuses or at least seen the film with John Malkovich. For only then can the viewer see how effortlessly the modern themes, such as racism and homophobia, fit in as thought they were always there. The class divide was so important in the original and this film highlights superbly the very issues that divide society today. Geller has a natural sexual appeal and in this film, with her new sophistacted brunette hair, she positively exudes confidence. Phillippe is masculinity personified and wears a suit in the natural, sexy way they should be. Together, they create more chemistry and tension in one scene than Winslet and deCaprio in the whole of Titanic. Every detail in the film has had due attention paid to it. The decor is a deliciously modern take on the richness and elegance of late 18th century France and the music an unusual, yet perfect, mix of modern indie and classic orchestral symphonies. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 1990s teen movie 12 Feb 2008
This film is a classic and in many ways is the film that made Reese Witherspoon. The film follows the story of how Ryan Phillipe, her later off screen husband, pursues her and deflowers her. This is not due to love as she believed, but due to a bet he has with Gellar. If he can seduce "true love waits" figure Witherspoon, he gets a car. When Witherspoon finds out, he instantly realises the folly of his ways and attempts to reconcile with her in a particularly jarring ending.

The film's strength is in the exceptionally strong lead roles, with Phillipe, Gellar and Witherspoon putting in flawless portrayals. The film also has an excellent sound track, which will take anyone who is a child of the 1990s back into teen nostalgia. Even people who (gasp) don't remember the 90s will still find this film enjoyable, such as today's older teenagers, as the themes covered are relatively timeless.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
I've got to be honest I expected to hate this movie.
I loved both the book and film of Dangerous Liasons and generally am only a minor fan of Buffy (I watch the series for Willow not SMG).
Much to my suprise though the film holds up suprisingly well.
The modern settings requires few alterations (mostly towards the end) and the princple cast members turn in very believable performances (Okay it took 1- minutes for me to become absolutely convinced she wasn't going to stake someone).
I'd recommend this to any one who's seen the Glenn Close, John Malkovich Liason as an intresting change of pace and I'd recommend fans of this to check out the Liason Dangerous as well
A welcome suprise and thoroughly enjoyable film
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great film
great film great music
Published 9 days ago by Angela rodgers
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good quality
Published 1 month ago by julie bannister
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
best movie ever!!!
Published 1 month ago by Anna- Sophie Gaze
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great film!
Published 1 month ago by KateHemingway92
5.0 out of 5 stars Great price & quick delivery
Love this film, very good price and quick delivery. Have watched it quite a few times already.
Published 2 months ago by Nickyhinder
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun fluff
Good sharp writing, with good performances from the leads, especially the two brilliantly nasty (and sexy!) parts taken by Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Philippe.
Published 3 months ago by Ian Bertram
4.0 out of 5 stars manipulation and heartache
while i adore the original i also enjoyed this version released in the late 90's. everyone knows the story so my addition would be the surprise casting of sarah michelle Gellar as... Read more
Published 5 months ago by molly
Three and a half Stars, so I upgraded to Four Stars! "Uncovered" is murder mystery movie that is quite unusual. Read more
Published 6 months ago by RSProds
5.0 out of 5 stars teenager education
Selma Blair, Reese Wetherspoon Geller when starting out - a very capable take on Liaisons...with bonus of upper east side /hampton scenery...and the baddies get theirs too.
Published 8 months ago by oxfordmummy
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
Better than the original dangerous laisons. Far more witty, works so much better and great performance from all the characters.
Published 9 months ago by Jay
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