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  • Dangerous Liaisons [DVD] [1988] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Dangerous Liaisons [DVD] [1988] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

58 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304696515
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 206,718 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Dangerous Liaisons

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Dec. 2000
Format: DVD
This is a convincing and compelling version of Choderlos de Laclos' epistolary novel, originally brought to the stage by Christopher Hampton. The sets, scenery and costumes are gorgeous and vividly created: witness the beginning scenes in which the golden couple of French society are dressed and prepared for going out by hordes of solemn servants. Glenn Close and John Malkovitch are on fine form as a pair of silky, poisonous plotters, in the days when aristos came with heads attached, whose greatest joy is playing various members of society against one another. The film's strength lies in the progress of Malkovitch's character whose malicious seductiveness begins to crumble against the onslaught of confusing emotional stress. The confusion is the viewer's too - has he really succumbed to love, or is he still using words as weapons of seduction. The climax of the film for me, was the "It's beyond my control" scene, in which Valmont subjects Mme de Tourval to excruciating emotional agony in order to relieve his own torment and attempt to regain that smooth and emotionless state with which he began the film.
Michelle Pfieffer and Uma Thurman are equally worthy of note as the pawns in a vicious game - even Keanu Reeves seems relaxed in his role as a penniless music teacher, as opposed to his stilted delivery in his later costume drama Dracula.
Whilst the support is good, the film undeniably beongs to Malkovitch and Close portraying two characters so assured of their own immortality, disaster strikes them both unawares. Note: the very final scene of the film in which the Marquise de Meurteuil removes her make-up after her fall from grace is one of the most poignant and horrifying: her inner ugliness is all of a sudden laid bare for all to see. Watch this with a bottle of wine and a box of Black Magic.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 May 2005
Format: DVD
The 18th Century setting of this excellent adaptation of the Christopher Hampton play in pre-revolutionary France, serves much better to amplify the story line than any modern day adaptation ever could. The seemingly villianous characters of the Marquis de Merteuil (Glenn Close) and Vicomte de Valmont (John Malkovich) with their plotting and machinations, are something that only that ghastly age could produce, with social divisons so wide it caused a revolution, as well as its culture of female repression. The sumptious costumes and cinematography emphasising the immense wealth and indolence of the aristocrats. The tight corsets of the women out of which they could barely breathe, emphasising the social restrictions that suffocated their spirits. That we know that the ultimate fate of these aristocrats was with "Madame de Guillotine" contributes to the atmosphere a subtle danger that pervades throughout the film, central to the plot of sexual intrigue and manipulation.
John Malkovich exudes charisma as Valmont and really does look like a french aristocrat from those times. It is unfortunate then that his seduction of Madame de Tourvelle (Michelle Pfeiffer) is conducted in the manner of a drill sargent, making his character as a lady killer a bit unbelievable. Michelle Pfeiffer and Glen Close give the best performances in the film. The torment of Madame de Tourville, played by Pfeiffer, struggling between her love for Valmont and everything she believes in, is acted with exquisite emotional honesty.
It is interesting that author Francois Choderlos de Laclos who wrote the original novel in 1782, being a man, had such a sympathetic insight into the inequalities and double standards the women of the time had to endure.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JustAnotherCustomer on 20 May 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I have waited for a long time to get this excellent piece on blu-ray, having previously owned a copy first on VHS, and then on DVD. I remember clearly buying the DVD and being amazed at the clarity of the picture in comparison to my VHS copy, and this switch from DVD to blu-ray is no less amazing. In fact, it is more so. The details in the picture are wonderful, with everything being as one would expect with high definition media. The colours are delicious and the marvellous lighting in this film is only accentuated by this transfer, with every subtlety evident. I was also very pleased to see no evidence of the film scratches that are all over the DVD release. The aspect ratio is the same as on the DVD release (16:9), and for me this does not detract from the film, being such a minor difference from the originally shot 1.85:1.

The only bonuses on this release are: The original trailer (which doesn't look that bad for a standard definition encoding in 4:3 aspect ratio), a trailer which creates an entirely wrong impression of the film, making the film seem much more farcical and light hearted than it really is. By the trailer one would be forgiven for thinking the film was an upbeat romp. I personally would never call a trailer of the same film one is buying a bonus, and have never seen the point in their inclusion on the discs we buy. In this case, however, it is interesting to have as a good example of how editing can change perception entirely.

The one really good bonus on this disc is the inclusion of a commentary track by the director and scriptwriter together. Too often I am deeply disappointed by commentary tracks, finding them dull in their delivery or largely devoid of anything that is actually worthwhile saying.
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