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Valmont (1989)

aka Valmont

Directed By: 
Details: 137 mins · English · R (USA)

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Thia aired only a year after "Dangerous Liasons" the story is the same - only this version is not as interesting told.

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Plot:

Merteuil (Annette Bening), a beautiful, wealthy widow in society, discovers that her secret lover Gercourt (Jeffrey Jones) is betrothed. She learns from her cousin Madame de Volanges (Siân Phillips) that Gercourt's new fiancée is none other than Volanges' 15-year-old daughter Cecile (Fairuza Balk). Volanges confides in Merteuil that Gercourt chose Cecile as she was raised in a convent to keep her chaste before marriage. Volanges also admits there were worries over the betrothal, as people were discussing Gercourt's former mistress's sanity.


Angered over the loss of her lover and his slight of her character, Merteuil plots to deface Cecile's virtue by having her friend Valmont (Colin Firth) seduce Cecile. Valmont declines Merteuil's request because he is trying to lure Madame de Tourvel (Meg Tilly), a married guest of his aunt who is staying in the country while her husband is abroad. Merteuil chides Valmont for his effort, and they make a wager: if Valmont succeeds in bedding Madame de Tourvel, he may bed Merteuil; if he fails, he must join a monastery.


Although Merteuil does not have the charming libertine Valmont for assistance, she learns Cecile's music teacher, Danceny (Henry Thomas), has been writing love letters to Cecile. Merteuil learns in confidence from Cecile that she loves Danceny.


Merteuil convinces her cousin to allow Cecile to join her in the country while helping Cecile write secret love letters to Danceny. The two of them join Valmont at his aunt's residence where he playfully flirts with Cecile. At the same time, Valmont is unsuccessful at his numerous attempts at wooing Tourvel. Someone has warned Tourvel of his sexual scheming and debauchery and Tourvel flees to the city to get away from Valmont's attempts to seduce her. Merteuil suggests Valmont should help Cecile write a letter and Valmont takes Cecile's virginity. When Cecile confides in Merteuil, Merteuil encourages her young cousin to marry Gercourt and keep Danceny as her lover.


Valmont goes to Tourvel and she returns his affections. In the morning she leaves for the market to prepare a meal for him but Valmont decides not to stay and goes to collect his prize from Merteuil. Merteuil refuses to honor her wager and Valmont leaves in a fury.


Valmont convinces Cecile to write Danceny explaining that Merteuil encourages Cecile to marry Gercourt and keep Danceny as her lover.


Tourvel later comes to Valmont and spends the night, leaving before he wakes the next morning.


Upon reading the letter, Danceny visits Merteuil. He has her compose a letter and threatens her. During this, Valmont visits Merteuil—who reveals she has herself seduced Danceny. Merteuil explains that she has informed Danceny of Valmont's treachery with respect to Cecile.


Danceny challenges Valmont to a duel set for the following morning. Valmont decides to drink himself to a stupor before the duel, allowing himself to be slain by Danceny.


Cecile discovers she is pregnant with Valmont's child. His aunt is overjoyed when Cecile shares her news. The film ends with Cecile's wedding to Gercourt with Merteuil watching on alone.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1989-11-17 : United States of America

DVD : 2002-05-14