Dangerous Liaisons

From Quotes
Life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim.
Bertrand Russell
Jump to: navigation, search

Dangerous Liaisons is a 1988 film directed by Stephen Frears. It is based upon a play by Christopher Hampton which in turn is based on the classic eighteenth-century novel Les Liaisons dangereuses, by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos.

Set in France around 1760-1770, a scheming widow and her ex-lover make a bet regarding the corruption of a recently married woman. The ex-lover, Valmont, bets that he can seduce her, even though she is an honorable woman. If he wins, he can have his ex-lover to do with as he will.

Spoiler warning: Plot, ending, or solution details follow.

Vicomte de Valmont

  • I promised her my eternal love, and I actually thought that I meant it for a couple of hours.
  • And it's not that I want to have you. All I want is to deserve you.
  • I often wonder how you manage to invent yourself.
  • You see, I have no intention of breaking down her prodigiousness. I want her to believe in God and virtue and the sanctity of marriage, and still not be able to stop herself. I want the excitement of watching her betray everything that's most important to her.
  • I want the excitement of watching her betray everything that's most important to her.

Marquise de Merteuil

  • I've distilled everything to one single principle: win or die.
  • You'll find the shame is like the pain: you only feel it once.
  • Like most intellectuals, he's intensely stupid.
  • When one woman strikes at the heart of another she seldom misses, and the wound is invariably fatal.
  • I've always known I was meant to dominate your sex and avenge my own.
  • When it comes to marriage, one man is as good as the next. And even the least accomodating is less trouble than a mother.


Marquise de Merteuil: I've always known that I was born to dominate your sex, and avenge my own.
Vicomte de Valmont: Is there anything I can do to help?

Marquise de Merteuil: Come back when you've succeeded with Madame de Tourvel.
Vicomte de Valmont: Yes?
Marquise de Merteuil: And I will offer you a reward.
Vicomte de Valmont: My love.

Vicomte de Valmont: I have a disappaling reputation.
Madame de Tourvel: Yes, I have been warned about you.

Marquise de Merteuil: You may geuninely be unaware of this but I can see quite plainly that you are in love with this woman.
Vicomte de Valmont: No. Not at all.

Vicomte de Valmont: Be careful of the Marquise.
Chevalier Danceny: You must permit me to treat with skepticism anything you have to say about her.
Vicomte de Valmont: Nevertheless I must tell you, in this affair we are both her creatures, as I believe her letters to me will prove. When you have read them, you may decide to circulate them.

Vicomte de Valmont: Why do you suppose we only feel compelled to chase the ones who run away?
Marquise de Merteuil: Immaturity?

Vicomte de Valmont: Now, yes or no? It is up to you, of course. I will merely confine myself to remarking that a "no" will be regarded as a declaration of war. A single word is all that is required.
Marquise de Merteuil: All right. War!

Chevalier Danceny: (as he lies with Merteuil, he is startled by Valmont) Monsieur Valmont!
Vicomte de Valmont: I don't think you would be surprised to know that Madamoiselle Volanges has miscarried her firstborn child?
Chevalier Danceny: Then I must go to her.
Marquise de Merteuil: What a waste of time, you have more pleasures here.
Vicomte de Valmont: Go, she is your apprentice and she will need you at this moment in her life. (kisses his forehead)
Vicomte de Valmont: Go. I have a few words with the Marquise.


External links

Wikipedia has an article about: