Liaisons through the ages
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Original article: Click Here
– Dangerous Liaisons began life in 1782 as Les Liaisons dangereuses, a French epistolary novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. Through a series of letters as correspondence, it tells the story of the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, two rivals who use sex as a weapon to humiliate and degrade others.
– A French film of the same name surfaced in 1959, directed by Roger Vadim and starring Jeanne Moreau and Gerard Philipe. Vadim updated the story to a late 1950s French bourgeois milieu.
– A Korean adaptation of the film was released in 1970 called Uiheomhan gwangye, literally translated as “dangerous liaisons.”
– In 1980, French television commissioned a TV movie of Les Liaisons dangereuses from director Claude Barma. It starred Claude Deliame, Jean-Pierre Bouvier and Maia Simon.
– British playwright Christopher Hampton adapted de Laclos’ novel into an English language play in 1985.
– In 1988, director Stephen Frears directed an English-language film of Dangerous Liaisons, based on Hampton’s play. It starred Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer, and is the most popular contemporary version.
– Another English-language film followed immediately after in 1989. Called Valmont, it was directed by Milos Foreman, and starred Colin Firth, Annette Bening and Meg Tilly.
– An eight-part audio adaptation aired on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour Drama in 1992, starring Juliet Stevenson and Samuel West.
– In 1994, American composer Conrad Susa was commissioned by the San Fransico Opera to write an opera on the novel. It also aired on television on PBS the same year.
– A modern, teen-friendly film adaptation called Cruel Intentions was released in 1999, starring Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillipe and Sarah Michelle Gellar.
– The most controversial version, Michael Lucas’ Dangerous Liaisons, was released in 2005. Essentially a gay pornographic film, it featured non-sexual cameos by Boy George, RuPaul and Bruce Vilanch.