Les liaisons dangereuses (film)

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Les liaisons dangereuses
Les liaisons dangereuses (1959 movie poster).jpg
French film poster
Directed by Roger Vadim
Written by Roger Vailland
Claude Brulé (adaptation)
Choderlos de Laclos (novel)
Starring Jeanne Moreau
Gérard Philipe
Annette Vadim
Madeleine Lambert
Music by Thelonious Monk
Duke Jordan
Cinematography Marcel Grignon
Edited by Victoria Mercanton
Distributed by Ariane Distribution
Release dates
  • September 9, 1959 (1959-09-09)
Running time 105 minutes
Country France
Language French
Budget US$4.3 million

Les liaisons dangereuses (English: Dangerous Liaisons) is a 1959 French-language film, loosely based on the 1782 novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. It was directed by Roger Vadim, and stars Jeanne Moreau, Gerard Phillipe, and Annette Vadim. It was a French/Italian co-production.


Directed by Roger Vadim as a modern (1959) adaptation of the once scandalous French novel, it pits one woman's desire to manipulate others against the power of real love. Jeanne Moreau plays Juliette de Merteuil, a conniving socialite who manipulates the Vicomte de Valmont (played by Gérard Philipe) into meeting and seducing Marianne (Annette Vadim). Valmont and Marianne fall in love much to his dismay and to the delight of Merteuil. Shot in black and white in the style of the French New Wave (Nouvelle Vague) Vadim's whirlwind portrayal of Merteuil and Valmont's deceitful dealings brings together a clash of late 1950s society and 18th-century morality.


Vadim's film brought Moreau to an international audience, despite the film's less than stellar critical reviews. The later Jules et Jim would bring her true international stardom. Gérard Philipe died almost 8 weeks after the film's release. It was the last of his films that was released before his death.

The film was originally denied an export license because of its unflattering portrayal of contemporary French society. The ban was lifted in 1961.

Owing to objections by the Académie française, who claimed it “desecrated a classic,” its name was changed to Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960. [1]

In February, 1962 the film was pulled from a theater in Montclair, N.J. at the request of the police commissioner as authorized by the Town Council. This occurred after a letter writing campaign following the film's condemnation from the pulpit of a local Roman Catholic church.[2] The film had been running for nearly three weeks at that point. The theater continued its run beginning ten days later, the theater's management citing contractual obligations to its American distributor.[3]


Musical score and soundtrack[edit]

Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
Soundtrack album by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers with Barney Wilen
Released 1960
Recorded July 28 & 29, 1959
Nola's Penthouse Sound Studios, New York City
Genre Film score
Length 38:54
Label Fontana
680 203 TL
Producer Marcel Romano
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers chronology
At the Jazz Corner of the World
Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960

The film's score was composed and performed by Thelonious Monk, with additional music for the extended party scene by ‘’Jack Marray‘’ (an alias for Duke Jordan) which was performed Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers with Barney Wilen. The soundtrack, featuring only those tracks recorded by Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers with Barney Wilen, was originally released on the French Fontana label.[4][5] The tracks by Thelonious Monk have never been released commercially.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[6]

Scott Yanow of Allmusic states that "In general, the music manages to stand on its own with the ensemble getting to stretch out a bit on the rare material".[6]

Track listing[edit]

All compositions by Duke Jordan

  1. "No Problem (1st Version)" - 7:23
  2. "No Hay Problema" - 4:35
  3. "Prelude in Blue (À "L' Esquinade")" - 6:59
  4. "Valmontana (1st Version)"- 4:46
  5. "Miguel's Party" - 4:23
  6. "Prelude in Blue (Chez Miguel)" - 5:54
  7. "No Problem (2nd Version)" - 6:00
  8. "Weehawken Mad Pad" - 1:50
  9. "Valmontana (2nd Version)" - 4:33
  10. "No Hay Problema (2nd Version)" - 3:53 Bonus track on CD reissue



  1. ^ New York Times August 2,1961 [1] accessed July 14, 2013
  2. ^ New York Times February 17,1962[2] accessed July 15, 2013
  3. ^ New York Times February 27,1962[3] accessed July 15, 2013
  4. ^ Art Blakey discography accessed July 21, 2013
  5. ^ Art Blakey chronology accessed July 214, 2013
  6. ^ a b Yanow, S. Allmusic Review, accessed June 21, 2013

External links[edit]