The Serpent's Kiss

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The Serpent's Kiss
The Serpent's Kiss.jpg
Directed by Philippe Rousselot
Written by Tim Rose Price
Starring Ewan McGregor
Greta Scacchi
Pete Postlethwaite
Release dates
  • May 14, 1997 (1997-05-14) (Cannes)
Running time
104 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Serpent's Kiss is a 1997 film directed by Philippe Rousselot. It is a story about a Dutch garden architect named Meneer Chrome (Ewan McGregor) who has been hired by a wealthy metalworker (Pete Postlethwaite) to create an extravagant garden. The film also stars Greta Scacchi and Richard E. Grant.

The film was entered into the 1997 Cannes Film Festival.[1] The film was Rousselot's only directed feature throughout his career.


Thomas Smithers (Postlethwaite), who has made his fortune in metalwork, hires Meneer Chrome (McGregor), a famous garden designer, to create the most extravagant garden imaginable out of his wild property. However, Chrome has already been employed by Fitzmaurice (Grant), the cousin of Smithers' wife Juliana (Scacchi), for the purpose of bankrupting Smithers. Fitzmaurice's purpose in this is to take back Juliana as his lover, but she becomes attracted to Chrome, who is falling in love with Anna, the Smithers' mysterious daughter. Anna, however, is contemptuous of Chrome (and, indeed, of everyone she meets, filtering them and everything else around her through the poems of Andrew Marvell); her parents subject her to numerous "treatments," thinking her mentally unstable and wishing to cure her. These treatments cause Chrome to pity her, outbursting to the doctor at one point, "You're sick, she's not! Heal yourself!"

As the garden grows increasingly more complex and Smithers approaches bankruptcy, Fitzmaurice realizes that Chrome's affection for Anna is making him a liability; first he threatens to reveal Chrome's true identity to Smithers, then he plots to kill him by poisoning. Fitzmaurice's plan backfires, however, and he falls victim to his own poison. Juliana abandons her adulterous intentions, which her husband remains unaware of, and turns to support Smithers, who is bankrupt from his garden project obsession. Chrome, revealed to be the real Chrome's assistant, goes to the sea with Anna, where she throws away her book of poetry.




This film marks the start of Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor's long running friendship that would eventually lead to their trip 'round the world: Long Way Round and is referenced in the documentary.


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Serpent's Kiss". Retrieved 2009-09-23. 

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