Movies of 1988 Bracket Game: Dangerous Liaisons Vs. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

What do Dangerous Liaisons and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels have in common beyond being released three decades ago?  More than you might think.  Both movies are set in France.  They were both adaptations (Liaisons is based on the novel Les Liaisons dangereuses and Scoundrels is a remake of Bedtime Stories).  And both movies center on characters who lie to each other.  There was also a real life dangerous liaison which crossed over to the cast of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, but I will get to that after the jump.

Before we delve into the sordid details of today’s battle of liars, let’s take a look at the results of yesterday’s contest.

Readers went for the international caper comedy over the police spoof roughly two-to-one.  That moves A Fish Called Wanda into the second round where it will face the winner of today’s match-up.

Dangerous Liaisons was one of the leading competitors at the Oscars in 1988.  It was nominated in several major categories including Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.  The fact that Stephen Frears was passed over for a Best Director nomination was perhaps a clue that voters weren’t all that serious about giving Oscar gold to Dangerous Liaisons.  It did manage to win in some of the lesser categories including Best Adapted Screenplay.

Oscars were never a consideration for a farce like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.  But Michael Caine did get a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a comedy.  The movie in which Steve Martin plays a classless American conman who moves in on Caine’s turf fared reasonably well at the box office.  It earned over $42 million dollars making it the 24th highest grossing movie of the year.  The movie has aged well.  It served as the basis for a Broadway musical and a gender-swapped remake is currently in development.

In real life, John Malkovich was married to Dirty Rotten Scoundrel‘s star, Glenne Headly.  The two had met during their time in  the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago.  They had been married for six years when Malkovich started a romantic relationship with his Liaisons costar, Michelle Pfeiffer, who was also married at the time.  When word got out about the affair, both marriages ended.

Gossip aside, we have two very different movies dealing with some similar themes.  Do you prefer the bodice-ripping of Dangerous Liaisons or the side-splitting comedy of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels?


Posted on January 2, 2018, in Bracket Game, Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Looks like a close vote here so far. I don’t, to be candid, have terribly strong feelings about either of these movies. I’m probably more likely to watch Dirty Rotten Scoundrels again in the future so that was where my vote went.


    • I don’t have a strong rooting interest one way or another. Although DRS pairs nicely with A Fish Called Wanda, so that outcome might make the next write-up a little easier on me! 😉


  2. Naked Uma is very memorable, but the leads in DRS take it.


  3. Dangerous Liasions is a far superior film, hands down.


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