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The Draughtsman's Contract

  • Drama
  • 1982
  • Peter Greenaway
  • 103 mins
  • 15

Summary

Period drama starring Anthony Higgins and Janet Suzman. England in the 1690s: draughtsman Mr Neville is employed by a wealthy landowner to produce 12 drawings of his country estate. But by taking payment in sexual favours and painting the scenes with such a keen eye for detail, Neville soon finds himself involved in a murder mystery.

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Review

A star rating of 5 out of 5.

As an introduction to a unique personal vision, director Peter Greenaway's first commercially released feature film is a calling card of dazzling virtuosity. A 17th-century draughtsman (Anthony Higgins) is hired to make 12 drawings of a country estate, and is paid in sexual favours by the landowner's wife and daughter (Janet Suzman and Anne Louise Lambert). The possibility of his drawings being an artistic witness to murder is deftly, tantalisingly displayed and his ultimate downfall from arrogant posturing is a lesson in class-distinction, only to be expected from the aristocratic world he's tried to enter. Clever, witty and with obsessively minimalist music by Michael Nyman to reinforce the remarkable visuals, this has the growing momentum of a ground-breaking debut.

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Mr NevilleAnthony Higgins
Mrs HerbertJanet Suzman
Mrs TalmannAnne Louise Lambert
Mr NoyesNeil Cunningham
Mr TalmannHugh Fraser
Mr HerbertDave Hill (2)
Mr SeymourDavid Gant
PoulencDavid Meyer
PoulencTony Meyer
Mrs ClementLynda La Plante
The StatueMichael Feast

Crew

rolename
DirectorPeter Greenaway

Details

Theatrical distributor
ICA Projects
Released on
2003-08-01
Guidance
Violence, sex scenes and nudity.
Available on
video and DVD
Formats
Colour
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