Dangerous Liaisons was Frears' eighth feature film, and his first working with American studios. With seven Academy Award nominations, it was a very successful Hollywood debut.
The film features widely acclaimed performances by Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer in the roles of the three major characters from Laclos' novel, the Marquise de Merteuil, the Vicomte de Valmont and Madame de Tourvel, respectively; Keanu Reeves, Uma Thurman and Swoosie Kurtz also appear in supporting roles.
The movie was shot entirely on location in historical buildings of the French regions of Ãle-de-France and Picardie such as, among others, the famous ChÃ¢teau de Vincennes. It was co-produced by Christopher Hampton, who also wrote the screenplay based on his adaptation of Laclos' novel for the stage.
The original score was written by George Fenton. The soundtrack also included masterpieces of baroque and classical music, most notably works from Vivaldi, Bach, Handel and Gluck.
The original English-language film, which has characters speaking American English, strives for an authentic French sensibility: conversations are hushed, almost whispered, in an effort to evoke the grace and reserve of eighteenth-century nobility.