Les Liason Dangereuses 1960 updated Choderlos de Laclos’ novel, written 177 years before that. Film director Roger Vadim, And God Created Woman, 1956 and Barbarella,1968, set the bedroom intrigue against a Parisian eve-of-the-’60s world of jazz and sexual permissiveness, cast French siren Jeanne Moreau as predatory Juliette, Gérard Philipe as Valmont and gave his wife Annette Vadim the innocent-prey role.
Since the release of the 1988 Dangerous Liaisons featuring Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer, Vadim’s film has travelled under the title Les Dangerous Liaisons 1960, even though it was technically completed in 1959, and released to the U.S. in 1961.
Moreau’s best-known film role may have been Catherine, the free-spirited heroine of François Truffaut’s love-triangle drama Jules and Jim, 1962. Throughout the 1960s, she worked with many important international filmmakers who appreciated her intelligence, wit and fearless determination as well as her intense beauty. She was directed by Peter Brook in Seven Days… Seven Nights in 1960, Michaelangelo Antonioni in La Notte in 1961; Luis Buñuel in Diary of a Chambermaid in 1964; and Orson Welles in The Trial in 1962 and The Immortal Story in 1968.
Les Dangerous Liaisons 1960 was made during the heyday of the French “Nouvelle Vague,” the movement that launched Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard and several other directors, it aspires to cinematic hipness – the camera peeps at the sexual players from behind chairs, even from under the sheets, and there’s a wonderful music track supplied by jazz musicians Thelonious Monk and Art Blakey.
Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960 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. The tracks by Thelonious Monk have never been released commercially.
Gerard Philipe was the ultimate romantic and charming lead of French cinema and theatre, starring in such features as Le Cid for Jean Vilar’s Theatre National Populaire and Fanfan La Tulipeopposite Gina Lollobrigida, in 1952. A teen idol, the actor prematurely dies from cancer at the age of 37 leaving thousands of enamoured young girls grieving around the world.
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