Draughtsman's Contract

Overview

Peter Greenaway's first fiction feature after the mock-documentary The Falls made him immediately famous and was named one of the most original films of the 1980s by British critics. The action is set in the director's beloved 17th century. Ambitious young artist Mr. Neville Anthony Higgins is invited by Mrs. Herbert Janet Suzman to make 12 elaborate sketches of her estate. Besides money, the contract includes sexual favors that Mrs. Herbert will offer to the draughtsman in the absence of Mr. Herbert. Entirely ...
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Overview

Peter Greenaway's first fiction feature after the mock-documentary The Falls made him immediately famous and was named one of the most original films of the 1980s by British critics. The action is set in the director's beloved 17th century. Ambitious young artist Mr. Neville Anthony Higgins is invited by Mrs. Herbert Janet Suzman to make 12 elaborate sketches of her estate. Besides money, the contract includes sexual favors that Mrs. Herbert will offer to the draughtsman in the absence of Mr. Herbert. Entirely confident in his ability to weave a web of intrigues, Mr. Neville eventually becomes a victim of someone else's elaborate scheme. The film is structured as a sophisticated intellectual puzzle like the ones popular in the 17th century. There is a lot to pay attention to besides the intrigues -- fancy wigs, conversations by candlelight, English parks, Purcell-inspired baroque music by Michael Nyman, all to please the eyes, soothe the ears, and stimulate the mind.
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Special Features

Restored anamorphic transfer, created from Hi-Def elements; Peter Greenaway commentary and video introduction; Four deleted scenes; Behind-the-scenes footage and on-set interviews; Interview with composer Michael Nyman; Restoration demonstration; Production photos and Draughtsman's sketches; Original theatrical trailer; Essays by Greenaway and cinematographer Curtis Clark
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
The Draughtsman's Contract is a seductive cinematic puzzle, with all the visual richness and style that have come to be associated with the film's director, Peter Greenaway. Like other Greenaway efforts, the story is dense with multiple layers. Deception, both of fact and motive, permeate the texture to the point that there is almost too much for audiences to assimilate in one viewing. While the performances are uniformly excellent, it is Greenaway's ability to create a vivid historical setting that most distinguishes the film. Michael Nyman's carefully crafted and historically appropriate score contributes greatly to the verisimilitude. The cinematography is unusually straightforward for a Greenaway film, with numerous static camera set-ups providing a head-on look at the proceedings.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/12/2008
  • UPC: 795975109635
  • Original Release: 1982
  • Rating:

  • Source: Zeitgeist Films
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Subtitled
  • Time: 1:48:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 42,365

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Anthony Higgins Mr. Neville
Janet Suzman Mrs. Herbert
Anne-Louise Lambert Mrs. Talmann
Hugh Fraser Mr. Talmann
Nicholas Amer Mr. Parkes
Joss Buckley Mr. Porringer
Mike Carter Mr. Clark
Vivienne Chandler Laundress
Suzanne Crowley Mrs. Pierpont
Neil Cunningham Mr. Noyes
Michael Feast The statue
David Gant Mr. Seymour
Dave Hill Mr. Herbert
Geoffrey Larder Mr. Hammond
David Meyer Mr. Poulenc
Tony Meyer The Poulenas
George Miller Valet
Steve Ubels Mr. Van Hoyton
Technical Credits
Peter Greenaway Director, Screenwriter
Sue Blane Costumes/Costume Designer
Curtis Clark Cinematographer
Michael Nyman Score Composer
David Payne Producer
Bob Ringwood Art Director, Costumes/Costume Designer
John Wilson Editor
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Peter Greenaway's The Draughtsman's Contract
1. Exorbitant Terms [11:21]
2. Mr. Neville's Curriculum [6:02]
3. A Presumptory Regime [7:06]
4. Inquisitive Spectators [4:58]
5. Someone Is Getting Careless [9:03]
6. Imprudence and Provocation [7:28]
7. The Sceond Contract [6:19]
8. Pictorial Conceit [4:41]
9. Weighing Significance [8:46]
10. Mr. Noyes' Stratagem [7:23]
11. Allegorical Evidence [6:54]
12. Extra-Contractual Liaisons [9:18]
13. The Three Pomegranates [6:36]
14. Property and Foresight [8:39]
15. End Credits [2:53]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Peter Greenaway's The Draughtsman's Contract
   Play the Movie
   Chapters
   Audio & Subtitles
      Peter Greenaway Commentary: On
      Peter Greenaway Commentary: Off
      English SDH: On
      English SDH: Off
   Peter Greenaway Intro
   Draughtsman's Dossier
      Deleted Scenes
         Chair
         Watercress
         Misadventure
         Rain
         Play All
      Behind-the-Scenes Footage
         The Pomegranate Scene
         Suzman, Higgins & Greenaway on Set
         Play Both
      Michael Nyman Interview
      Restoration Demonstration
      Galleries
         Draughtsman's Drawings
         Production Photos
      Theatrical Trailer
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