12 thoughts on “Reader Request Review: The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982)

  1. Nope. Saw it with a group of friend when it came out, and there was a collective “ewww!!” when we came out. There was something perverted about it, and it left me a bit nauseated… I may also have been a mite too young for it, then.

  2. Wonderful film, as are most of PG’s. Absolutely beautiful to look at, and the music, arranged by Michael Nyman and based loosely on works by Purcell is equally wonderful. I highly recommend anyone to watch this.

  3. I actually caught this in a theatrical showing around the time of its release, as part of a special series of “art films” shown during an extended visit to my hometown, which could generously be described as a somewhat larger version of “Mayberry, NC”.

    Needless to say, a Peter Greenaway film wasn’t the best fit for this audience.

    I don’t recall the film being hard to view, so maybe the DVD is poorly mastered? I do remember Sue Blane’s costumes as one of the high points of the film, and as a recently retired Frank, I was eager to see her non-“Rocky” work.

    BTW, lead actor Anthony Higgins (credited as “Anthony Corlan” in his early roles) was in a good number of period films and TV (he’d just done “Quartet” for Merchant Ivory), though I suppose not well-known enough to be featured in an article.

      1. I’m assuming this was the Kino Lorber release? I went to their website and was stunned when I saw the trailer clip they linked. Despite talk of a restoration, it’s still surprisingly fuzzy and not at all like I remember the film.

        I guess maybe the original elements are grainy/fuzzy but the enlarged image in a theatrical showing makes up for it to some extent?

        1. I don’t have it with me but it’s this one (which kept going out of stock!) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000Y14U5Q/

          Watching it on a high-def TV prob didn’t help, kind of enhanced the fuzz (happens when I watch ’70s BBC shows too). Glad I could find some promo stills! I tried taking some computer screencaps, but I wasn’t getting better quality so in the interest of finally just getting the post done, I went w/what I had ;)

  4. I’ve never seen it but I’m going to search it out…I like art movies, and it’s always cool to see a movie that doesn’t shy away from the “alien” parts of historical fashion. Looks like this one even goes out of its way to show that–I love the wigs and fontanges. I’m also always a little thrilled to see the 17th or early 18th century since that period is so rarely done in movies. (And still more rarely done well…lol!)

  5. I’ve seen it twice and love it, but I still don’t understand the ending. I was told there were both an “American” and a “European” ending — does anybody know if this is true? I need a copy for my library, but it’s always been so hard to find (like an English version of “The King Dances” or “Moliere” by Ariane Mnuchkin). I loved the costumes, even exaggerated. I had only seen Anthony HIggins in “Young Sherlock Holmes” so it was a treat to see him in a more — adult — film.

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