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Draughtsman’s Contract, The (1982, Anthony Higgins, Janet Suzman)

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Peter Greenaway’s second movie The Draughtsman Contract, set to the music of Michael Nyman (via Henry Purcell), is more like a series of paintings come to life, so precise is the direction and production design. Like all of Greenaway’s output it is heavily influenced by art, Flemish painters in particular, there is a plot though!

It’s 1694 and Mr Neville (Anthony Higgins) has been contracted to draw a set of landscapes for Mrs Virginia Herbert (Janet Suzman) but he is soon embroiled in an affair with not just Mrs Herbert but also her daughter. Later, the absent Mr Herbert is discovered dead, maybe murdered, in the moat. Very much an art house movie but a mesmerising one.

production details
UK | 103 minutes | 1982

Writer and Director: Peter Greenaway

cast
Anthony Higgins as Mr. Neville
Janet Suzman as Virginia Herbert
Dave Hill as Herbert
Anne-Louise Lambert as Sarah Talmann
Hugh Fraser as Mr. Talmann
Neil Cunningham as Thomas Noyes
David Meyer as Poulenc Brother
Tony Meyer as Poulenc Brother
Nicholas Amer as Mr Parkes
Suzan Crowley as Mrs Pierpont
Lynda La Plante as Mrs Clement
Michael Feast as The Statue
David Gant as Seymour
Alastair Cumming as Philip
Steve Ubels as Hoyten

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