Dangerous Beauty

7.11 h 51 min1998X-RayR
A Venetian courtesan becomes a hero to her city until the Church begins to target her for witchcraft.
Marshall Herskovitz
Catherine McCormackRufus SewellJacqueline Bisset
English [CC]
Audio languages

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Supporting actors
Oliver PlattMoira KellyFred WardNaomi WattsJeroen KrabbeJoanna CassidyDaniel LapaineJake WeberSimon DuttonPeter EyreMichael CulkinMelina Kanakaredes
Arnon MilchanMarshall HerskovitzEdward ZwickSarah KaplanSarah Caplan
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagenuditysexual contentviolence
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4.7 out of 5 stars

1106 global ratings

  1. 84% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 8% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 2% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 4% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

mj13Reviewed in the United States on August 30, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent Semi-Biographical Video Of Veronica Franco
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If you are a fan of Venetian history, or Veronica Franco's poetry, you will appreciate this tale of her love affair with Marco Venier.
sherry farleyReviewed in the United States on August 13, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great to watch over and over
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This is a true story great scenery and how a mother teaches her daughter to be desired by men
KatReviewed in the United States on July 18, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great movie for adults
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This is an interesting story and well worth watching, without children!!
Alyse BlackReviewed in the United States on May 26, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
I adore this movie.
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I first saw it when I was 17. I am 41 and still love every second of it. A woman learns to weald her power in a society where women are assumed to be wholly powerless. In so doing, she is able to have the love that society had denied her. She shaped a pretty impressive destiny with some pretty lame cards, and I will continue to find that to be both impressive and fun to watch!
D. RobertsReviewed in the United States on January 16, 2006
5.0 out of 5 stars
Reverie in Venice
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It's not obvious from the cover of this DVD, but this is a Period movie. It takes place in 16th century Venice, and the sets / wardrobe are magnificent. It is also based on a true story. The film is taken from a biography that originated as a doctoral dissertation at Yale university.

The movie centers on a bleak time in human history when women had precious few economical avenues in which to earn a living. Being a harlot was about the only profitable occupation, but it came at a severe price.

One of the central themes of the film is how well educated upper-tier courtesans were. Some viewers of this movie may be inclined to think that the filmmakers made this up. They did no such thing! A legacy that traces back to the ancient Greeks mandated that high-priced prostitutes be articulate, intelligent and able to carry on conversations about sundry topics. Even today, "High Society" Escort services encourage the women who work there to have dynamic personalities and not be "one dimensional."

The engine that makes this movie go is Catherine McCormack. I did not know who she was before seeing this DVD, but this morning I added several of her other movies to my Amazon wish-list. She is stunning, exquisite AND she's a great actress. She has a natural screen presence and has all the subtle nuances down of being a good actress. While the story was very interesting, the movie would have been ruined had they picked an attractive but mediocre actress to play the lead. Oh, and the fact that McCormack is willing to shed her clothes gives her an A+ in my book!

The plot serves as a sobering statement of how the Christians were heckling people 500+ years ago just like they do today. What's worse is that they had the legal authority to condemn people they didn't like. This story is a grim reminder of why the Founding Fathers of the United States were so vehement about separation of Church & State.

If you like Period movies, pick up this DVD. If you're Italian, pick up this DVD. If you're not Italian, pick up this movie. Did I leave anyone out? This is a movie I'd give 10 stars to if I could, and William Shakespeare himself would have been overjoyed to be involved in the making of it.
38 people found this helpful
Where the Sidewalk EndsReviewed in the United States on January 31, 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars
Unique romantic film based on historical figures
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I am not typically a fan of romantic movies. I find most of them fairly predictable, so I tend to avoid watching them. However I found Dangerous Beauty to be an exception. It's based loosely on the life of Veronica Franco, a courtesan in 16th century Venice.

The story starts out with an almost Romeo and Juliet like setting, two young people in love, but their families don't afford them the luxury of marrying one another. Veronica's love interest is the brother of her best friend, a wealthy man who's family has planned for him marry for national alliances. Being that she's not up to par social in class standards for her would be in-laws, her mother offers to her an option on how she can still be with the man she loves, though not through marriage. The only way it would be socially acceptable for her to still see him, even after marriage, is if she was a well respected courtesan. She rejects the idea vehemently at first, but after her mother shows her what few other options she has in life, she accepts it, then embraces it.

Her looks, quick wit, poetry and desire for knowledge allow her to raise through the ranks quickly and be quite sought after. She becomes very good at what she does, and wins the hearts of many rich and powerful men in Venice. By the time she is finally able to again be with her true love, wars, kings, the Black Plague and the Spanish Inquisition all now stand in their way. An amazing story with a heartwarming ending, it is a truly unique romance story.
2 people found this helpful
JDVDJDReviewed in the United States on March 24, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Not able to review - was a gift to another person
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Was unable to provide a review for the product, other than that it arrived in good condition. It was a gift sent on to another person.
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on March 14, 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Wonderful, Romantic Sense of Life Film
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As a man who views films as literature, for me, I find few films uphold a "this world" ethic and that makes this work a phenomenal achievement against films that seem to revere drug dealers, drug users, and murderers. Catherine McCormack's portrayal is stunning as Franco, who enters the life of a courtesan to be close to her love interest Marco, played by Rufus Sewell.

The majesty of the film lies in its philosophical commentaries. Franco is a direct contrast to the women portrayed of the era. The 'downing a banana in one gulp', contrary to the opinion of a local San Diego film reviewer, is not designed for the enticement of baser film viewers. It is coupled with Franco's demonstration of her intellect, which showed a mind-body unity that Marco's wife Giulia De Lezze, played by the lovely Naomi Watts, finds "obscene." Where sex is viewed as a vile duty, Franco views it as pleasurable. Where women are relegated to the sidelines of society as mere producers of male heirs, Franco pursues her goals actively. Where husbands are chosen for women out of duty, Franco chooses whom she associates and has sex with. She is the Captain of her fate.

The evolution of the conflict between Maffio Venier (played by Oliver Platt) and Franco presents an interesting transition of Venier's unrequited interest in Franco, to envy of Franco's monetary and intellectual success, to his becoming a "repentant" Christian, and finally to his ascension to the position of chief prosecutor in her inquisition as a suspected "witch." The trial of Franco before the Inquisition foreshadows the transition from early Christian civilization, and its lingering moral values, to the burgeoning Renaissance. Facing a sentence of possible death, this conflict climaxes in Franco's uncompromising, unapologetic, and courageous defense of her life and choices. To me, this makes Dangerous Beauty an incredible "sense of life" of film that should not be missed.
13 people found this helpful
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