6.4/10
3,859
55 user 30 critic

The Comfort of Strangers (1990)

A couple retreat to Venice to work on their relationship, but an encounter with a stranger leads them into a world of intrigue - where their darkest desires are in reach.

Director:

Paul Schrader

Writers:

Ian McEwan (novel), Harold Pinter (screenplay)
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Forever Mine (1999)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

An affair between a cabana boy and the young wife of a sinister politician triggers a 16-year vendetta between the two men.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Joseph Fiennes, Ray Liotta, Gretchen Mol
Light Sleeper (1992)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A drug dealer reconsiders his profession when his boss plans to go straight and an old flame reappears.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Susan Sarandon, Dana Delany
Patty Hearst (1988)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In the 1970s, Patricia Hearst is abducted by American revolutionaries, but eventually joins their cause instead.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Natasha Richardson, William Forsythe, Ving Rhames
Light of Day (1987)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A brother and sister must choose whether to pursue their dream of touring with their rock band or support their family and stay in Cleveland, Ohio.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Gena Rowlands, Joan Jett
Touch (1997)
Certificate: AL Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

When Juvenal, a presumed miracle worker, appears on the scene Bill Hill attempts to exploit him but his plans go astray with the untimely intervention of August Murray and the developing ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Bridget Fonda, Christopher Walken, Skeet Ulrich
Hardcore (1979)
Certificate: 16 Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A conservative Midwest businessman ventures into the sordid underworld of pornography in California to look for his runaway teenage daughter who is making porno films in California's porno pits.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: George C. Scott, Peter Boyle, Season Hubley
The Walker (2007)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An escort who caters to Washington D.C.'s society ladies becomes involved in a murder case.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lauren Bacall
Auto Focus (2002)
Certificate: 16 Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The life of TV star Bob Crane and his strange friendship with electronics expert John Henry Carpenter.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Greg Kinnear, Willem Dafoe, Maria Bello
Affliction (1997)
Certificate: 16 Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A deeply troubled small town cop investigates a suspicious hunting death while events occur that cause him to mentally disintegrate.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Nick Nolte, Sissy Spacek, James Coburn
Blue Collar (1978)
Certificate: 16 Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When three workers try to steal from the local union, they discover the corruption of the union instead and decide to blackmail them.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel, Yaphet Kotto
Certificate: 16 Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A Los Angeles male escort, who mostly caters to an older female clientèle, is accused of a murder which he did not commit.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Richard Gere, Lauren Hutton, Hector Elizondo
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Christopher Walken ... Robert
Rupert Everett ... Colin
Natasha Richardson ... Mary
Helen Mirren ... Caroline
Manfredi Aliquo Manfredi Aliquo ... Concierge
David Ford David Ford ... Waiter
Daniel Franco ... Waiter
Rossana Canghiari Rossana Canghiari ... Hotel Maid
Fabrizio Sergenti Castellani Fabrizio Sergenti Castellani ... Bar Manager (as Fabrizio Castellani)
Mario Cotone Mario Cotone ... Detective
Giancarlo Previati Giancarlo Previati ... First Policeman
Antonio Serrano Antonio Serrano ... Second Policeman
Edit

Storyline

An English couple holiday in Venice to sort out their relationship. There is some friction and distance between them, and we also sense they are being watched. One evening, they lose their way looking for a restaurant, and a stranger invites them to accompany him. He plies them with wine and grotesque stories from his childhood. They leave disoriented, physically ill, and morally repelled. But, next day, when the stranger sees them in the piazza, they accept an invitation to his sumptuous flat. After this visit, the pair find the depth to face questions about each other, only to be drawn back into the mysterious and menacing fantasies of the stranger and his mate. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A story of passionate obsession. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

16 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | Italy | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 January 1991 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Cortesie per gli ospiti See more »

Filming Locations:

Italy See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,244,381
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the 1981 novel by Ian McEwan. See more »

Quotes

Caroline: Are you in love?
Mary: Well, I... I do love him, I suppose. Not quite like when we first met. I trust him, really. He's my closest friend. But, what do you mean by in-love?
Caroline: I mean that you'd do absolutely anything for the other person, and you'd let them do absolutely anything to you. Anything...
Mary: Anything?
See more »


Soundtracks

PER UN BACIO D'AMOR
by Corrado Lojacono and 5 Menestrelli
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Chilling...
5 September 1999 | by richy29See all my reviews

This Paul Shrader movie is a 'must see' for anyone who's enjoyed 'Don't look now' by Nicholas Roeg. Once again we're back in Venice where decadence, decay and danger seem to lurk in every ill-lit corner. Just barely hiding from our eyes, but omni-present in the atmosphere.

We see Colin and Mary, a not-so-young and not-so-happy couple that have come back to Venice to decide whether or not to continue their relationship. The only plausible question to that answer seems to be a sound NO, until they meet Robert and Helen, an older couple living in a palazzo at the Grand Canal. Robert and Helen are weird, to say the least. Their marriage being a perverted mixture of violence and lust. Robert (Christopher Walken) could be a character from a James Purdy novel: a closeted mucho macho gay man who can only satisfy his need to be physically close to another man through violence. Masochistic Helen is not at all the victim she seems to be.

But who are the real perverts here? The clearly kinky older couple or their younger 'friends', that can't seem to stop having sex after their unsettling encounters? No need to tell that there can be no happy ending to this tale.

The Comfort of Strangers is a work of art. The chilling atmosphere is tangible, the characters are very convincing, the dialogue by Harold Pinter is multi-layered and the plot is slowly moving to its inevitable conclusion without the interference of a weak-hearted writer.

It makes you think about the million different methods people use to keep their lovelives alive. The movie also is a very brutal way of saying that nothing in life comes for free. By exaggerating the price Colin and Mary have to pay, Shrader seems to make us want to think about the more ordinary prices we pay in matters of fidelity, lust and love.


34 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 55 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed