Mirella Caro

Written by Mirella Caro

Modified & Updated: 05 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

Source: Plex.tv

Cruel Intentions, a captivating movie that graced our screens in 1999, is a modern-day adaptation of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ 18th-century novel, “Les Liaisons dangereuses.” This thrilling drama takes us into the manipulative world of New York City’s elite teenagers, where deception, betrayal, and seduction become their favorite pastimes. With a stellar cast, including Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, and Selma Blair, Cruel Intentions quickly became a cult classic, enchanting audiences with its dark and provocative storyline. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a newcomer to the movie, we’ve compiled 30 fascinating facts about Cruel Intentions that will deepen your appreciation for this iconic piece of cinema.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cruel Intentions, released in 1999, became a hit with its iconic soundtrack and controversial themes. It even sparked real-life romance between the lead actors, making it a must-watch for teen drama fans.
  • The movie delves into complex themes of power, manipulation, and redemption, leaving audiences with thought-provoking questions. Its stylish fashion and memorable quotes continue to make it a beloved cult classic.
Table of Contents

The movie Cruel Intentions was released in 1999.

Cruel Intentions, a beloved teen drama film, hit the theaters in 1999 and quickly gained a cult following.

The movie is loosely based on the French novel “Les Liaisons Dangereuses.”

Cruel Intentions takes inspiration from Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ scandalous 18th-century novel, adapting it to a contemporary setting.

The original script for the movie was much darker.

The initial version of the screenplay delved into even darker and more explicit themes, but the final film balanced the delicate line between drama and teen romance.

The iconic line “I’m the only girl you can’t have” was improvised by Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Gellar’s character, Kathryn Merteuil, delivers this memorable line during a pivotal scene, showcasing her manipulative nature.

Cruel Intentions was a box office success.

Despite its R-rating and controversial subject matter, the film grossed over $75 million worldwide, making it a commercial hit.

Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon met and fell in love on the set of Cruel Intentions.

The movie brought together the now-divorced couple, Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon, who played the central characters of Sebastian Valmont and Annette Hargrove.

The movie features an iconic soundtrack.

The soundtrack of Cruel Intentions became a cult favorite, featuring songs like “Bitter Sweet Symphony” by The Verve and “Colorblind” by Counting Crows.

Cruel Intentions sparked controversy for its depiction of teenage sexuality.

The film’s frank portrayal of teen sexuality and manipulation stirred discussions and debates among viewers and critics alike.

The movie popularized the use of the song “Every You Every Me” by Placebo.

After being featured during a key scene in the film, the song by Placebo gained significant popularity and became closely associated with Cruel Intentions.

Cruel Intentions spawned two direct-to-video sequels.

Following the success of the original film, two direct-to-video sequels, Cruel Intentions 2 and Cruel Intentions 3, were released in 2000 and 2004, respectively.

The movie was shot in just 32 days.

Despite its short production time, Cruel Intentions managed to deliver a visually striking and emotionally charged film.

The movie marked the directorial debut of Roger Kumble.

Cruel Intentions was the first feature film directed by Roger Kumble, who previously worked as a screenwriter.

The role of Sebastian Valmont was initially offered to Jude Law.

Jude Law was considered for the role of the charming yet morally conflicted Sebastian Valmont before it ultimately went to Ryan Phillippe.

Cruel Intentions explores themes of power, manipulation, and betrayal.

The movie delves into the intricate webs of deception and manipulation that the characters weave as they strive for power and control over each other.

Sarah Michelle Gellar won an MTV Movie Award for her performance.

Gellar’s portrayal of the complex and conniving Kathryn Merteuil earned her the award for Best Performance at the MTV Movie Awards.

The movie features an unforgettable scene set in Central Park.

One of the most memorable moments in Cruel Intentions occurs when Sebastian and Annette share a passionate kiss in Central Park, accompanied by The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony.”

Cruel Intentions is known for its stylish fashion choices.

The film’s costume design, featuring iconic outfits, became a trendsetter for teenage fashion in the late ’90s.

The movie explores the moral ambiguity of the characters.

Cruel Intentions delves into the complex moral dilemmas faced by the characters, blurring the lines between right and wrong.

Roger Kumble wrote the screenplay specifically for Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Kumble penned the role of Kathryn Merteuil with Gellar in mind, and the actress’s performance perfectly embodied the manipulative and ruthless character.

The movie remains a beloved cult classic.

Cruel Intentions continues to resonate with audiences, and its themes of love, lust, and betrayal have made it a cult favorite over the years.

Cruel Intentions initially received mixed reviews from critics.

The film divided critics upon its release, with some praising its boldness and others criticizing its portrayal of teenage sexuality.

The movie explores the complexities of sibling relationships.

The complicated dynamic between Sebastian and his stepsister Kathryn serves as a central element of Cruel Intentions’ narrative.

Cruel Intentions features a memorable supporting cast.

In addition to the stellar performances by the main cast, the movie also boasts standout performances by Selma Blair, Joshua Jackson, and Sean Patrick Thomas.

The film includes several iconic memorable quotes.

Cruel Intentions is known for its quotable lines, such as “I’m the only girl you can’t have” and “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”

The movie explores the consequences of manipulation and selfishness.

The characters in Cruel Intentions learn that their scheming and manipulative actions have dire consequences, highlighting the destructive nature of selfishness.

The film features a steamy and controversial same-sex kissing scene.

A pivotal scene between Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair pushed boundaries and became one of the most talked-about moments in the film.

The movie’s soundtrack became a best-selling album.

The soundtrack, featuring a mix of ’90s hits and original compositions, topped the charts and remains a popular choice among music enthusiasts.

Cruel Intentions inspired a successful stage musical adaptation.

In 2015, a stage musical adaptation of the film debuted, receiving positive reviews and gaining a dedicated fan following.

The movie explores themes of redemption and self-discovery.

Cruel Intentions delves into the potential for change and growth, as the characters confront their past actions and strive for redemption.

The film’s ending leaves room for interpretation.

Cruel Intentions concludes with a thought-provoking ending, leaving audiences to ponder the fates and future paths of the characters.


In conclusion, Cruel Intentions is a captivating movie that continues to intrigue audiences even after over two decades since its release. The film’s dark themes, complex characters, and unexpected twists make it a must-watch for any movie enthusiast. Whether you’re drawn to the intense performances, the thought-provoking storyline, or the stunning cinematography, Cruel Intentions delivers a unique and unforgettable viewing experience.


Q: Who directed Cruel Intentions?

A: Cruel Intentions was directed by Roger Kumble.

Q: When was Cruel Intentions released?

A: The movie was released on March 5, 1999.

Q: Who are the main cast members of Cruel Intentions?

A: The main cast includes Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, and Selma Blair.

Q: Is Cruel Intentions based on a book?

A: Yes, Cruel Intentions is loosely based on the novel “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos.

Q: What genre does Cruel Intentions belong to?

A: Cruel Intentions is primarily classified as a drama and romance film.

Q: Where was Cruel Intentions filmed?

A: The movie was predominantly filmed in New York City, New York, USA.

Q: What is the runtime of Cruel Intentions?

A: The movie has a runtime of approximately 97 minutes.

Q: Did Cruel Intentions receive any awards?

A: Yes, Cruel Intentions won the Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie – Drama in 1999.

Q: Is there a sequel to Cruel Intentions?

A: Yes, there is a direct-to-video sequel titled “Cruel Intentions 2” released in 2000.

Q: Can you recommend similar movies to Cruel Intentions?

A: If you enjoyed Cruel Intentions, you might also like “Cruel Intentions 2”, “Cruel Intentions 3”, “Dangerous Liaisons”, or “Cruel Intentions: The ’90s Musical”.

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