The Draughtsman's Contract
Still from The Draughtsman's Contract

The Draughtsman's Contract

classified 15

Please note: This was screened in Nov 2022

Peter Greenaway
Anthony Higgins, Janet Suzman, Anne-Louise Lambert
108 mins, 1982, UK
Primary language

Director Peter Greenaway made his international name with this witty, stylised, erotic country house murder mystery where elaborate costumes, coifs and beautiful landscapes stand in marked contrast to his characters' blunt brutality.

In an apparently idyllic 17th century Wiltshire country estate, a brash young draughtsman Neville (Anthony Higgins), is commissioned by the wife (Janet Suzman) of an aristocrat to produce twelve drawings of her husband's estate. Aside from monetary compensation, the arrangement includes a sexual liaison offered to Neville by Mrs Herbert while her husband is away. But when a corpse is discovered on the estate, will the mysterious clues found in Neville's drawings point to the identity of the killer?

Newly remastered in 4K by the BFI National Archive to celebrate the film's 40th Anniversary, the extravagant costumes, a twisting plot and a mesmerising score make The Draughtsman's Contract a treat for ear, eye and mind.

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