The Comfort of Strangers (film)  

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The Comfort of Strangers is a 1990 film directed by Paul Schrader. The screenplay is by Harold Pinter, adapted from a short novel by Ian McEwan. The music is by Angelo Badalamenti. The film stars Natasha Richardson, Christopher Walken, Rupert Everett and Helen Mirren.

Colin (Everett) and Mary (Richardson), a couple unsure of where their relationship is going, are on holiday in Venice where they meet Robert (Walken), a smooth bar owner who tells them stories about his aggressively masculine, abusive father and the humiliating revenge which Robert's three sisters took on both the father and Robert himself. Although Colin and Mary find Robert and his wife (Mirren) less than agreeable company, they are drawn to the older couple, who turn out to be even more dangerous than they seem.

Schrader has said of McEwan's book that it is "terrific, but a little one-sided" and that he was not sure its theme - that "no amount of civilisation can overcome the fundamental hostility between men and women" - was correct. The film therefore uses Pinter's ambiguous dialogue to create a more nuanced set of characters.

Changes were also made to the character of Robert. In the book, Robert is a young thug with a gold chain and a pattern of pistols embroidered into his shirt; Schrader did not think an audience would believe Colin and Mary would go off with such a man, so Walken plays the character as a suave, middle-aged, white Armani-suited cosmopolitan.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Comfort of Strangers (film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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