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Some films are meant to spark mass debates when released and in 1993 most cinema goers were talking about Indecent Proposal. The movie introduced the idea that money does make the world go around. The idea that people and love could be bought was a new idea dealt with by director Adrian Lyne (Fatal Attraction).  Indecent Proposal went on to be a huge success, and was also one of the most talked about movies of the decade. Read on to find out how the DVD release compares.

Indecent Proposal
Diana (Demi Moore) and David Murphy (Woody Harrelson) are an everyday happily married couple. Diana works as an estate agent while David is an architect. The pair met at college and seem to have built up a strong relationship over the years. At the start of the film everything is going well for them and David starts building their own house. However, things take a turn for the worse as the result of a recession and the couple find that they are struggling to pay the mortgage. Desperate to keep their home, they decide to go to Las Vegas to win the money they need to do so.

The glittering lights of Las Vegas seem to bring luck to the struggling couple. One lucky day even earns them $25,000! However this is not enough and they chose to gamble their winnings in the hope of winning the extra cash they need. It wouldn’t take a scientist to guess that they end up with nothing and are back to square one. At this point the couple feel that their luck couldn’t get any worse, when by chance a billionaire asks for Diana’s help.

John Gage (Robert Redford) is a regular customer at the Las Vegas casino. Bored with gambling alone, he decides to enlist the help of Diana. Although she is visibly uncomfortable with the situation, she ends up helping him to win $1million. Gage offers the couple a room at the hotel in the casino at his expense, and starts to befriend them.

At the end of an evening we learn that he has an ulterior motive. He offers David $1 million to allow him to spend a night with Diana. The pair are understandably shocked, but after some consideration and tentative discussion of the matter they decide to take up the offer on the basis that they need the money. They believe that their relationship is strong enough not to be affected by this one night.

The rest of the film centres around the couple’s relationship and the inevitable breakdown of trust, as jealousy and suspicion set in. They grow apart and Diana finds comfort in Gage, who goes to great lengths to gain her affections. To tell any more of the story would be to give away too much, but suffice it to say that true love prevails as you might expect.  

One of the film’s strengths is that we don’t actually see what goes on that night between Diana and Gage. This is left to the imagination and we don’t really find out how well the pair get on. The movie can really be split into two parts. The first hour is a controversial drama, where we hear of Gage’s proposal. Once the aforementioned evening passes, the film turns into a more romantic tale. Both parts have their strong points so that the storyline is not too imbalanced, and keeps the audience’s attention. The director must be given credit for the ending of the film. He could have chosen the easier option of making it predictable but added a slight twist to make it stand out from other similar romantic films.

Indecent Proposal
The cast elevates the movie above average. Without such a high profile list of stars the film probably would not have kept my attention for the full two hours. Demi Moore may no longer be appearing on our screens but in her heyday she had great screen presence. Having dealt with films such as “A Few Good Men” and “Disclosure,” she has experience to deal with contentious topics professionally.  Woody Harrelson has also vanished from our screens recently, but “Indecent Proposal” was one of the better performances of his career. Robert Redford is his usual cool, calm self, and I have yet to see a poor movie that he has starred in.

I first saw “Indecent Proposal” at the cinema nearly ten years ago and can remember it being entertaining. I was curious to see if watching the DVD would still have that effect and am happy to report that that this was the case. “Indecent Proposal” is a controversial, well acted Hollywood movie. It has enough aspects to keep most viewers interested and I would consider it one of the most thought provoking films to have come from the past decade.

Paramount has provided a decent transfer for this release.  Considering the lack of extras (more about that later), I wasn’t expecting very much from the visual aspect of this release. However colours are dealt with extremely well. The casino scene is a perfect example of a realistic and vibrant display of colours.  Skin tones are also just about right and the black levels are spot on. This transfer is not the clearest that you will find, but considering that the film is nearly ten years old it is pretty impressive. There is no visible damage to the print and I could also see no clear sign of edge enhancement.  Overall a surprise package which doesn’t really have any weaknesses.  

The disc has an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack as well as a German Surround track.  Romantic movies are not renowned for having lively soundtracks, but I would say that the track on this disc is above average. Indecent Proposal is not your average chick flick and actually has some scenes which provide the track with scope to perform. Once again the casino scene is a perfect example of this. The 5.1 track made it appear as though you were actually in the casino. The front speakers were used extensively with conversations coming from all directions. The rear speakers were also used frequently and helped create the atmosphere of a hectic casino. The dialogue was crisp and clear.

Indecent Proposal
We are also treated to a host of subtitles. Altogether there are fifteen different languages provided on the disc. All the major languages are included except surprisingly French.

This is where I feel a little let down with this disc. All that is provided in terms of extras is a commentary track by director Adrian Lyne. This is actually one of the better commentaries that I have heard. He is very honest and apologises at the start in case he misses out any information. He explains that the film is nearly ten years old and it is a long time since he worked on it. Lyne goes into detail about why he chose Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson for the roles. Apparently Moore had just had her baby before the shooting began and had a nice rounded figure. The director was obviously very happy to work with Robert Redford. At every opportunity he compliments the actor and addresses him as Redford. One amusing section in the commentary is when he talks about the way Redford walks. Lynne says that he has the best walk in the world! This commentary is very detailed and, at every opportunity Lynne justifies why he chose to do things in certain ways. I am not a great fan of audio commentaries but I was impressed with the one provided on this disc. Lynne is very knowledgeable about the movie even ten years on. He talks quite slowly, but is not boring. This commentary is a worthy addition to the disc.

Unfortunately that is all you get with this disc. It would have been nice to have some behind the scenes footage. There must be more material available, so it is disappointing that all we get is a commentary. The least you would expect is a trailer, but even that is missing.

Indecent Proposal is the sort of film you will either love or hate. Essentially it is a romantic movie with a controversial sub-plot attached. Some people may consider it dull, but Indecent Proposal cannot be described as lacking in originality. An all star cast turn in good performances to make this movie a worthwhile production. The audio and visual aspects of this release are very impressive, in fact they exceeded all my expectations. However the extras on show are below par. If you are a fan of this movie I see no reason why you should not purchase the disc. The film has taken long enough to be released and I would be surprised to see a more extra packed edition released soon.