Indecent Proposal is a 1993 drama film based on the novel of the same name by Jack Engelhard. It was directed by Adrian Lyne and stars Robert Redford, Demi Moore, and Woody Harrelson.[1][2]

Contents[edit | edit source]

 [hide*1 Plot

Plot[edit][edit | edit source]

High school sweethearts David (Woody Harrelson) and Diana Murphy (Demi Moore) are a married couple who travel to Las Vegas, hoping they can win enough money to finance David's fantasy real estate project. They place their money on red in roulette and lose.

After gambling away all of their savings, they encounter billionaire John Gage (Robert Redford). Gage is attracted to Diana and offers David one million dollars to spend a night with her. After a difficult night, David and Diana decide to accept the offer, and a contract is signed the next day. Gage flies Diana to a private yacht where he offers her a chance to void the deal and return to her husband if he loses a toss of his lucky coin. Gage calls it correctly and she spends the night with him.

Although he had hoped to forget the whole incident, David grows increasingly insecure about his relationship with Diana, consumed with a fear that she remains involved with Gage; this insecurity is heightened by the fact Diana discovers that Gage has bought their home/property while it was going into foreclosure. As tension between them builds, David and Diana separate.

Gage renews his advances on Diana. Although she initially resists, Diana eventually consents to spending time with him and a relationship develops. David, meanwhile, realizes he cannot go on without the love of his life. When Diana files for a standing order, David makes one final attempt to win her back by signing the papers and giving the million dollars away. David bares his soul as to why he allowed the night to happen. It is clearly a turning point for both of them.

Gage recognizes that, even if Diana stayed with him, their relationship would never achieve the intensity she had with David. Realizing that she longs to return to her husband, Gage makes up a story that she was only the latest in a long line of "million-dollar girls." Diana understands that Gage is doing this to make it easy for her to leave. Gage gives her his lucky coin, which is revealed to be double sided. She returns to the pier where David proposed, finding him there waiting. They join hands.

Cast[edit][edit | edit source]

Reception[edit][edit | edit source]

Box office[edit][edit | edit source]

The film was a box office success, earning $106,614,059 in the U.S. and $160,000,000 internationally for a worldwide total of over $266,000,000.[4][5]

Critical response[edit][edit | edit source]

The film received negative reviews from critics at the time of its release.[6] Gene Siskel gave the film thumbs down. Roger Ebert, however, gave it thumbs up on Siskel & Ebert,[7][dead link] and also wrote a positive print review.[8] The film caused controversy amongst feminists.[9] Today, it maintains a 36% "rotten" rating at Rotten Tomatoes based on 36 reviews.

Indecent Proposal was nominated for seven Razzie Awards in 1994 including Worst Actor (Robert Redford), Worst Actress (Demi Moore), Worst Director and Worst Original Song ("You Love Me in All the Right Places"). It would ultimately win three trophies for Worst Picture, Worst Supporting Actor (Woody Harrelson) and Worst Screenplay. The film is listed in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson's book The Official Razzie Movie Guide as one of the The 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made.[10]

Differences between novel and film[edit][edit | edit source]

Engelhard's novel contained cultural friction that the screenwriter left out of the movie: the main character, named Joshua, is a Jew and his billionaire foil is an Arab. In a review of the novel, The New York Times summarized its themes as "the sanctity of marriage versus the love of money, the Jew versus significant non-Jews such as shiksas and sheiks, skill versus luck, materialism versus spirituality, Israel versus the Arab countries, the past versus the future, and the religious world versus the secular one."[11]

Soundtrack[edit][edit | edit source]

The soundtrack was released on April 6, 1993, by the MCA Records. "In All the Right Places" by Lisa Stansfield was released as the album's lead single on May 24, 1993, and theme from the film. The length of the soundtrack is 60 minutes and 37 seconds.

Indecent Proposal: Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "I'm Not in Love(The Pretenders) Graham GouldmanEric Stewart Trevor Horn 3:50
2. "What Do You Want the Girl to Do" (Vince Gill featuring Little Feat) Allen Toussaint Tony Brown 5:07
3. "If I'm Not in Love With You" (Dawn Thomas) Thomas Scott Sheriff 3:38
4. "Out of the Window" (Seal) Seal Horn 5:35
5. "Will You Love Me Tomorrow(Bryan Ferry) Gerry GoffinCarole King Robin Trower 4:15
6. "The Nearness of You(Sheena Easton) Hoagy CarmichaelNed Washington Patrice Rushen 3:16
7. "In All the Right Places(Lisa Stansfield) John Barry , Stansfield, Ian Devaney, Andy Morris Devaney 5:42
8. "Instrumental Suite from Indecent Proposal"   Barry Barry 25:20
9. "A Love So Beautiful" (Roy Orbison) Jeff Lynne, Orbison Lynne 3:31
Chart (1993) Peak


Dutch Albums Chart[12] 71
US Billboard 200[13] 137

Cultural references[edit][edit | edit source]

The 2002 episode "Half-Decent Proposal" of The Simpsons parodies and follows the story of the film loosely.[14]

The episode "Conference" of UK comedy series Peep Show references the central concept of the film, where one of the Mark's boss offers Jeremy £530 to spend the night with Jeremy's past girlfriend 'Big Suze'.

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