Blu-ray Release: The Draughtsman’s Contract

Blu-ray Release Date: June 13, 2023
Price: Blu-ray $20.07
Studio: Zeitgeist/Kino Lorber

Set in a richly exaggerated 17th-century England, the witty, stylized, erotic country house murder mystery The Draughtsman’s Contract catapulted Greenaway to the forefront of international art cinema. Adorned with intricate wordplay, extravagant costumes and opulent photography, Greenaway’s first narrative feature weaves a labyrinthine mystery around the maxim “draw what you see, not what you know.” An aristocratic wife (Janet Suzman) commissions a young, cocksure draughtsman (Anthony Higgins) to sketch her husband’s property while he is away—in exchange for a fee, room and board, and one sexual favor for each of the twelve drawings. As the draughtsman becomes more entrenched in the devious schemings in this seemingly idyllic country home, curious details emerge in his drawings that may reveal a murder. 

Bolstered by a mesmerizing score by then-newcomer Michael Nyman and stunning cinematography by Curtis Clark, 1982’s The Draughtsman’s Contract is a luscious cinematic banquet for eye, ear and mind.

This edition of the film has been newly remastered in 4K by the BFI National Archive. 

Special Features:
• Peter Greenaway commentary and video introduction (10 minutes)
• Four deleted scenes (10 minutes)
• Behind-the-scenes footage and on-set interviews (10 minutes)
• Interview with composer Michael Nyman (7 minutes)
• Greenaway Short Films: Intervals (1969, 6 minutes), Windows (1974, 4 minutes), Dear Phone (1976, 17 minutes), Water Wrackets (1978, 11 minutes)
• Re-release trailer

Buy or Rent The Draughtsman’s Contract

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.