Indecent Proposal

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Indecent Proposal
Indecent proposal.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Adrian Lyne
Screenplay by Amy Holden Jones
Based onIndecent Proposal
by Jack Engelhard
Produced by Sherry Lansing
Michael Tadross
Cinematography Howard Atherton
Edited by Joe Hutshing
Music by John Barry
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • April 7, 1993 (1993-04-07)
Running time
118 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$38 million
Box office$266.6 million

Indecent Proposal is a 1993 American erotic drama film directed by Adrian Lyne and written by Amy Holden Jones. It is based on the 1988 novel by Jack Engelhard, in which a couple's marriage is disrupted by a stranger's offer of a million dollars for the wife to spend the night with him. It stars Robert Redford, Demi Moore, and Woody Harrelson. [1] [2] It received mostly negative reviews, but was a box-office success, grossing nearly $267 million worldwide on a $38 million budget.



David and Diana Murphy are married high school sweethearts living in California. Diana works as a real estate agent, while David hopes to establish himself as an architect by designing their dream home. The couple invest everything they have in David's project, purchasing beachfront property in Santa Monica and beginning construction, but the recession leaves Diana without houses to sell and David without a job. In desperate need of $50,000 to save their land from being repossessed, they travel to Las Vegas, determined to win the money.

At a casino, Diana catches the eye of billionaire John Gage, while David wins over $25,000 at craps. Reveling in their winnings, Diana assures David that she loves him regardless of the money. The next day, they lose everything at roulette; leaving the casino, they notice a crowd gathered to watch Gage play poker. Gage asks Diana to join him for good luck, and she makes a winning craps roll on his $1 million bet. As thanks, Gage insists on paying for the Murphys' stay, gifting them a lavish hotel suite and a dress he saw Diana admire. After an enjoyable evening together, Gage offers the couple $1 million to allow him to spend a night with Diana, but she and David refuse.

After a sleepless night, the Murphys agree to Gage's proposal, and David contacts his lawyer, who prepares a contract for the arrangement. Leaving Diana with Gage, David has a change of heart and races to stop them, but arrives just as they depart by helicopter. Gage flies Diana to his private yacht, and offers her a chance to void their deal and return to her husband if he loses a toss of his lucky coin. He wins the toss, and Diana spends the night with him.

Agreeing to forget the incident, the Murphys return home, and learn their property was foreclosed and resold. Overcome with jealousy, David accuses Diana of continuing to see Gage after finding his business card in her wallet, which she denies knowing about. Discovering that it was Gage who bought out their land, Diana angrily confronts him, and rejects his attempts to pursue her. When she informs David, their tension reaches a breaking point and they separate; Diana later tells him to keep all the money.

Weeks later, Gage visits Diana at work and renews his advances. Initially resistant, she eventually consents to spending time with him, and a romance develops between them. Haunted by happy memories of his wife, David hits rock bottom, leading to a public confrontation with Gage and Diana. He pulls his life back together and finds a teaching position, and Diana files for divorce. Finding her at a zoo benefit with Gage, David donates the entire $1 million in a charity auction bid, then makes his peace with Diana and signs their divorce papers.

Realizing that Diana will never love him the way she loves David, Gage lies to her that she is merely the latest member of his "million-dollar club" of women. Seeing through his deception, she gratefully ends their relationship; before parting ways, he gives her his lucky coin, which she realizes is double-headed. Diana returns to the pier where David proposed to her seven years earlier, finding him there. Repeating their unique declaration of love, they join hands.



Indecent Proposal was a box office success, earning $106,614,059 in the US and $160,000,000 internationally for a worldwide total of over $266,000,000. [6] [7] It received generally negative reviews from critics. [8] Gene Siskel gave it thumbs down, but Roger Ebert gave it thumbs up, on Siskel & Ebert ; [9] Ebert also wrote a positive print review. [10] Susan Faludi, a feminist writer, objected to the movie's positioning of the female character. Another feminist characterized it as a women in prison film. [11]

Indecent Proposal has a 34% "rotten" rating at Rotten Tomatoes based on 47 reviews, with an average rating of 4.8/10. The consensus reads: "Lurid but acted with gusto, Indecent Proposal has difficulty keeping it up beyond its initial titillating premise." [12] Audience response was less negative, with those polled by CinemaScore giving an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale. [13] The film is listed in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson's book The Official Razzie Movie Guide as one of the "100 most enjoyably worst movies ever made". [14]

Awards and nominations

BMI Film & TV Awards BMI Film Music Award John Barry Won
Golden Raspberry Awards [15] Worst Picture Sherry Lansing Won
Worst Director Adrian Lyne Nominated
Worst Actor Robert Redford Nominated
Worst Actress Demi Moore Nominated
Worst Supporting Actor Woody Harrelson Won
Worst Screenplay Screenplay by Amy Holden Jones;
Based on the novel by Jack Engelhard
Worst Original Song "(You Love Me) In All the Right Places"
Music by John Berry;
Lyrics by Lisa Stansfield, Ian Devaney & Andy Morris
Golden Screen Awards Won
MTV Movie Awards Best Female Performance Demi MooreNominated
Most Desirable Female Nominated
Best Kiss Demi Moore and Woody HarrelsonWon
Stinkers Bad Movie Awards Worst ActorRobert RedfordNominated
Worst ActressDemi MooreNominated
Yoga AwardsWorst Foreign FilmAdrian LyneWon

Differences between novel and film

Engelhard's novel contained cultural friction that the screenwriter left out of the movie: the main character, named Joshua, is Jewish, and his billionaire foil is 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." [16]


The soundtrack was released on April 6, 1993, by MCA Records. "In All the Right Places" by Lisa Stansfield was released as the album's lead single on May 24, 1993, and is the film's theme song. Sheena Easton makes a cameo appearance in the movie performing "The Nearness of You" at a pivotal part of the movie. The length of the soundtrack is 60 minutes and 37 seconds. "No Ordinary Love" by English band Sade was also prominently featured in the film, though it was not included on its soundtrack album.

In 2015 Intrada Records released an album of John Barry's score.

Indecent Proposal: Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
1."I'm Not in Love" (The Pretenders) Graham Gouldman, Eric 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)ThomasScott Sheriff3:38
4."Out of the Window" (Seal)SealHorn5:35
5."Will You Love Me Tomorrow" (Bryan Ferry) Gerry Goffin, Carole King Robin Trower 4:15
6."The Nearness of You" (Sheena Easton) Hoagy Carmichael, Ned Washington Patrice Rushen 3:16
7."In All the Right Places" (Lisa Stansfield) John Barry, Stansfield, Ian Devaney, Andy MorrisDevaney5:42
8."Instrumental Suite from Indecent Proposal"BarryBarry25:20
9."A Love So Beautiful" (Roy Orbison) Jeff Lynne, OrbisonLynne3:31
Chart (1993)Peak
Australia (ARIA Charts) [17] 67
Dutch Albums Chart [18] 71
US Billboard 200 [19] 137


On July 30, 2018, Paramount Players announced that a remake of the film was in development, with the screenplay being written by Erin Cressida Wilson. [20] [21]

The animation series The Simpsons's episode "Half-Decent Proposal" parodies the movie's premise.

See also

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Preceded by Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture
14th Golden Raspberry Awards
Succeeded by