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Indecent Proposal

This article is about the film. For the album by Timbaland & Magoo, see Indecent Proposal (album).
Indecent Proposal
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Adrian Lyne
Produced by Sherry Lansing
Screenplay by Amy Holden Jones
Based on Indecent Proposal 
by Jack Engelhard
Starring Robert Redford
Demi Moore
Woody Harrelson
Oliver Platt
Seymour Cassel
Music by John Barry
Cinematography Howard Atherton
Edited by Joe Hutshing
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
April 7, 1993 (1993-04-07)
Running time
118 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $38 million
Box office $266,614,059

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]


High school sweathearts 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, hits rock bottom and then slowly pulls his life back together. When Diana files for divorce, David signs the divorce papers and gives the million dollars away. This is significant because the movie opens with a voiceover from Diana saying "if you love something, set it free....".

Diana tells Gage "we need to speak". Gage, perhaps sensing what's coming, 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.



Box office

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

The film received mixed 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] 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 ('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

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 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]


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 Sade was also prominently featured in film, though it was not included on its soundtrack album.

Indecent Proposal: Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
No. TitleWriter(s)Producer(s) Length
1. "I'm Not in Love" (The Pretenders)Graham Gouldman, Eric StewartTrevor Horn 3:50
2. "What Do You Want the Girl to Do" (Vince Gill featuring Little Feat)Allen ToussaintTony Brown 5:07
3. "If I'm Not in Love With You" (Dawn Thomas)ThomasScott Sheriff 3:38
4. "Out of the Window" (Seal)SealHorn 5:35
5. "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" (Bryan Ferry)Gerry Goffin, Carole KingRobin Trower 4:15
6. "The Nearness of You" (Sheena Easton)Hoagy Carmichael, Ned WashingtonPatrice Rushen 3:16
7. "In All the Right Places" (Lisa Stansfield)John Barry , Stansfield, Ian Devaney, Andy MorrisDevaney 5:42
8. "Instrumental Suite from Indecent Proposal"  BarryBarry 25:20
9. "A Love So Beautiful" (Roy Orbison)Jeff Lynne, OrbisonLynne 3:31
Chart (1993) Peak
Dutch Albums Chart[12] 71
US Billboard 200[13] 137

Cultural references

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 bosses offers Jeremy £530 to spend the night with Jeremy's past girlfriend 'Big Suze'.

See also


  1. ^ Galbraith, Jane (1993-05-01). "Movies: While feminists, columnists and the public argue the merits of 'Indecent Proposal,' the film's grosses keep climbing.". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-24. 
  2. ^ "Baldwin In Line For 'Indecent Proposal'". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-10-24. 
  3. ^ Goldstein, Patrick (1993-04-18). "For Some, the Signs Are Unsettling". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-24. 
  4. ^ "Indecent Proposal". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-05-29. 
  5. ^ Wells, Jeffrey (1993-04-13). "Movies: The reviews panned 'Indecent Proposal,' but the box office generated $24 million in five days. Star power didn't hurt.". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-24. 
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger (1993-04-25). "Moviegoers take pleasure in fantasy". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2008-07-20. 
  7. ^ Siskel, Gene, Ebert, Roger. Review (Television production). United States: Retrieved 2008-07-20. [dead link]
  8. ^ Ebert, Roger (1993-04-07). "Indecent Proposal". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2008-07-20. 
  9. ^ Goldstein, Patrick (1993-04-18). "MOVIES : A flurry of recent women-as-barter movies looks like a disturbing trend to feminists, but these films are finding an audience--'Indecent Proposal' earned $24 million in five days. Are these movies merely a manifestation of the fantasies of the men who run the studios--or do they represent something much more serious? : For Some, the Signs Are Unsettling". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-15. 
  10. ^ Wilson, John (2005). The Official Razzie Movie Guide: Enjoying the Best of Hollywood's Worst. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 0-446-69334-0. 
  11. ^ New York Times Book Review. "From the Author", as presented by Retrieved on 2010-07-23.
  12. ^ "Soundtrack - Indecent Proposal". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-04-23. 
  13. ^ "Original Soundtrack: Indecent Proposal". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-04-23. 
  14. ^ Jean, Al. (2010). Commentary for "Half-Decent Proposal", The Simpsons: The Complete Thirteenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.

External links

Preceded by
Shining Through
Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture
14th Golden Raspberry Awards
Succeeded by
Color of Night