The Cook the thief his wife & her lover

United Kingdom, 1989

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The setting is a restaurant, La Hollondais, where the chef prepares a lavish menu every night. Among the regular customers are Albert Spica (Michael Gambon) a loud-mouthed, violent gangster who dines with his entourage of seedy men, and his bored, beautiful wife, Georgina (Helen Mirren). At another table each night sits Michael, a quiet man who’s always reading. He and Georgina soon begin a series of secret rendezvous, where they make passionate love. Eventually Albert discovers his wife’s infidelity and takes violent revenge, triggering a more unusual retaliation from her. This film is a parable about love, revenge and most of all greed, it is both funny and horrifying. Sacha Vierny’s cinematography and Greenaway’s use of colour are superb. Also stars Tim Roth, Richard Bohringer and Alan Howard.

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In ACMI's collection



Peter Greenaway


Kees Kasander

production company

Allarts Cook

Erato FIlms

Films Incorporated



Production places
United Kingdom
Production dates

Collection metadata

ACMI Identifier




Audience classification

R (18+)






VHS; Access Print (Section 1)



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