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 them 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 that 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.
Diana tells Gage "I think we should talk". 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 7 years earlier, and he is there. She sits on the opposite side from him. They join hands.
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.
The film received mixed reviews from critics at the time of its release. Gene Siskel gave the film thumbs down. Roger Ebert, however, gave it thumbs up on Siskel & Ebert, and also wrote a positive print review. The film caused controversy amongst feminists. Today, it maintains a 38% "rotten" rating at Rotten Tomatoes based on 39 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 100 Most Enjoyably Worst Movies Ever Made.
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."
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.