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Marie Antoinette (1938) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • The life of Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) from betrothal and marriage in 1770 to her beheading. At first, she's a Hapsburg teenager isolated in France, living a virgin's life in the household of the Dauphin, a shy solitary man who would like to be a locksmith. Marie discovers high society, with the help of Orleans and her brothers-in-law. Her foolishness is at its height when she meets a Swedish count, Axel de Fersen. He helps her see her fecklessness. In the second half of the film, she avoids an annulment, becomes queen, bears children, and is a responsible ruler. The affair of the necklace and the general poverty of France feed revolution. She faces death with dignity.

  • The tragic life of Marie Antoinette, who became queen of France in her late teens.


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Synopsis

  • Sympathetic biopic of the 18th-century queen of France, Marie-Antoinette, who met her death on the guillotine during the French Revolution; based in part on a best-selling 1933 biography by Stefan Zweig. Starring the self-styled "queen of MGM" (Norma Shearer) in the title role, 'Marie Antoinette' chronicles the queen's life from her carefree childhood in Austria to her infamous public death twenty years later. It covers her arranged marriage to the painfully shy King Louis the Sixteenth (Robert Morley) and the reckless extravagance she used to escape her misery and boredom. Finally, it shows Marie-Antoinette growing into dignity and maturity as she separates from her sweetheart, a dashing Swedish aristocrat (Tyrone Power), and supports her husband through the crisis of the monarchy, following him to prison and death.

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