12 user 1 critic

The Favorite (1989)

At the dawn of the 19th century, a young French woman is kidnapped and forced into a sultan's harem in Turkey. Fiercely independent, she resists, but must make choices in order to survive. ... See full summary »



(novel) (as Prince Michael), (screenplay)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Abdul Hamid
Amber O'Shea ...
Aimée Dubucq de Rivéry
James Michael Gregary ...
Ron Dortch ...
Laurent Le Doyen ...
Jonathan Vuille ...
Young Mahmud
Adult Mahmud
Andréa Parisy ...
Gérard Touroul ...
Tom McGreevey ...
Uncle (as Thomas McGreevey)
Celeste Simpson-Boyd ...
Robere Kazadi ...
Garth Wilton ...
British Consul


At the dawn of the 19th century, a young French woman is kidnapped and forced into a sultan's harem in Turkey. Fiercely independent, she resists, but must make choices in order to survive. She begins to influence the sultan toward more fair manners of solving his conflicts, but finds herself at odds with another of his wives, who wants her son Mustafa to become the new sultan. As the years pass, she must deal with the new sultan's advances while protecting her adopted son Mahmud, and helping the Sultanate against the Russians who have modern weapons. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He stole her innocence. She stole his heart....and his empire.




R | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

9 August 1989 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Intimate Power  »

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Did You Know?


Aimée du Buc de Rivéry was born 4th December 1768 the daughter of wealthy French plantation owners in Pointe Royale, south-west of Robert on the Caribbean island of Martinique. After being sent to a convent school in France, she was returning home in July or August 1788 when the ship she was on vanished at sea. It is thought that the ship was attacked and taken by Barbary pirates. It has been suggested that she was enslaved and eventually sent to Constantinople as a gift to the Ottoman Sultan by the Bey of Algiers. See more »


Aimée Dubucq de Rivéry: He's dead isn't he?
Tulip: He knods his head yes
Aimée Dubucq de Rivéry: Why are you doing this?
Tulip: Do you want the geneseries to kill Selim? They do it in a second if they knew the Sultan was dead they want Mustafa to be sultan. We'll be safe when we're out of they're reach nack inside the harem.
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User Reviews

Shot on location in Istanbul, this historical drama has superb music and well-crafted, sensitively portrayed characters.
16 January 1999 | by (Austin, TX) – See all my reviews

A captivating, straight-from-the-heart historical drama,

based on a true story. Features a beautiful film score (by

William Goldstein II) and authentic scenery (the movie was shot

on location in Istanbul). The characters are well crafted and

sensitively portrayed. Foremost among the acting performances, which are all

outstanding and convincing, is that of F. Murray Abraham

(perhaps best known for his role as Salieri in Amadeus). He

portrays the old sultan Abdu'l-Hamid, who buys a French

schoolgirl for his harem and renames her 'Nakhshadil', unaware

of the profound effect she will later have on his country. The French schoolgirl, Aimee Dubucq de Rivery, is played by

actress Amber O'Shea in a down-to-earth manner that some viewers

may not appreciate; nevertheless, her portrayal of Aimee is

endearing and plausible. The character of Aimee was not meant to

be portrayed as a larger-than-life heroine, but rather as a

culturally-displaced spoiled brat who was forced to grow up and

take charge of her life in order to survive in the more

primitive, oppressive Ottoman society. Maud Adams skillfully portrays Abdu'l-Hamid's jealous wife,

Sineperver. James Michael Gregary stars as the handsome but

naive successor to the throne, Selim, who becomes romantically

involved with Aimee yet fails to heed her warnings about the

need for political reforms and the elimination of the troublesome elite guard known as the Janissaries. Ron Dortch

brings to life the complex character of Tulip, a eunuch who is

the second most powerful official in the Ottoman Empire (after

the Sultan). The interactions of these individuals take place

amidst Ottoman royal court intrigues as Western European

influences begin to have a major impact.

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