29 user 20 critic

Jefferson in Paris (1995)

One of the obsessive speculations in American history is whether Thomas Jefferson, in the years before he became president, had an affair with (and fathered a child with) his 15-year-old ... See full summary »


Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

2 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Set during World War II, an upper-class family begins to fall apart due to the conservative nature of the patriarch and the progressive values of his children.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Saundra McClain
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The passionate Merchant Ivory drama tells the story of Francoise Gilot, the only lover of Pablo Picasso, who was strong enough to withstand his ferocious cruelty, and move on with her life.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Natascha McElhone, Julianne Moore
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A Boston feminist and a conservative Southern lawyer contend for the heart and mind of a beautiful and bright girl unsure of her future.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Christopher Reeve, Vanessa Redgrave, Jessica Tandy
Quartet (1981)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Marya finds herself penniless after her art dealer husband, Stephan, is convicted of theft. Marya accepts the hospitality of a strange couple, H.J. and Lois Heidler, who lets her live in their house.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Alan Bates, Maggie Smith, Isabelle Adjani
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

This fictionalized story, based on the family life of writer James Jones, is an emotionless slice-of-life story. Jones here is portrayed as Bill Willis, a former war hero and now successful... See full summary »

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Leelee Sobieski, Kris Kristofferson, Barbara Hershey
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A man marries an heiress for her money even though he is actually in love with her friend.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Uma Thurman, Jeremy Northam, Kate Beckinsale
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Eleanor lives with the artist Stash. Just like his artist friends, he is completely unknown but is waiting for the big break. Stash is mean to her and finally she leaves him. Ironically, ... See full summary »

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Bernadette Peters, Adam Coleman Howard, Chris Sarandon
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Set in 1930s Shanghai, where a blind American diplomat develops a curious relationship with a young Russian refugee who works odd -- and sometimes illicit -- jobs to support members of her dead husband's aristocratic family.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson, Vanessa Redgrave
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Twenty-eight-year-old Kansas University doctoral student Omar Razaghi wins a grant to write a biography of Latin American writer Jules Gund. Omar must get through to three people who were ... See full summary »

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Omar Metwally, Anthony Hopkins, Charlotte Gainsbourg
The Europeans (1979)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

It's the mid-nineteenth century. Adult siblings Felix Young and Eugenia Munster were born and raised in Europe and have a somewhat bohemian lifestyle reflective of their travels throughout ... See full summary »

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Lee Remick, Robin Ellis, Wesley Addy
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Two teachers vie for the right to stage a play written by Jane Austen when she was twelve years old.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Anne Baxter, Robert Powell, Michael Wager
Heat and Dust (1983)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Anne is investigating the life of her grand-aunt Olivia, whose destiny has always been shrouded with scandal. The search leads back to the early 1920s, when Olivia, recently married to ... See full summary »

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Julie Christie, Greta Scacchi, Christopher Cazenove


Cast overview, first billed only:
Estelle Eonnet ...
Polly Jefferson
William Short
Nigel Whitmey ...
John Trumbull
Nicolas Silberg ...
Monsieur Petit
Catherine Samie ...
Lionel Robert ...
Cook's Helper
Jean Rupert ...
Yvette Petit ...
Paolo Mantini ...
Mutilated Officer (as F. van den Driessche)


One of the obsessive speculations in American history is whether Thomas Jefferson, in the years before he became president, had an affair with (and fathered a child with) his 15-year-old slave Sally Hemings. JEFFERSON IN PARIS follows Jefferson to France (as the U.S. ambassador to the court of Louis XVI), following the death of his wife his friendships and flirtations with the French, his relationship with his daughters and slaves from home (especially Sally), against the backdrop of the beginning of the French Revolution. Written by Michael C. Berch <mcb@postmodern.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature theme, some images of violence and a bawdy puppet show | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

31 March 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jefferson em Paris  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$61,349, 31 March 1995, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Christopher Reeve was considered by director James Ivory to play Jefferson, but studio pushed for the more bankable Nick Nolte for the lead. See more »


Thomas buys items from Parisian merchants who use the metric system of measure over a decade before the adoption of metric units in France. See more »


Thomas Jefferson: I kept having a debate between my head and my heart.
Maria Cosway: Which in your case, the head always wins.
Thomas Jefferson: Not this time. My poor head was simply whirled around by my unruly heart.
Maria Cosway: Oh-dear-God.
Thomas Jefferson: It kept telling me I love the lady and will continue to love her forever. If she were on one side of the globe and I on the other, I would pierce through the whole mass of the world to reach her.
See more »


Music by Francesco Geminiani
Perfermed by Les Arts Florissants
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Jefferson in Love
7 March 1999 | by See all my reviews

We are invited here to see some of the more infrequently discussed aspects of the multifaceted Thos. Jefferson: architect, scientist, horticulturalist. Less of these perhaps than we might like, but more than we usually receive. Jefferson the scientist is mostly implied -- he witnesses one of the early Montgolfier ballooning experiments, for example.

The primary focus is on the contentious matter of Jefferson's affairs of the heart. These include, most notably, a speculative miscegenetic one, but there is a second one, better documented, for contrast. Even if one suspects that the decision to direct attention here was primarily a commercial one, those portions of the film are well enough executed, while the creators, Prawer Jhabvala and Ivory, do provide us with a little seasoned food for the intellect, both here and elsewhere.

"Jefferson in Paris" does contain a few speech anachronisms but otherwise seems to have found the flavour of the period. Altogether, not an exceptional film, but one which has much to recommend it.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 29 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Watch the Latest Episode of "The IMDb Show"

Zach Braff tackles acting and directing on his new show "Alex, Inc.," and we take a look at the 15 most bingeable TV shows of all time.

Watch the show