In a Napoleonic era insane asylum, an inmate, the irrepressible Marquis De Sade, fights a battle of wills against a tyrannically prudish doctor.

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Royer-Collard
...
Madame LeClerc
...
Delbené
...
Simone
Jane Menelaus ...
Renee Pelagie
...
Prouix
Tony Pritchard ...
Valcour
...
Cleante
Danny Babington ...
Pitou
George Antoni ...
Dauphin (as George Yiasoumi)
...
Bouchon
...
Charlotte
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Storyline

The infamous writer, the Marquis de Sade of 18th Century France, is imprisoned at Charenton Insane Asylum for unmentionable activities. He manages to befriend the young Abbé de Coulmier, who runs the asylum, along with a beautiful laundress named Madeline. Things go terribly wrong when the Abbe finds out that the Marquis' books are being secretly published. The emperor Napoleon contemplates sending Dr. Royer-Collard to oversee the asylum, a man famed for his torturous punishments. It could mean the end of Charenton and possibly the Marquis himself. Written by Emily H and Janette W

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There are no bad words... only bad deeds. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content including dialogue, violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

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Release Date:

25 December 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Letras prohibidas, la leyenda del Marqués de Sade  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$13,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$249,383 (USA) (24 November 2000)

Gross:

$7,060,876 (USA) (27 April 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Verhoeven was considered to direct this movie. That makes this the second movie to be passed on by Verhoeven and subsequently directed by Philip Kaufman; the first was The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988). See more »

Goofs

Numerous inaccuracies regarding chronology and biography. The opening narrative does explain that the facts have been "tarted up." See more »

Quotes

Coulmier: I love you Madeleine... as a child of God.
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Connections

Referenced in Quills: The Marquis on the Marquee (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Au clair de la lune
Written by Jean-Baptiste Lully
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User Reviews

 
Something very special
22 November 2005 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

I originally went to see this one in a movie theater on a whim - I was feeling spontaneous, so I bought a ticket for a movie I knew nothing about, and went in free of preconceptions or expectations.

The cleverness of the very first scenes brought a smile to my face, and I knew I was in for a rare treat; off the top of my head, I can't think of a movie with a better conceived, audience grabbing opening sequence.

And the impression lasted throughout this great film. Quills is a passionate (and entertaining!) cry in defense of artistic freedom, and the fundamental freedoms of speech and religion; and it is a deliciously clever movie, both in dialog and in plot. It is actually a movie that has something to say, and does it in an entertaining, engaging way that doesn't leave the audience feeling that they are being lectured to or talked down to.

A few scenes are gruesome and unpleasant, but they, I think, are a necessary evil for the telling of the story, not a gratuitous shock-tactic.

The performances are excellent throughout, and the storyline is will firmly claim and keep your attention. Quills is the sort of movie that you don't forget, and that'll linger on in your mind long after you've seen it.

I would heartily recommend this movie to anyone - even if it doesn't sound like the type of movie you'd normally go for. I for one am very glad that I happened to be feeling spontaneous the day I went to see it, because otherwise I would most likely have missed it. So give your spontaneity a chance if you happen upon Quills in your local movie rental place.


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