Down 415 this week

Quills (2000)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  25 December 2000 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 43,349 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 311 user | 131 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

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



(play), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The lives of two lovelorn spouses from separate marriages, a registered sex offender, and a disgraced ex-police officer intersect as they struggle to resist their vulnerabilities and temptations in suburban Connecticut.

Director: Todd Field
Stars: Kate Winslet, Jennifer Connelly, Patrick Wilson
Shine (1996)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Pianist David Helfgott, driven by his father and teachers, has a breakdown. Years later he returns to the piano, to popular if not critical acclaim.

Director: Scott Hicks
Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Justin Braine
Jude (1996)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A stonemason steadfastly pursues a cousin he loves. However their love is troubled as he is married to a woman who tricked him into marriage and she is married to a man she does not love.

Director: Michael Winterbottom
Stars: Christopher Eccleston, Kate Winslet, Liam Cunningham
Holy Smoke (1999)
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

While on a journey of discovery in exotic India, beautiful young Ruth Barron falls under the influence of a charismatic religious guru. Her desperate parents then hire PJ Waters, a macho ... See full summary »

Director: Jane Campion
Stars: Kate Winslet, Harvey Keitel, Julie Hamilton
Iris I (2001)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

True story of the lifelong romance between novelist Iris Murdoch and her husband John Bayley, from their student days through her battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Director: Richard Eyre
Stars: Judi Dench, Jim Broadbent, Kate Winslet
The Reader (2008)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Post-WWII Germany: Nearly a decade after his affair with an older woman came to a mysterious end, law student Michael Berg re-encounters his former lover as she defends herself in a war-crime trial.

Director: Stephen Daldry
Stars: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, Bruno Ganz
Henry & June (1990)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In 1931 Paris, Anais Nin meets Henry Miller and his wife June. Intrigued by them both, she begins expanding her sexual horizons with her husband Hugo as well as with Henry and others. June ... See full summary »

Director: Philip Kaufman
Stars: Fred Ward, Uma Thurman, Maria de Medeiros
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two girls have an intense fantasy life; their parents, concerned the fantasy is too intense, separate them, and the girls take revenge.

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Melanie Lynskey, Kate Winslet, Sarah Peirse
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young couple living in a Connecticut suburb during the mid-1950s struggle to come to terms with their personal problems while trying to raise their two children.

Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Christopher Fitzgerald
Elizabeth (1998)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A film of the early years of the reign of Elizabeth I of England and her difficult task of learning what is necessary to be a monarch.

Director: Shekhar Kapur
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston
The Piano (1993)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A mute woman along with her young daughter, and her prized piano, are sent to 1850s New Zealand for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, and she's soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.

Director: Jane Campion
Stars: Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A man against capital punishment is accused of murdering a fellow activist and is sent to death row.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet, Laura Linney


Cast overview, first billed only:
Madame LeClerc
Jane Menelaus ...
Renee Pelagie
Tony Pritchard ...
Danny Babington ...
George Antoni ...
Dauphin (as George Yiasoumi)


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


Meet the Marquis de Sade. The pleasure is all his. See more »


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


| |



Release Date:

25 December 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Letras prohibidas, la leyenda del Marqués de Sade  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$13,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


ESP 65,173,251 (Spain) (29 June 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The tune that the Marquis de Sade keeps humming throughout the film is the French children's song "Au Clair de la Lune" by Jean-Baptiste Lully, the second line of which becomes increasingly relevant - roughly translated, it is "lend me your quill so I can write a word". See more »


When Madeleine is putting on her dress after getting her wounds clean, she slips her arm into the sleeve twice. See more »


Renee Pelagie: Can I impart to you his cruellest trick.
Dr. Royer-Collard: Of course.
Renee Pelagie: Once, long ago in the folly of youth, he made me love him.
See more »


References The Bad Seed (1956) See more »


Au clair de la lune
Written by Jean-Baptiste Lully
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.

39 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
How Old.. AmadeusGirl
Alan Rickman joyvaleria
what books have you read? UnderTHeDoome
Is it just me... ingots56
when he takes his clothes off for abbe cot-1
The Book Being Read In Public Mushroom-of-Doom
Discuss Quills (2000) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: