7.3/10
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312 user 133 critic

Quills (2000)

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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(play), (screenplay)
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3,531 ( 256)

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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:
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Delbené
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Jane Menelaus ...
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Tony Pritchard ...
Valcour
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Cleante
Danny Babington ...
Pitou
George Antoni ...
Dauphin (as George Yiasoumi)
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Bouchon
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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:

Meet the Marquis de Sade. The pleasure is all his. 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:

Country:

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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:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$249,383, 26 November 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$7,060,876, 29 April 2001

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,989,227, 31 December 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The actors playing the inmates all had their characters diagnosed with genuine mental illnesses by a psychiatrist. 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: It's not even a proper novel. It's nothing but an encyclopedia of perversions. Frankly, it even fails as an exercise in craft. The characters are wooden, the diologue is inane. Not to mention the repetition of words like "nipple" and "pikestaff".
Marquis de Sade: There I was taxed; it's true.
Coulmier: And such puny scope. Nothing but the worst in man's nature.
Marquis de Sade: I write of the great, eternal truths that bind together all mankind. The whole world over, we eat, we shit, we fuck, we kill and we die.
Coulmier: But we also fall in love,...
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Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #33.85 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
What where they thinking?
28 August 2009 | by See all my reviews

A lot of people might have been allured to see this movie for the huge bundle of superb actors and actresses who participated. But what puzzles me is how so many great people incl. the filmmakers could go on such a bizarre project. To portray de Sade as a liberal free-thinker who is punished (because he unfortunately happens to not care about society's standards of that time) is outrageous.

Only a few hints about the true Marquis de Sade are given here and there: for instance, that he violated women against their will, or that his writing was far from outstanding - he became so well known only for his sexually explicit contents. And just as the fake excerpts from his writings in the movie, the content was cruel and inhumane at times.

What was the intention behind making him a far more likable character in the movie? So people would identify more? To prove their point that the stupid public never understood artists and prematurely judge anything apart from their standards as perverse? The only reason this movie deserves two instead of one star is that the actors deliver great performances, especially Rush (as usual), Winslet and Phoenix.

But as for the rest of the movie: BOO HOO. What a waste.


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