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The Duchess (2008)

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A chronicle of the life of 18th century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, who was reviled for her extravagant political and personal life.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Medwin ...
Calvin Dean ...
Devonshire House Servant
Hannah Stokely ...
Devonshire House Maid


Georgiana Spencer became Duchess of Devonshire on her marriage to the Duke in 1774, at the height of the Georgian period, a period of fashion, decadence, and political change. Spirited and adored by the public at large she quickly found her marriage to be a disappointment, defined by her duty to produce a male heir and the Duke's philandering and callous indifference to her. She befriends Lady Bess but finds she is once again betrayed by her husband who wields his power with the three eventually living uncomfortably together. Against this background, and with the pressures of an unfaithful husband, strict social pressures and constant public scrutiny, Georgiana falls passionately in love with Charles Grey, a rising young Whig politician. However, despite his ongoing liaison with Lady Bess, the Duke refuses to allow her to continue the affair and threatens to take her children from her. Written by johnno.r[at]xtra.co.nz

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Based On The Incredible True Story See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, brief nudity and thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

10 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La duquesa  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


£13,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,402,200 (UK) (5 September 2008)


$13,823,741 (USA) (5 December 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Paramount Vantage bought the film for $7 million (US dollars) before production even began. See more »


In the last scene with the kids running around the fountain. Fountains have been created for hundreds of years running on gravity, not electricity. For example, the Trevi fountain in Rome was completed in 1762, and the Emperor Fountain at Chatsworth was completed by Joseph Paxton in 1844. See more »


[from trailer]
Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire: I fail to comprehend how far we are fully committed to the concept of freedom.
Sir Peter Teazle: Freedom in moderation.
Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire: The concept of freedom is an absolute.
See more »


Featured in The Orange British Academy Film Awards (2009) See more »


Affettuoso from Trio Sonata in A Minor
Written by Georg Philipp Telemann
Arranged by Rick Wentworth
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

All I wanted from this film and more
23 September 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Okay, so let's put this in context, if you don't like period dramas, don't go and see this movie, you probably won't like it, and it is NOT Diana's story, nothing like although some in the marketing department thought so ...

But i love this film, having being dying to see it since the first teaser trailer. I love everything about it the costumes, the characters, the acting, the whole package.

Keira Knightley in a corset again, but then i think these are roles she is good at, this role required her to have this real sense of melancholy to her and she did it beautifully.

Ralph Fiennes is funny, repulsive and endearing in his role as the duke you feel one thing for him and then another, you can't write this guy off as anything in particular. All i know is that i wouldn't want to be married to him.

I hope that both Knightley and Fiennes get their second and third Oscar nominations for this respectively, as they are well made parts.

As for the others:

Dominic Cooper, is lovely as Grey if perhaps a little underused, Hayley Atwell's character is again one you want to hate but really can't, and Rampling is great as the mother.

All in all a great period flick, i say 10/10, but if i wasn't so into this kind of thing i'd probably still rate it quite highly, it is a fine piece of film-making.

41 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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i bloody hate keira knightley ashleebabes
Could they not have cast a handsome Charles Grey? ashyevs
The Duke..? MariexxCore
Rule of Thumb myth blaircam
I think the Duke did what was right. hasmean
I rather be a peasant! prettyplease86
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