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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.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

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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:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

10 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La duquesa  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

£13,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,402,200 (UK) (5 September 2008)

Gross:

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

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was heavily marketed with links to Princess Diana (who is a direct descendant of Georgiana's family, The Spencers), using her image in the trailers, and with a tagline ("There were three people in her marriage") which is a play upon a quote attributed to the late Royal. Keira Knightley came out and denied the film had any links at all, stating that her character was interesting enough without any comparisons. See more »

Goofs

The scene in which Georgiana goes into labor to deliver her first baby, begins at night on a snowy evening. This would have been her first baby girl that was later named little G, for Georgiana. However, the real Little G, was born on July 29th, far from what would have been a snowy evening. See more »

Quotes

[from trailer]
Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire: All my life, I've been fighting my way upstream.
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Connections

Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Menuetto from String Quartet No. 12 in B Flat Major
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Saul Dibb presents "The Duchess" as an incredibly emotional woman, somebody who has a lust for life…

What rather wonderful about this story is that Georgiana Spencer (Keira Knightley) discovers a way to exult in victory over things and to get back some kind of power in a time where, really, women had very little… Being someone of great vitality and liveliness, she was very much a dreamer and an idealist, a woman who loved being the center of attention, who loved the fact at some point that her picture was in the paper, that the clothes were always talked of, that her every move was commented on…

We are immediately impressed by her presence, by her personality… She wasn't behaving quite in accordance with the way in which other 18th century women were expected to behave…

But there was something incredibly sad about this self-conscious lady… She was a victim of herself… A victim of her own innocence… A victim of people using her for their own profit… Even though she seemed to have everything, we realize that it was not that simple… And with all of her privilege came a lot of moral obligation and things were never what they really appeared to be…

The Duke (Ralph Fiennes) was a misanthropic man, rather cold, unemotional and quite cruel… He seems to like better his hunting dogs to his young wife… Of course with certain values, that he believes were absolutely right and that he strictly held to…

This sumptuous period piece also presents the Duchess of Devonshire as a political hostess… Saul Dibb's film shows us her dinner parties, her evening events, her fame and its extraordinary effect on her… It made her both desperate to please, terrified of doing anything wrong and shocked at her own celebrity and unable to figure out in her own mind why she was quite so famous… And we see the crippling effect it has on her sense of self…


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