During the attack on an Italian town by Russian forces, the Marquise of O., the daughter of the colonel in charge of the defence, is attacked by a group of Russian soldiers. A Russian Count comes to her rescue, and falls in love with her. While he is away, she discovers that she is pregnant, though she cannot explain how that happened. Her father repudiates her, and she has to reject the Count while trying to find out who the father of her child is.Written by
This Franco-German co production is the weakest of Rohmer's historical movies (a group of films that includes such accomplished works as The Lady and the Duke, Perceval, and Triple Agent), perhaps because its subject matter seems hopelessly dated. Based on a novel by Heinrich Von Kleist and set during the Napoleonic wars, it tells the tale of a young marquise rescued during an assault to his estate by a brooding count (a young Bruno Ganz). Unfortunately, from that brief encounter the marquise gets pregnant, a huge problem during that time and on account of her position in society. Aside from a dated central conflict, the film is also dull and static, without the redeeming dialogue and interaction between the actors that one sees in other Rohmer films. The director, by the way, plays an amusing cameo as a French general.
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