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The Baby of Mâcon (1993)

Not Rated | | Drama, History | 17 September 1993 (UK)
A movie about the corruption in all levels of society. A baby is born from a supposed-to-be virgin woman, so a chain of hysteria about divine intervention in the birth takes place.


Peter Greenaway


Peter Greenaway

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Julia Ormond ... The Daughter
Ralph Fiennes ... The Bishop's Son
Philip Stone ... The Bishop
Jonathan Lacey Jonathan Lacey ... Cosimo Medici
Don Henderson ... The Father Confessor
Celia Gregory Celia Gregory ... The Mother Superior
Jeff Nuttall Jeff Nuttall ... The Major Domo
Jessica Hynes ... The First Midwife (as Jessica Stevenson)
Kathryn Hunter ... The Second Midwife
Gabrielle Reidy Gabrielle Reidy ... The Third Midwife
Frank Egerton Frank Egerton ... The Prompter
Phelim McDermott Phelim McDermott ... The First Tutor
Tony Vogel ... The Father
Tatiana Strauss Tatiana Strauss ... The First Nun
Louisa Milwood-Haigh Louisa Milwood-Haigh ... The Second Nun


A movie about the corruption in all levels of society. A baby is born from a supposed-to-be virgin woman, so a chain of hysteria about divine intervention in the birth takes place. Written by Carlos Morales <bmunoz@mail.sci.net.mx>

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Drama | History


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Netherlands | France | UK | Germany



Release Date:

17 September 1993 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A maconi gyermek See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director Peter Greenaway originally wanted to shoot some scenes in the famous Cologne Cathedral, but couldn't: "...we had planned to use the cathedral of Cologne, but two days before we began our preparations, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989) was shown on German television and the archbishop immediately forbade us from entering the cathedral site!" The scenes were finally shot in the remodeled Old Church of Amsterdam ("Oude Kerk"). ["P.G.: Interviews", 2000] See more »

Alternate Versions

Finnish video version is cut by 1 minute 14 seconds. See more »


Composed by Thomas Tallis
Performed by The Mannen Macon Koor
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User Reviews

Possibly the most shocking film ever!
15 August 2002 | by ALETT1984See all my reviews

I first made Peter Greenaway my "acquaintance" through "Prospero's Books," an equally beautiful and equally compelling film. I have also seen some minor pictures of his, like "The Belly of an Architect" and "Drowning by Numbers" which cannot really live up to the image of "The Baby of Macon." Personally, I believe it is Greenaway's best. It is a play, a performance, where shape-shifting is as spontaneous as breathing, indicating that the world is, at it were, a theater, and we the people are merely actors. "The Baby of Macon" is the tale of the exploitation of a child for profit. A beautiful healthy son is born into a poor family, in a time of plague and bareness, in the old Gothic city of Macon. The child is seen as a mere toy, an opportunity for gain, both by his unnamed sister (so beautifully played by Julia Ormond) and the Church. The sacred Child, identified with Christ, brings riches and prosperity and fruitfulness unto the wretched crowds who live in Macon. But his sister's over-weening ambitiousness and the Church's avarice worsen the matters. The Child is immolated and all is lost. The masque is shown on stage in a doric playhouse in 1650 AD, before the viewers whose desire for pious histrionics is forceful. In due time you cannot possibly tell whether this play is acted or merely actual. You cannot tell whether or not you are in a playhouse or in a Cathedral, or whether this wondrous baby represents an earlier Miracle, born by Virgin Birth in a Nativity in the presence of ox and ass. At the play's apogee you cannot be sure who are the players and who are the viewers. This is Peter Greenaway's most shocking film, a somber "miracle-play" of wonders, semi-wonders, and would-be wonders conceived in an epoch of veritable godliness, but performed in a Baroque era of Religiousness when the fancy is starving for various feelings.

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