23 user 7 critic

The Advocate (1993)

The Hour of the Pig (original title)
2:06 | Trailer

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In medieval France, young lawyer Richard Courtois leaves Paris for the simpler life in the country. However, he is soon drawn into amorous and political intrigues. At the same time, he is ... See full summary »






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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Richard Courtois
... Albertus
... Pincheon
... Samira
... Seigneur Jehan d'Auferre
... Magistrate Boniface
... Jeannine Martin
... Mathieu
... Filette d'Auferre
... Maria
... Bailiff Labatier
... Madame Langlois
Raoul Delfosse ... Blind George
... Gerard d'Auferre
Jean-Pierre Stewart ... Sheriff


In medieval France, young lawyer Richard Courtois leaves Paris for the simpler life in the country. However, he is soon drawn into amorous and political intrigues. At the same time, he is pushed to defend a pig, owned by the mysterious gypsy Samira. The pig has been arrested for the murder of a young boy. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When murder is the motive, seduction is the last defense.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for elements of strong sexuality | See all certifications »





Release Date:

24 August 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Advocate  »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Appearing on the American talk show The Talk (2010) in 2012, Executive Producer Harvey Weinstein recalled this movie as being the worst film he had worked on, a complete disaster, and urged the audience not to see it. See more »


In the epilogue crawl, the character name Mathieu is spelled once correctly, and in a subsequent paragraph as Mathiew. See more »


First Witness: It ran...
Richard Courtois: Like a guilty thing? They say their lines well, don't they?
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Quant Voi en la Fin D'este
Written by Perrin D'Agincourt
Performed by the St. George's Canzona
Counter-tenor, Derek Harrison
Arranged by John Sothcott
Courtesy of CRD Records
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User Reviews

Solid film that never overcomes quirk factor
22 March 1999 | by See all my reviews

I saw this film as "The Advocate," not that it matters, but just so you know. The place where I rented it didn't have the original box, so I had NO idea what the film was about. I was, um, surprised.

Colin Firth plays a 15th-century lawyer (called an advocate) who moves to the country from Paris. He wants to get in touch with the real essence of the law, defending the common folk and such. As it turns out, animals can be charged with crimes as well. Poor Colin finds himself defending rats and a pig in open court. (I could make a really obvious crack about the parallels to the practices of modern law, but that's a tad crass. Truthful, but crass.)

The film's claim that the secret of the movie is along the same lines of "The Crying Game" is surely meant as a joke. Still, the movie spends too much dwelling on the absurdity of defending animals and not enough time finding a story to tell. There is some twaddle about defending a beautiful gypsy woman's pig in a murder trial, but it is never gripping or, sadly, interesting.

The acting make up for the triteness of the story, though. Firth is solid and has some great scenes with the Seigneur who owns the land and the village Firth comes to reside in. There is also a small appearance by the wonderful, underrated, nuanced, subtle IAN HOLM~ as a shady priest. The cast raises the film from the status of sideshow curiosity.

While the "Crying Game" style secret is a reference to the murder case that is (ultimately) shuffled off to the side of the movie, I have no problem revealing another big secret of "The Advocate": the sow is really a hog!!!

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