24 user 8 critic

The Advocate (1993)

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


Leslie Megahey


Leslie Megahey





Cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Firth ... Richard Courtois
Ian Holm ... Albertus
Donald Pleasence ... Pincheon
Amina Annabi ... Samira
Nicol Williamson ... Seigneur Jehan d'Auferre
Michael Gough ... Magistrate Boniface
Harriet Walter ... Jeannine Martin
Jim Carter ... Mathieu
Lysette Anthony ... Filette d'Auferre
Sophie Dix ... Maria
Vincent Grass ... Bailiff Labatier
Elizabeth Spriggs ... Madame Langlois
Raoul Delfosse Raoul Delfosse ... Blind George
Justin Chadwick ... Gerard d'Auferre
Jean-Pierre Stewart 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 »

Did You Know?


Based on genuine court proceedings against animals. See more »


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


Samira: It was a nursery rhyme. It's the way you say it!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Hour of the Pig was released in the United States by Miramax as The Advocate. Harvey Weinstein was actively involved in the cuts of films distributed by Miramax, this film was no exception. For US release, the film was trimmed down, including a sex scene, that was edited in part to avoid a stronger than R rating. The name of the film was changed as part of an advertising campaign. The US film poster and opening crawl instruct the audience not to "reveal the client". The campaign did not improve sales for the film. The UK version was released on VHS. Only the shorter (R-rated) version of the film was released to VHS or DVD in North America. The full version has been released on DVD and screened on television in some European countries. Besides the titles, there are many differences between The Advocate (US) and The Hour Of The Pig (UK). These include: US version begins with music from the film and an opening crawl of text. UK version goes straight into the film. The US and UK versions end with different text before the end credits roll. Different voice takes for some scenes Different music or no music for some scenes Amina Annabi's voice is dubbed in the US version A speech made towards the end of the film by Donald Pleasence was shortened for the US version In the original version, Sophie Dix gives a short voice-over at the end of the film. In the US version, Jim Carter gives a short voice-over near the beginning of the film, and near the end. See more »


Featured in Screen Two: The Hour of the Pig (1995) See more »


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

Under-appreciated, rewarding film
6 November 2006 | by dannewsSee all my reviews

This film deserves to be far better known. It's clever, fun, and a terrific balance of successful Hollywood pacing with non-traditional, non-Hollywood storytelling.

Yes, it's a historical murder mystery. But it's a film about excess, as is the recent Marie Antoinette, but this one is darker and more substantive. The dialogue is sharp, often funny, and vaguely unsettling.

Like all good films, several elements work together. The photography, the costuming, the soundtrack, and the characterization all underscore the script's emphasis on indulgence. It's really very well done.

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France | UK



Release Date:

24 August 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Advocate See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,892, 28 August 1994

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR


Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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