5.7/10
2,647
29 user 20 critic

Jefferson in Paris (1995)

One of the obsessive speculations in American history is whether Thomas Jefferson, in the years before he became president, had an affair with (and fathered a child with) his 15-year-old ... See full summary »

Director:

James Ivory

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Set during World War II, an upper-class family begins to fall apart due to the conservative nature of the patriarch and the progressive values of his children.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Saundra McClain
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The passionate Merchant Ivory drama tells the story of Francoise Gilot, the only lover of Pablo Picasso, who was strong enough to withstand his ferocious cruelty, and move on with her life.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Natascha McElhone, Julianne Moore
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

This fictionalized story, based on the family life of writer James Jones, is an emotionless slice-of-life story. Jones here is portrayed as Bill Willis, a former war hero and now successful... See full summary »

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Leelee Sobieski, Kris Kristofferson, Barbara Hershey
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A man marries an heiress for her money even though he is actually in love with her friend.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Uma Thurman, Jeremy Northam, Kate Beckinsale
Le divorce (2003)
Drama | Romance | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

French vs. American social customs and behaviors are observed in a story about an American visiting her Frenchman-wed sister in Paris.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Kate Hudson, Naomi Watts, Stockard Channing
Heat and Dust (1983)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Anne is investigating the life of her grand-aunt Olivia, whose destiny has always been shrouded with scandal. The search leads back to the early 1920s, when Olivia, recently married to ... See full summary »

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Julie Christie, Greta Scacchi, Christopher Cazenove
Quartet (1981)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Marya finds herself penniless after her art dealer husband, Stephan, is convicted of theft. Marya accepts the hospitality of a strange couple, H.J. and Lois Heidler, who lets her live in their house.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Alan Bates, Maggie Smith, Isabelle Adjani
Loch Ness (1996)
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A scientist tries to prove the existence of the Loch Ness monster.

Director: John Henderson
Stars: Ted Danson, Joely Richardson, Ian Holm
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Two robbers are persecuted by the law, whose servants are not much better and even worse.

Director: Jake Scott
Stars: Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller, Iain Robertson
Rosenstrasse (2003)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After the death of her father, Hannah becomes concerned with the strange behavior of her mother. As her mother's troubled childhood is revealed, Hannah realizes how little she ever knew.

Director: Margarethe von Trotta
Stars: Katja Riemann, Maria Schrader, Svea Lohde
Howards End (1992)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A businessman thwarts his wife's bequest of an estate to another woman.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Vanessa Redgrave
Mary Reilly (1996)
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A housemaid falls in love with Dr. Jekyll and his darkly mysterious counterpart, Mr. Hyde.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Julia Roberts, John Malkovich, George Cole
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Nolte ... Thomas Jefferson
Gwyneth Paltrow ... Patsy Jefferson
Estelle Eonnet Estelle Eonnet ... Polly Jefferson
Thandie Newton ... Sally Hemings
Seth Gilliam ... James Hemings
Todd Boyce ... William Short
Nigel Whitmey Nigel Whitmey ... John Trumbull
Nicolas Silberg Nicolas Silberg ... Monsieur Petit
Catherine Samie ... Cook
Lionel Robert Lionel Robert ... Cook's Helper
Stanislas Carré de Malberg ... Surgeon
Jean Rupert Jean Rupert ... Surgeon
Yvette Petit Yvette Petit ... Dressmaker
Paolo Mantini Paolo Mantini ... Hairdresser
Frédéric van den Driessche ... Mutilated Officer (as F. van den Driessche)
Edit

Storyline

One of the obsessive speculations in American history is whether Thomas Jefferson, in the years before he became president, had an affair with (and fathered a child with) his 15-year-old slave Sally Hemings. JEFFERSON IN PARIS follows Jefferson to France (as the U.S. ambassador to the court of Louis XVI), following the death of his wife his friendships and flirtations with the French, his relationship with his daughters and slaves from home (especially Sally), against the backdrop of the beginning of the French Revolution. Written by Michael C. Berch <mcb@postmodern.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature theme, some images of violence and a bawdy puppet show | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

31 March 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jefferson em Paris See more »

Filming Locations:

France See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$61,349, 31 March 1995, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,474,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Christopher Reeve was considered by director James Ivory to play Jefferson, but studio pushed for the more bankable Nick Nolte for the lead. See more »

Goofs

When Thomas Jefferson arrived in Paris, Louis XVI was still a 31-year old king and not a 63-year old Michael Lonsdale. See more »

Quotes

Thomas Jefferson: Independence is not a toy for children to play with, but the privilege of a fully matured mind.
See more »


Soundtracks

CONCERTO GROSSO OPUS 7, NO. 6 La Follia, in d. MINOR
Music by Francesco Geminiani
Perfermed by Les Arts Florissants
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Cerebral Affairs
10 June 2003 | by treagan-2See all my reviews

Although I have been interested in Jefferson for many years, I put off seeing this film for some reason, and only caught it recently on cable.

I give it mixed reviews, generally favorable. Ivory/Merchant have again fashioned a lavish tableau, and the sets, costumes, props, etc. are first rate.

The cast is solid. I was afraid Nolte would be a little too rough for my image of Jefferson, but that played out all right.

What made this film interesting to me was certainly not whether it was accurate in a historical sense. How could it be--not nearly enough is known of that situation. The question is whether or not the film is plausible and "honest within itself," i.e., whether we can accept the story as having something to tell us, if what is depicted is historically true or not.

To me, the movie is about freedom, and the contradictions of freedom. Jefferson, freedom's advocate, is ensnared within the institution of slavery, and that ends up torpedoing any mature romance with Maria Cosway. Jefferson is also in his own life quite rigid, pulling his own daughter back from possible conversion to Roman Catholicism. His granting of freedom to James and Sally Hemmings has limitations.

What bothered me some about the movie was its use of the backdrop of the coming French Revolution--by itself a commentary on the limitations of freedom. To the filmmakers it seems "the Terror," two or three years in the future, is the definitive statement and stage of the revolution. The movie even seems soft on the ancienne regime, which over time killed a lot more people than the Terror.

These muted investigations of freedom in the film move very slowly, but still hold interest--they are thoughtful, probing, and, to a degree, don't pass simplistic judgements on people.

Cerebral film, but then Jefferson was a cerebral guy!


14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 29 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed