7.3/10
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311 user 134 critic

Quills (2000)

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In a Napoleonic era insane asylum, an inmate, the irrepressible Marquis De Sade, fights a battle of wills against a tyrannically prudish doctor.

Director:

Philip Kaufman

Writers:

Doug Wright (play), Doug Wright (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,754
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Geoffrey Rush ... The Marquis de Sade
Kate Winslet ... Madeleine
Joaquin Phoenix ... Coulmier
Michael Caine ... Royer-Collard
Billie Whitelaw ... Madame LeClerc
Patrick Malahide ... Delbené
Amelia Warner ... Simone
Jane Menelaus Jane Menelaus ... Renee Pelagie
Stephen Moyer ... Prouix
Tony Pritchard Tony Pritchard ... Valcour
Michael Jenn ... Cleante
Danny Babington Danny Babington ... Pitou
George Antoni George Antoni ... Dauphin (as George Yiasoumi)
Stephen Marcus ... Bouchon
Elizabeth Berrington ... Charlotte
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Storyline

The infamous writer, the Marquis de Sade of 18th Century France, is imprisoned at Charenton Insane Asylum for unmentionable activities. He manages to befriend the young Abbé de Coulmier, who runs the asylum, along with a beautiful laundress named Madeline. Things go terribly wrong when the Abbe finds out that the Marquis' books are being secretly published. The emperor Napoleon contemplates sending Dr. Royer-Collard to oversee the asylum, a man famed for his torturous punishments. It could mean the end of Charenton and possibly the Marquis himself. Written by Emily H and Janette W

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There are no bad words... only bad deeds. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content including dialogue, violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Fox Searchlight

Country:

UK | Germany | USA

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

25 December 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Letras prohibidas, la leyenda del Marqués de Sade See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$249,383, 26 November 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$7,060,876, 29 April 2001

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,989,227, 31 December 2000
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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Verhoeven was considered to direct this movie. That makes this the second movie to be passed on by Verhoeven and subsequently directed by Philip Kaufman; the first was The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988). See more »

Goofs

When Madeleine is putting on her dress after getting her wounds clean, she slips her arm into the sleeve twice. See more »

Quotes

Marquis de Sade: In order to know virtue, we must acquaint ourselves with vice. Only then can we know the true measure of a man.
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Soundtracks

Au clair de la lune
Written by Jean-Baptiste Lully
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User Reviews

 
Something very special
22 November 2005 | by MightyTinySee all my reviews

I originally went to see this one in a movie theater on a whim - I was feeling spontaneous, so I bought a ticket for a movie I knew nothing about, and went in free of preconceptions or expectations.

The cleverness of the very first scenes brought a smile to my face, and I knew I was in for a rare treat; off the top of my head, I can't think of a movie with a better conceived, audience grabbing opening sequence.

And the impression lasted throughout this great film. Quills is a passionate (and entertaining!) cry in defense of artistic freedom, and the fundamental freedoms of speech and religion; and it is a deliciously clever movie, both in dialog and in plot. It is actually a movie that has something to say, and does it in an entertaining, engaging way that doesn't leave the audience feeling that they are being lectured to or talked down to.

A few scenes are gruesome and unpleasant, but they, I think, are a necessary evil for the telling of the story, not a gratuitous shock-tactic.

The performances are excellent throughout, and the storyline is will firmly claim and keep your attention. Quills is the sort of movie that you don't forget, and that'll linger on in your mind long after you've seen it.

I would heartily recommend this movie to anyone - even if it doesn't sound like the type of movie you'd normally go for. I for one am very glad that I happened to be feeling spontaneous the day I went to see it, because otherwise I would most likely have missed it. So give your spontaneity a chance if you happen upon Quills in your local movie rental place.


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