7.3/10
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311 user 134 critic
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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)
Reviews
Popularity
3,672 ( 16)
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:

Meet the Marquis de Sade. The pleasure is all his. 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

The real Abbe de Coulmier was a four-foot-tall hunchback. 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: [voiceover, as Coulmier writes] Beloved reader, I leave you now with a tale penned by the Abbe du Coulmier, a man who found freedom, in the most unlikeliest of places: at the bottom of an inkwell, on the tip of a quill. However, be forewarned, it's plot is blood-soaked, it's characters depraved, and it's themes... unwholesome at best. But in order to know virtue, we must acquaint ourselves with vice. Only then can we know the full measure of man. So come... I Dare you... Turn the page...
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Connections

References Restoration (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Interesting...
16 April 2005 | by thechosen1See all my reviews

This was a good movie, but I thought it had somewhat of an unsatisfsying ending (well, to me anyway). Sad too. It moves nicely, though and you don't want to be interrupted. It can get rather graphic at times, but that's mainly because of the subject material, I guess. Geoffrey Rush is brilliant.He has a real knack for bringing strange and twisted characters to life. Michael Caine is doing his usual job of being superb as well. Every new role Kate Winslet performs is different from the previous and she excels every time. She expresses emotion very well. And my goodness, Joaquin Phoenix. I wouldn't say that I was ever a *fan* of his, but damn, now I am. If there was ever a performance that just made me melt, this was it. The restrained emotions and frustration of unfulfilled desires of his character were just performed brilliantly. This guy's an amazing actor.


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