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Quills (2000) Poster

(2000)

Trivia

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Every single line cut from the script made it into the film They were written on de Sade's clothing, the bed sheets, or in his prison cell at the end.
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The actors playing the inmates all had their characters diagnosed with genuine mental illnesses by a psychiatrist.
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The real Abbe de Coulmier was a four-foot-tall hunchback.
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Geoffrey Rush's real-life wife, Jane Menelaus, plays de Sade's wife.
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The prop department asked for details of de Sade's diet so that they could get the consistency of mixture of the "ink" in the final scene.
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Geoffrey Rush directed the play that the asylum residents put on.
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Joaquin Phoenix, a strict vegan, refused to wear leather. Special plastic or pleather shoes were made for him.
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Hugh Jackman was considered for the role of Abbe de Coulmier.
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Shot sequentially.
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The works of de Sade read out in the film, were actually written by Doug Wright.
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The tune that the Marquis de Sade keeps humming throughout the film is the French children's song "Au Clair de la Lune" by Jean-Baptiste Lully, the second line of which becomes increasingly relevant - roughly translated, it is "lend me your quill so I can write a word".
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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).
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The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet, and Sir Michael Caine; and one Oscar nominee: Joaquin Phoenix.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Though the events in the film are based on reality, they have definitely been 'tarted up' as the opening disclaimer says. In real life, the Marquis de Sade's second wife, Marie-Constance Quesnet, was living with him at Charenton, along with their daughter. He was sleeping with Madeleine Leclerc, who was only 13. The real Marquis was also extremely obese at that point in his life. His tongue was never cut out, and he died in bed.
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The rosary that appears in the film, which de Sade uses to commit suicide, is made out of light and dark chocolate.
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The basket of aristocratic victims includes the genuine model head cast from the real Marie Antoinette, on loan from Madame Tussaud's wax museum in London.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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