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The Lady and the Duke (2001)

L'Anglaise et le duc (original title)
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During the French Revolution, a Scottish aristocrat and her former lover, the Duke of Orleans, find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

Director:

Éric Rohmer

Writers:

Grace Elliott (memoir "Ma vie sous la révolution"), Éric Rohmer (adaptation)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Claude Dreyfus ... Le duc d'Orléans
Lucy Russell ... Grace Elliott
Alain Libolt Alain Libolt ... Duc de Biron
Charlotte Véry ... Pulcherie the Cook
Rosette ... Fanchette
Léonard Cobiant Léonard Cobiant ... Champcenetz
François Marthouret François Marthouret ... Dumouriez
Caroline Morin Caroline Morin ... Nanon
Héléna Dubiel Héléna Dubiel ... Madame Meyler
Laurent Le Doyen Laurent Le Doyen ... Section Miromesnil: Officer
Georges Benoît Georges Benoît ... Section Miromesnil: President
Serge Wolfsperger Serge Wolfsperger ... Section Miromesnil: Aide
Daniel Tarrare Daniel Tarrare ... Justin the Doorman
Marie Rivière ... Madame Laurent
Michel Demierre Michel Demierre ... Chabot
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Storyline

An episodic look at Grace Elliott (1760-1823) and Philippe, the Duke of Orleans, during the French Revolution. In 1790, they are friends, no longer lovers. He suggests she leave France, she warns him to quit the Revolution. In 1792, she must escape Paris on foot. Less than a month later, she returns on an errand of mercy and shows great courage saving the governor of Tuileries. The Duke in turn steps in to protect Grace. In early 1793, she demands a promise from the Duke that he vote to spare Louis's life; he does not, and Grace is furious. In April, he warns her of a search; she is arrested and brought before the committee. Orleans, too, is suspect. The guillotine awaits. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violent images | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Germany

Language:

French

Release Date:

7 September 2001 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lady and the Duke See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF 39,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,804, 12 May 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$329,845, 6 October 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chosen by "Les Cahiers du cinéma" (France) as one of the 10 best pictures of 2001 (#02) See more »

Connections

References The Far Country (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Marche lugubre
Music by François-Joseph Gossec
Performed by La Grande Écurie et la Chambre du Roy (as l'Orchestre de la Grande Ecurie & la Chambre du Roy)
Conducted by Jean-Claude Malgoire
Produced by Igor Kirkwood
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Royalist view of the revolution.
10 September 2001 | by Fiona-39See all my reviews

This is quite an amazing film to watch. Using digital technology, the director, Rohmer, has literally encrusted his living actors into painted backdrops. Most of the time this works brilliantly, especially at the start where the film is like a pop up story book come to life. It is less successful in a few scenes, where it limits camera angles (they had not painted the side of some of the buildings for example) but it is a very interesting way to film a historical film which is as much about our own misconceptions and limited views of history as History itself. It is narrated using the memoirs of the Duc d'Orleans' ex- mistress, Grace Elliott. So, an event usually claimed as one of their own by Marxist historians, especially in France, is here told from the point of view of a female aristocratic foreigner. Inevitably a different point of view emerges -there can be no objective representation. The use of the memoirs device does give the film a rather episodic quality. Personally, I found the story line around the King's death the most interesting. A staunch Royalist she is shocked when the Duc votes for the King's death (a basic knowledge of the French Revolution is probably helpful to follow the dialogue between Grace and the Duc here. He was Louis's cousin and had himself elected to the Assembly, where he promptly changed his name to Philip Equality). The filming of Louis's death is masterly. Grace and her maidservant are in Meudon, out of Paris, watching from a hill with a telescope. We do not see the execution, we only hear the maid's commentary, like Grace. The most dramatic event of the Revolution happens off screen. Grace cannot bear to watch her king be killed. Her view is that of an aristocrat. Any justification of Louis's death is literally beyond her vision. This is powerful, keenly intelligent film making. The love story between the duc and Grace is insinuated, never told, and is powerfully moving (tho the Duc does seem a bit of a pompous fool at times; what does she see in him? No accounting for taste). The undercurrents of madness (simply existing being enough to be a suspect) that sweep individuals along in a time such as the Revolution are illustrated as Grace's life is turned upside down, her house is searched daily, yet she still orders her servants to cook her food and is incapable of dressing herself! If you have any interest at all in a subtle, well told film, making clever use of new technology to tell an old tale, or the representation of a pivotal moment in Europe's history narrated by an aristocratic foreign woman, its ultimate outsider, then this is well worth your time. It is a little slow in places but your patience is amply rewarded.


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