The story of John Wilmot, a.k.a. the Earl of Rochester, a 17th century poet who famously drank and debauched his way to an early grave, only to earn posthumous critical acclaim for his life's work.

Director:

Laurence Dunmore

Writers:

Stephen Jeffreys (screenplay), Stephen Jeffreys (play)
2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Depp ... Rochester
Paul Ritter ... Chiffinch
John Malkovich ... Charles II
Stanley Townsend ... Keown
Francesca Annis ... Countess
Rosamund Pike ... Elizabeth Malet
Tom Hollander ... Etherege
Johnny Vegas ... Sackville
Richard Coyle ... Alcock
Tom Burke ... Vaughan
Hugh Sachs ... Ratcliffe
Rupert Friend ... Downs
Kelly Reilly ... Jane
Jack Davenport ... Harris
Trudi Jackson ... Rose
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Storyline

In 1660, with the return of Charles II to the English throne, theater, the visual arts, science and sexual promiscuity flourish. Thirteen years later, in the midst of political and economical problems, Charles II orders the return of his friend John Wilmot, aka the second Earl of Rochester, from exile back to London. John is a morally-corrupt drunkard and a debauched, cynical poet. When the King asks John to prepare a play for the French ambassador so as to please him, John meets the aspiring actress Elizabeth Barry in the playhouse and decides to make her into a great star. He falls in love with her and she becomes his mistress. During the presentation to the King and the French ambassador, John falls into disgrace with the court. When he is thirty-three years old and dying of syphilis and alcoholism, he converts to being a religious man. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He didn't resist temptation. He pursued it.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of costume designer Dien van Straalen and production designer Ben van Os. Van Os worked on Dark Blood (2012), which was released after The Libertine, but was made in 1993. See more »

Goofs

When the dog poops on the floor behind the king, the sunlight is shining brightly onto the floor. The camera cuts away to Chaffinch and when it returns to the king, there is no sunlight and the pile of dog poop has disappeared. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Rochester: Allow me to be frank at the commencement. You will not like me. The gentlemen will be envious and the ladies will be repelled. You will not like me now and you will like me a good deal less as we go on. Ladies, an announcement: I am up for it, all the time. That is not a boast or an opinion, it is bone hard medical fact. I put it round you know. And you will watch me putting it round and sigh for it. Don't. It is a deal of trouble for you and you are better off watching and drawing...
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Crazy Credits

Special thanks to Tracy, Billy and Stanley and all our Friends and Families See more »


Soundtracks

Rochester's Farewell
(uncredited)
(end title theme)
Music by Michael Nyman
Text by Stephen Jeffreys
Performed by Hilary Summers (contralto)
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User Reviews

 
Clearly I missed this when it first came out?!?!?!??!
13 March 2006 | by dibiase_mSee all my reviews

I have just seen this movie yesterday (being March 12,2006), and I am in shock that this movie was released some point in 2004 (by the way I saw it in a regular theatre). I knew nothing of the movie, except Johnny Depp, John Malkovitch and the title "The Libertine". With those three facts I went to see it without knowing anything else...Surprised and in awe of what I saw? - Absolutely.

I am a huge fan of this genre of epics and I must say I thought the cinematography was exceptional and the portrayal of the characters were breathless...I definitely will have to see it again to grasp half of the dialogue as it was filled with complexities and subtleties and emotions that were missed the first time around. I was not expecting to see a movie so heavy, dark and rich with dialogue as what I saw, but I am so pleased with the talent of actors and the director. WHY DID THIS MOVIE NOT EVEN APPEAR IN THE Oscars???????? WHAT WAS THAT ALL ABOUT????? I would give it a 10/10 except I personally thought the makeup near the end was a bit over the top,however, I may be wrong and I would have loved to see more of Mr. Malkovitch.


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Details

Country:

UK | Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 March 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Libertine See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$27,804, 27 November 2005

Gross USA:

$4,835,065

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,852,064
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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