6.3/10
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265 user 105 critic

The Libertine (2004)

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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

John Malkovich had previously worked with director Laurence Dunmore on a commercial, and loved working with him so much, he recommended him to the producers. See more »

Goofs

The Earl of Rochester reads an insulting poem he wrote about Charles II which implies that the King is impotent, and insists this "is true." In fact, Charles II was a noted womanizer who fathered at least a dozen illegitimate children by seven mistresses. 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 »

Connections

References In the Realm of the Senses (1976) 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

 
Saw the Libertine last week.
21 September 2004 | by TwilightShadowsSee all my reviews

The Libertine is a movie that is of Oscar caliber. Stunning, unbelievable and brilliant....even these words do not accurately describe Depp's execution of this part.

We were blown away and that is the best way to describe it. It was funny in parts, raunchy in others and finally, tear-jerking. I found myself holding my breath so many times, because Depp's acting was so amazing.

When Rochester starts to show the ravages of his disease towards the end, all I could think of was that Johnny FINALLY got his wish....to play a character as ugly as possible with his face so mutilated and scarred that he was almost beyond recognition. It was MAGNIFICENT!! He was truly hideous and it was a good reminder of the toll that syphilis took on a person in those days.

This movie is not for the faint-hearted or easily offended. It's mid-17th century England at it's grubbiest, filthiest and most depraved. There is foul language, plenty of nudity and phallic symbols are used liberally throughout this film, although Rochester is always fully clothed.

We definitely felt there was much more chemistry between Johnny and Rosamund Pike, who played his wife, than between Johnny and Samantha Morton. Perhaps it was supposed to seem that Morton's character Elizabeth Barry did not really 'click' with Rochester, as that was the impression we were left with.

The sex scenes, even between Rochester and Barry are rough -- almost emotionless, as opposed to being actual 'love' scenes.

It was the opinion of our group that Johnny Depp has elevated himself to that upper echelon of actors who are to be revered for their skills and talent. This role is the crowning glory of his career to date and it's time he is given his due for being one of the best actors of our time.

Although the film needs some fine-tuning, we left the theater in awe of the magnificent performances we had just witnessed.


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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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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