6.4/10
33,055
263 user 112 critic

The Libertine (2004)

Trailer
2:00 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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 »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young refugee traveling from Russia to America in search of her lost father falls for a gypsy horseman.

Director: Sally Potter
Stars: Christina Ricci, Cate Blanchett, Oleg Yankovskiy
The Brave (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A down-on-his-luck American Indian recently released from jail is offered the chance to "star" as the victim of a snuff film, the resulting pay of which could greatly help his poverty stricken family.

Director: Johnny Depp
Stars: Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando, Marshall Bell
From Hell (2001)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In Victorian Era London, a troubled clairvoyant police detective investigates the murders by Jack The Ripper.

Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
Stars: Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, Ian Holm
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A psychiatrist must cure a young patient that presents himself as Don Juan, the greatest lover in the world.

Director: Jeremy Leven
Stars: Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando, Faye Dunaway
Secret Window (2004)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A writer is accused of plagiarism by a strange man, who then starts haunting him for "justice."

Director: David Koepp
Stars: Johnny Depp, Maria Bello, John Turturro
Benny & Joon (1993)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A mentally ill young woman finds her love in an eccentric man who models himself after Buster Keaton.

Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik
Stars: Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson, Aidan Quinn
Nick of Time (1995)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An unimpressive, every-day man is forced into a situation where he is told to kill a politician to save his kidnapped daughter.

Director: John Badham
Stars: Johnny Depp, Christopher Walken, Courtney Chase
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A rare book dealer, while seeking out the last two copies of a demon text, gets drawn into a conspiracy with supernatural overtones.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Johnny Depp, Frank Langella, Lena Olin
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

After an explosion in space and subsequent two-minute radio-out period, two astronauts return home to their wives. Slightly it's revealed that they're not the same as they were.

Director: Rand Ravich
Stars: Charlize Theron, Johnny Depp, Joe Morton
The Rum Diary (2011)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

American journalist Paul Kemp takes on a freelance job in Puerto Rico for a local newspaper during the 1960s and struggles to find a balance between island culture and the expatriates who live there.

Director: Bruce Robinson
Stars: Johnny Depp, Giovanni Ribisi, Aaron Eckhart
Chocolat (2000)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community.

Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina
Blow (2001)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of how George Jung, along with the Medellín Cartel headed by Pablo Escobar, established the American cocaine market in the 1970s in the United States.

Director: Ted Demme
Stars: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Franka Potente
Edit

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 Hugh Sachs ... Ratcliffe
Rupert Friend ... Downs
Kelly Reilly ... Jane
Jack Davenport ... Harris
Trudi Jackson ... Rose
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

The Weinstein Company

Country:

UK | Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 March 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El libertino See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£278,482 (United Kingdom), 20 November 2005, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,202,799, 12 March 2006, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$4,835,065, 20 April 2006

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,852,064, 16 September 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the play by Stephen Jeffreys, which had been produced by the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and starred John Malkovich and Martha Plimpton. See more »

Goofs

When Rochester returns home, the carriage gets stuck in the mud so he gets out and walks towards the house. He's met by his wife. Rochester says, "Madam. This driveway will not do." The word "driveway" didn't come into use until around 1865 (according to dictionary.com) - about two hundred years after Rochester's death. 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...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Kingdom of the Vampire (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

If
Music by Michael Nyman
Text by Stephen Jeffreys
© Copyright 2005 Chester Music Ltd / Michael Nyman Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Dark melodrama with unexpected depth
21 November 2005 | by Chris_DockerSee all my reviews

What images are conjured up by the title! Especially when we know in advance the lead is to be played by the handsome Johnny Depp. Perhaps a likable rake, a dissolute, even fashionable but very colourful icon of male supremacy - to be forgiven by female fans if they can watch from the safety of a cinema seat!

The reality is a disturbingly different film, dark and sombre, a 17th century candle-lit England, a portrait of the poet and debauchee John Wilmot, and one that ultimately bows out to a feminist heroine in the form of the great actress Elizabeth Barry (played by Samantha Morton).

In an opening prologue, Wilmot tells the audience that they will not like him. With the gusto characteristic of Depp, he throws himself into his melodramatic character in a way that is markedly different from his many half-serious, half-comic roles. As if to win his wager, he is out to repulse us - but not just with licentious excess: the tragedy of Wilmot is that he possesses genius but is unable to use it to furnish his own fulfilment. He is a tragic character, no Don Juan that follows a promiscuous lifestyle as a summum bonum, but a man of inner greatness for whom the outer world is so boring that he loses himself in drink and sexual excess and eventually alienates those around him. "I have to speak my mind," he says, "for it is always more interesting than what is going on around me."

As the 2nd Earl of Rochester, Wilmot is in and out of favour at the court of Charles II (John Malkovitch) and frequently upsets his lovely wife (Rosamund Pike) with his whoring and drinking. But his wife's jealousy is eventually piqued not so much by the loose women or the ale-house, but by Wilmot's love of the theatre - especially in the form of prostitute-destined-for-greatness, Elizabeth Barry. At a time before the emancipation of women, when the stage had recently been the sole province of men, Barry is determined to make it as an actress. She is hobbled by inexperience and a lowly position, but Wilmot takes her under his patronage and tutelage. Wary of the deal, Barry resists, saying she wants to rise by her own efforts - not so Wilmot can take the credit! He asks her what drives her, and her response, her passion for theatre, the desire to thrill and move an audience, is one that Wilmot identifies with, for he is tired of the lukewarm pastiches that trivialise even great writing.

Unfortunately for Wilmot, his own greatness is on the ebb. It was said of him that he was, "A man whom the muses were fond to inspire, but ashamed to avow." His taunting of the king and a scurrilous lampoon of Charles II in front of the French ambassador help to seal his fate.

Samantha Morton continues to show her acting talents with a substantial (if not substantial enough) part and Malkovitch is an adequate counterbalance to the very considerable stage presence of Depp. The screenplay (based on an earlier play starring Malkovitch) sparkles with wit and, even if the direction is a little uneven or turgid at times, it is an admirable and important debut from Laurence Dunmore. The desaturated colours and muddy, rain-sodden English countryside create an air of foreboding entirely appropriate for a work that is more serious than its title suggests.

Intellectually, we are treated to the drollness and intelligence of Wilmot but realise that he is a 'locked-in' and isolated character, a loner and barely appreciated trailblazer (in some respects like the great Marlon Brando to whose memory, among others, the film is dedicated). We also see the folly and weakness of his philosophy.

Wilmot wrote:

"Consider real Honour then, You'll find hers cannot be the same; 'Tis noble confidence in men, In women, mean, mistrustful shame."

Yet it was the honour of the lowly Elizabeth Barry that ultimately inspired him and, somehow, remained ever out of reach.


110 of 130 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 263 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed