6.9/10
73,378
148 user 197 critic

The Duchess (2008)

Trailer
1:47 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
A chronicle of the life of 18th-century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, who was reviled for her extravagant political and personal life.

Director:

Saul Dibb

Writers:

Jeffrey Hatcher (screenplay), Anders Thomas Jensen (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,430 ( 152)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Anna Karenina I (2012)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In late-19th-century Russian high society, St. Petersburg aristocrat Anna Karenina enters into a life-changing affair with the dashing Count Alexei Vronsky.

Director: Joe Wright
Stars: Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A dramatization of the turbulent first years of Queen Victoria's rule, and her enduring romance with Prince Albert.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Stars: Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two sisters contend for the affection of King Henry VIII.

Director: Justin Chadwick
Stars: Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Eric Bana
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?

Director: Joe Wright
Stars: Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn
Becoming Jane (2007)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A biographical portrait of a pre-fame Jane Austen and her romance with a young Irishman.

Director: Julian Jarrold
Stars: Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Julie Walters
Atonement (2007)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a thirteen-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit.

Director: Joe Wright
Stars: Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Brenda Blethyn
Elizabeth (1998)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The early years of the reign of Elizabeth I of England and her difficult task of learning what is necessary to be a monarch.

Director: Shekhar Kapur
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Liz Giles, Rod Culbertson
Jane Eyre (2011)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A mousy governess who softens the heart of her employer soon discovers that he's hiding a terrible secret.

Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The retelling of France's iconic but ill-fated queen, Marie Antoinette. From her betrothal and marriage to Louis XVI at 15 to her reign as queen at 19 and to the end of her reign as queen, and ultimately the fall of Versailles.

Director: Sofia Coppola
Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Rip Torn
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young peasant maid working in the house of painter Johannes Vermeer becomes his talented assistant and the model for one of his most famous works.

Director: Peter Webber
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Colin Firth, Tom Wilkinson
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A mature Queen Elizabeth endures multiple crises late in her reign including court intrigues, an assassination plot, the Spanish Armada, and romantic disappointments.

Director: Shekhar Kapur
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Clive Owen, Geoffrey Rush
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Rich Mr. Dashwood dies, leaving his second wife and her three daughters poor by the rules of inheritance. The two eldest daughters are the titular opposites.

Director: Ang Lee
Stars: Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, James Fleet
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keira Knightley ... Georgiana
Ralph Fiennes ... The Duke
Charlotte Rampling ... Lady Spencer
Dominic Cooper ... Charles Grey
Hayley Atwell ... Bess Foster
Simon McBurney ... Charles Fox
Aidan McArdle ... Richard Sheridan
John Shrapnel ... General Grey
Alistair Petrie ... Heaton
Patrick Godfrey ... Dr. Neville
Michael Medwin ... Speechmaker
Justin Edwards ... Macaroni
Richard McCabe ... Sir James Hare
Calvin A. Dean ... Devonshire House Servant (as Calvin Dean)
Hannah Stokely Hannah Stokely ... Devonshire House Maid
Edit

Storyline

Georgiana Spencer became Duchess of Devonshire on her marriage to the Duke in 1774, at the height of the Georgian period, a period of fashion, decadence, and political change. Spirited and adored by the public at large she quickly found her marriage to be a disappointment, defined by her duty to produce a male heir and the Duke's philandering and callous indifference to her. She befriends Lady Bess but finds she is once again betrayed by her husband who wields his power with the three eventually living uncomfortably together. Against this background, and with the pressures of an unfaithful husband, strict social pressures and constant public scrutiny, Georgiana falls passionately in love with Charles Grey, a rising young Whig politician. However, despite his ongoing liaison with Lady Bess, the Duke refuses to allow her to continue the affair and threatens to take her children from her. Written by johnno.r[at]xtra.co.nz

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There were three people in her marriage See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, brief nudity and thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site [Japan] | See more »

Country:

UK | Italy | France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 October 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Duchess See more »

Filming Locations:

Bath, Somerset, England, UK See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

GBP13,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$190,426, 21 September 2008

Gross USA:

$13,848,978

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$43,306,325
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the second period film starring Keira Knightley that opens with the view of her walking across grass carrying something. In Pride & Prejudice (2005), she is walking across grass carrying a book. In this movie, she is carrying a hat with names for runners in a race. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film when Georgiana is talking with her mother about her engagement, the curl running down the back of Georgiana's neck disappears and reappears multiple times. See more »

Quotes

Charles Fox: [to Georgina at the dinner table after addressing the gathering] It's always easier to address a congregation of friends... particularly when those friends are drunk.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Paramount Vantage preferred a PG-13 version for the United States and in order to get that rating some cuts and alternate shots were used. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Orange British Academy Film Awards (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Un Moto Di Gioia
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
sumptuous visual feast
18 October 2008 | by dbogosian-1See all my reviews

"The Duchess" tells the tale of the beautiful young Georgiana Spencer (Knightley) who, in the late 18th century, is married to the much older Duke of Devonshire (Fiennes) and attains wealth, status, and prestige, all at the price of being condemned to a loveless marriage. It's familiar ground: the duke is the typically phlegmatic English nobleman, unable to express or perhaps even experience emotions, while his wife is in every way his superior: in intellect, courage, self-reliance, devotion to children, etc.

Most of the story revolves around the inequality between men's and women's lives: the former openly flaunting their mistresses while the latter are forbidden such dalliances. Men don't come off very well in this movie: they beat their wives, threaten them with separation from their children, and treat their girls with utter indifference while a boy is the ultimate prize.

While the plot is not altogether scintillating, the acting more than makes up for it. Knightley is at her best, able to convey all the emotions the role requires. But the star of this movie is Fiennes, who in spite of playing a truly unlikeable character, manages to keep him from being utterly detestable. At the end, his humanity finally breaks through just a little bit, and one wishes the script would have allowed a few more glimmers at earlier points in the movie as well.

But even if one were to magically delete all dialogue from the film, and just watch it on the big screen with the soundtrack, it would be well worth it. The constant parade of fashions, primarily women's but also men's, is like a documentary of late 18th century clothing. Each scene seems to outdo the other. It's like walking through a museum full of Gainsborough and Reynolds portraits, and seeing each one come to life; wonderful! The stately mansions, the magnificent teams of horses, the sweeping vistas of gardens and sheep on the pastures, it's all England at its very finest. The soundtrack was beautiful, lush and romantic and very apropos. I particularly liked the inclusion of much period music which was intelligently (though not always accurately) paired with the era. Was Bach played in England in 1775? I rather doubt it, but still it fit nicely and sounded gorgeous.

Do see this on the big screen; don't wait for the DVD.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 148 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed