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The Duchess (2008)

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

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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3,140 ( 205)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Georgiana
... The Duke
... Lady Spencer
... Charles Grey
... Bess Foster
... Charles Fox
... Richard Sheridan
... General Grey
... Heaton
... Dr. Neville
... Speechmaker
... Macaroni
Richard McCabe ... Sir James Hare
... Devonshire House Servant (as Calvin Dean)
Hannah Stokely ... Devonshire House Maid
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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:

Based On The Incredible True Story See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site [Japan] |  »

Country:

| | |

Language:

Release Date:

10 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La duquesa  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

£13,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,402,200 (United Kingdom), 7 September 2008, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$190,426, 21 September 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$13,823,741, 7 December 2008

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$43,306,325, 20 September 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the background of the location used for Georgiana and Charles Grey's first kiss is the building used in Pride & Prejudice (2005) (also starring Keira Knightley) for Mr. Darcy's first proposal. See more »

Goofs

Althorp Estate, Georgiana's childhood home (shown in the exterior shots of the foot race at the beginning of the film), was originally a red brick building. Red brick went out of style in the 1780's, at which point the entire building was altered with mathematical tile nailed onto the original red brick to give it its current gray exterior. At the time of Georgiana's marriage to the Duke in 1774, the building would still have been red brick as the architectural work started in 1788. The current Earl Spencer (Princess Diana's brother) had the mathematical tiles redone for a cool $8-9 million as many of the original nails used had rusted away, at which point the original red brick used for Althorp was also ruined. See more »

Quotes

Lady Spencer: I have heard a rumor.
Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire: Yes?
Lady Spencer: That I will soon be addressing my daughter as her Grace, the Duchess of Devonshire.
Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire: Is it true, Mama?
Lady Spencer: Yes.
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Connections

Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Cantabile from Sonata Opus 8 No. 4 in C Major
Written by Pietro Antonio Locatelli (as Pietro Locatelli)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
ignore the critics, the duchess is spellbinding
14 September 2008 | by See all my reviews

After reading copious amounts of mediocre reviews for "The duchess", I wasn't expecting much from this film. However, from the first scene I was utterly absorbed.

The film isn't "just another period drama", it is an absolutely beautiful and heart-rendering tale of the tribulations faced by Georgian woman. Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, who although is the key character in the film (as you can probably infer from the title), represents the situation of all woman belonging to a patriarchal society, not just the aristocracy.

Keira knightly is exemplary in this role. Her facial expression tells more than a script ever could. I enjoyed her performance in "atonement" but this was in a whole new league. Ralph Fiennes was also excellent. My best advice is to ignore the critics and come to your own conclusion. My only negative criticism was the rapidity with which Georgiana bonded so intimately with Bess. However, I don't know enough about the social context of the time to really make a judgement.

All in all, a deeply moving tale that shouldn't be neglected.


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