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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.

Director:

Saul Dibb

Writers:

Jeffrey Hatcher (screenplay), Anders Thomas Jensen (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
3,151 ( 105)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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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 Richard McCabe ... Sir James Hare
Calvin A. Dean Calvin A. Dean ... Devonshire House Servant (as Calvin Dean)
Hannah Stokely 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:

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 »
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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:

La duquesa See more »

Filming Locations:

Bath, Somerset, England, UK See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hayley Atwell and Dominic Cooper also star in Captain America (2011) and Agent Carter (2015) See more »

Goofs

In the scene with the little girls in the carriage, when they print on the screen the names of Harryo, Little G, and Charlotte, they mix up Harryo and Little G's names. Harryo is the youngest, with the dark hair, but they put the name "Little G" in the front of this child and put "Harryo" in front of the blond older child. In a subsequent scene, Harryo, the youngest with the dark hair, falls and scrapes her knee. Georgiana specifically calls her by name, Harryo. In fact, Little G was older than Harryo. So the scene with the names is incorrect, while the scene with the scraped knee is correct. See more »

Quotes

Duke of Devonshire: [with a degree of frustration after taking off G's elaborate corseting on their wedding night] For the life of me, I could never understand why women's clothes must be so complicated.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Largo from Concerto for Violin, Strings and Harpsichord in C
Written by Antonio Vivaldi
Arranged by Rick Wentworth
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A great period piece, Kiera pulls in a fantastic performance
12 November 2008 | by Smells_Like_CheeseSee all my reviews

I couldn't wait for The Duchess, I am just a huge fan of period pieces and Kiera Knightly is becoming a fantastic actress in this genre. I was looking forward to this film mainly because I studied Georgina a little bit in college for my history class and I always thought she was such an elegant and strong woman that stood out from the others. She was like the Madonna of her day, she had a great sense of style, self, and strength. While the movie is not completely accurate, it still was a fine movie to watch. Kiera truly held her own as Georgina and was absolutely stunning. One of the underlining stories that I appreciate in this film is the battle of the sexes. Ralph Fiennes who plays the Duke of Devonshire does a fantastic job as well and he plays this anti-villain, shows the true side of the pain and pressure men felt but how they looked at women as nothing but property. This story truly touches you and makes you grateful for our present day.

Georgina is born into a high class family of royalty who is about to be married off to the Duke of Devonshire and everything seems great, G is going to live the high life of class, culture, and being a lady of the people. She comes across the price though: her husband's affairs that are practically rubbed in her face, her life is constantly watched and judged by people, she must be perfect at all times to keep up her reputation as a joyful lady, she is forced to be the mother of the duke's child from an affair he had, as well as she cannot birth a son for the Duke and he will find every opportunity to rub it in her face. All this and Georgina has found another love who she cannot give her heart to fully for the love of her children and people.

The Duchess is a fine film that I truly enjoyed. I wouldn't be surprised if Kiera was nominated for best actress during the academy season. I would highly recommend this movie, especially for the period piece lovers. Like I said, this film makes you appreciate what we have today in our modern society and truly makes you feel for the pressures both men and women had to face in that day. Georgina is a figure that I think is very looked over in history when she is one of the strongest presences in England's history. The Duchess, even though not entirely accurate, does a very good job of telling her story and was a pleasure to watch.

8/10


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