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also known as Die Marquise von O...

The Marquise of O1976

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  • 3.8
  • passes the bechdel test
Eric Rohmer's film is set in 1799 during the Russian invasion of Italy. A young widow, The Marquise lives with her parents; her father is the commander of a citadel embroiled in battle. With the fort overrun by Russians, the Marquise is abducted by a group of rowdy soldiers and nearly taken advantage of when the Russian commander Count F appears as if from nowhere to rescue her. Later, the Marquise realizes she is pregnant, though she cannot decipher how the circumstance came to be. The Marquise's scandalized parents banish her to their country estate, where she pens a letter to the newspaper announcing that she will marry the father, whomever he may be, should he only present himself. Rohmer masterfully adapts Heinrich von Kleist's classic, multi-layered short story.

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Won the Grand Prix Spécial Prize at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival. "A dazzling testament to the civilizing effects of several different arts, witty, joyous and so beautiful." - Vincent Canby, NY Times


2 members like this review

Like stepping into a painting, this cinematic piece is drawn with all the classical opulence, and it transports you into a time in history, where the fault lay with the woman, and forgiveness bestowed upon the man. We take them for granted, and how much societal norms have changed -- still some things haven't. In this film, though, we do see a time when innocence, esteem and honor mattered. Julietta couldn't see the Count as committing what, had it happened today, would be deemed a crime. So the difference between crime and innocence is ... ? Forgiveness or love? A really good Rohmer film.

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top reviewer
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Member Reviews (8)

180311.small
top reviewer

Like stepping into a painting, this cinematic piece is drawn with all the classical opulence, and it transports you into a time in history, where the fault lay with the woman, and forgiveness bestowed upon the man. We take them for granted, and how much societal norms have changed -- still some things haven't. In this film, though, we do see a time when innocence, esteem and honor mattered. Julietta couldn't see the Count as committing what, had it happened today, would be deemed a crime. So the difference between crime and innocence is ... ? Forgiveness or love? A really good Rohmer film.

2 members like this review
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top reviewer

An elegant and wonderful film. All the hand kissing and the clothing and especially the wording of the captions increased the impression. Part of me wished the Count had a more regal bearing, but perhaps he was more believable as he was, a reasonable version of a youthful Marlon Brando. The situation was believable and the family's reaction predictable and understandable. Mother's little ploys helped her to believe the impossible. I cheated though. Early in the film I had a hunch. went to Wikipedia and found my hunch to be correct. That didn't solve the great mystery completely, but it helped. My hunch was based upon a simple tilt of the head. Cheat if you'd like. It won't take away from your enjoyment of this film. Hmmm. I wish there were a place where I could award it 4.5 stars.

1 member likes this review

The film took me to a different time and place. I loved the character of the mother. The subtitles in English were easy to read. Now that I know the plot I want to watch the film again without reading so I can see more.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

This period piece is a seemingly good portrayal of the screwed up social norms of the 1700's, and was very good dramatic production as well. A very entertaining film.

It was completely different from any of the films by him that I’m familiar with. It was based on a German novel, perhaps written in the days of Jane Austen, and the dialogue was in German, too. It was an Austen-like story, with a twist, but what was so remarkable about it was the cinematography and the lighting. Imagine a film shot in such a way that every scene seemed as if it were painted by Vermeer. Every scene was as sharp, detailed and brilliant as one of his paintings of a Dutch interior. The actors — almost all those of a small aristocratic German family — were superb. The story was a fable, but the emotions were real and powerful, and the tale was compelling to the end. I have never seen a film quite like it — mesmerizing. It was made 40 years ago and I believe it won some kind of prize at Cannes.

Excellent photography by Nestor Almendros: each scene is like painting... otherwise, i dont know.

Kept me guessing up to the end. Great acting, except I still don't know what to make of the (mostly) wooden Count.

Lovely Triffle