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Jefferson in Paris (1995)

Nick Nolte , Greta Scacchi , James Ivory  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Jefferson in Paris + Sally Hemings An American Love Story
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Product Details

  • Actors: Nick Nolte, Greta Scacchi, Gwyneth Paltrow, Thandie Newton, Lambert Wilson
  • Directors: James Ivory
  • Writers: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
  • Producers: Ismail Merchant
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Touchstone Home Entertainment/Mill Creek
  • DVD Release Date: April 6, 2004
  • Run Time: 139 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008L3V7
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,830 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Jefferson in Paris" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Hollywood favorite Nick Nolte (I LOVE TROUBLE, THE PRINCE OF TIDES) stars with the sexy Greta Scacchi (SHATTERED, PRESUMED INNOCENT) in this impassioned story of forbidden love! During one man's unforgettable visit to liberal and socially permissive France, he meets and falls in love with a worldly and mysterious woman! But when the alluring charms of another prove irresistible, he finds himself courting scandal in a heated triangle of passion and desire! Another acclaimed triumph from Merchant-Ivory Productions, award-winning creators of HOWARDS END, THE REMAINS OF THE DAY, and A ROOM WITH A VIEW -- JEFFERSON IN PARIS delivers stylish and highly provocative big-screen entertainment!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jefferson in Paris- A Must See ! September 12, 2004
By L. Oben
Just finished watching Jefferson in Paris again for what seems like the upmteenth time and am amazed by how much more I undertood the movie this time around, and how much of its many nuancies I'd missed, or simply forgotten, from previous viewings. For example, the almost competitive nature of the relationship between the perpetually sickly and sullen looking Martha "Patsy", Jefferson's daughter and the enigmatic Mrs. Conway, played by the incomparable Greta Sacchi; Mr. Conway's inexplicable jealousy at the blossoming relationship between his wife and Jefferson, even in spite of his flagrant homosexuality (addressed in a sublte, yet clear fashion, another example of this film's classiness), and much more.

From the beautifully hypnotic and classical soundtrack (an escapists dream), to the movie's scenery and wardrobe that encapsulates the European decadence of the period, this movie is one of my all time favorites.

There is so much more to praise about this film: for starters, the historical accuracy of the portrayal of the events of France in that period, the director's ability to entertwine both the historical events of the time with a little poetic justice to fill in those gaps which history books have oft left unfilled (such as Jefferson's relationship with Sally Hemmings played with such nymph-like and utterly stunning talent by the amazing Thandie Newton), and much more.

Nick Nolte is perfect in his role as Jefferson, and lends a keen sensitivity (not to mention sexiness!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Film About Nothing February 6, 2007
Jefferson in Paris didn't have the feel of a Merchant-Ivory production. Perhaps I was used to seeing the work of these two master craftsmen set in Edwardian drawing rooms instead of the parlors of late-Bourbon France, but nevertheless I was left feeling that this was a lightweight film that wimped out entirely in the Sally Hemings segment of the story, erroneously given central billing here alongside another relationship Jefferson, acting as his nation's envoy to the French court, undertook with a married Englishwoman, Madam Cosway. There was so much more that could have been focused on in the story of Jefferson's 1780's stay in Europe, so why this film went in the directions it did makes little sense. Also Nick Nolte was simply unconvincing and unwelcoming as Jefferson, even if there was a boldness to a filmmaker finally allowing him to speak with the Virginia drawl it has been noted he possessed. A bored and boring Gwyneth Paltrow was even more miscast as Patsy, the future President's daughter, and all in all by the halfway mark I was disenchanted with the entire movie. When Jefferson in Paris was over, I was stunned that we had been spoon-fed such a weak, watered down hack-job of a film. How anyone could mistake for a masterpiece this story of one of the great men of the Age of Reason defies, well, reason.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best film about our early history December 9, 2003
Although some people may find this film boring, it may not be their type of film. For anyone who wants to see a film about one of our most fascinating Founding Fathers, this is the film to watch and own. Its my favorite film about any of the presidents and I wish they would make more of them. I especially loved the actress who played Marie Antoinette. She embodied exactly how I pictured Marie Antoinette to look and act when I only read about her. The same goes for Lambert Wilson, who played the Marquis de Lafayette...exactly as I had imagined him. My favorite performance though, goes to Thandi Newton as Sally Hemmings. Seeing her in this film when it first came out made me take notice of her and follow her career with interest. What I love most about this film is the glimpse it gives viewers of life during the pre-revolutionary period in France, and shows the absurdities of ritualized Court life and why the people demanded change. King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were simply out of touch with ordinary people, and our Ambassador to France Thomas Jefferson was a first hand witness to it all. The film ends too abruptly for me. I would have liked a greater resolution than that...but since films like these are rare, and I wish that Hollywood made more films about our Founding Fathers, I can't complain with what this film accomplishes. Its certainly a lot better than the made for TV, "Sally Hemings" mini-series.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sumptuous and lavish retelling of an ENIGMA November 16, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
If this movie doesn't get you to thinking about the conflicts of our society and how different people confront them, then the movie would fail! It doesn't,though.Jefferson is a man at odds with himself.What he believes versus what he actually does remains for all the world to see.Monticellian life was an undiscussed secret.Jefferson loved French society and yet loathed an aristocracy.Jefferson was an enigma and Nick Nolte plays the part to an absolute tee!The more I have watched this film the more I could never see anyone else playing Jefferson but him.The story line is quite engaging and Thandie Newton,Greta Scacchi and Gwyneth Paltrow are at their very best as supporting cast.The soundtrack is wonderful for the lover of Baroque music.This is an artistic film and has great appeal to those with an artist's sensibilities.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Look at Jefferson
It shows the more human side of this truly American icon.
Published 2 months ago by Michael
4.0 out of 5 stars Jefferson, partially submerged
A great story that was partially submerged in period costumes because that's what the director really likes.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Merchant Ivory Production
The critics were not kind. "What is the précis of the screen story", one of them asked. Read more
Published 4 months ago by J S Lasher
3.0 out of 5 stars Conversation Starter
If you ever would like to have a debate about the nature of slavery, presidential power, or consensual intimate relations, this would be a good film to watch. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Miss K.
2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been The Jeffersons
just a soap opera, nothing to do with jefferson. Disappointing. Really just a waste of time other than the cinematography
Published 9 months ago by florida
3.0 out of 5 stars boring
boring. too bad, but boring. It's a terrific story to tell, and after just visiting Paris and Versailles, we were also eager to see shots of the grandeur, but the cast kind of... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Reb the reader
3.0 out of 5 stars I didn't feel it was accurate to Jefferson's personality.
I'm a Thomas Jefferson fan and as such, I sometimes feel like I KNOW him. I doubt it was Nolte's interpretation of the character, but more likely the screenwriter's doing, but I... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Whistler's wife
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Some nice costumes but otherwise a vapid movie with dull acting and a third rate screen play. Not much to recommend except a whiff of history about one of our most fascinating... Read more
Published 11 months ago by De Monnin
5.0 out of 5 stars Jefferson in Paris
If anyone knows the histoty of Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson, they would know the movie is accurate. Read more
Published 13 months ago by FREDERICK PALMIERI
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
This is a rather lackluster movie, but watchable. There's not much chemistry between Nolte and Newman, nor between Nolte and Greta Sacchi. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Zepherine
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