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Quills (2000)

Geoffrey Rush , Kate Winslet , Philip Kaufman  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (242 customer reviews)

Price: $14.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Caine, Billie Whitelaw
  • Directors: Philip Kaufman
  • Writers: Doug Wright
  • Producers: Des McAnuff, Julia Chasman, Mark Huffam, Melanie Woldt, Nick Wechsler
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: May 8, 2001
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (242 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CXPV
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,490 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Quills" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 3 Featurettes: "Marquis on Marquee," "Creating Charenton," "Dressing the Part"
  • Commentary by Screenwriter Doug Wright

Editorial Reviews

Rush gives a tour-de-force performance as history's most infamous sexual adventurer, the Marquis de Sade. A nobleman with a literary flair, the Marquis lives in a madhouse where a beautiful laundry maid (Winslet) smuggles his erotic stories to a printer, defying orders from the asylum's resident priest (Phoenix). The titillating passages whip all of France into a sexual frenzy, until a fiercely conservative doctor (Caine) tries to put an end to the fun, inadvertently stoking the excitement to a fever pitch.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
68 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wicked....but....Wonderful March 24, 2003
This review refers to the 20th Cent Fox DVD edition of "Quills"...

I can think of several films based on historical events or figures that do not follow the facts exactly, yet are enlightening, entertaining and are considered fine films as well. Two of recent times that come to mind immediatley are "The Hurricane" and "The Insider".These stories gave us an insight into events that we may not have known about or paid little attention to until the film burst onto the screen. Here we have another story that although was inspired by the life and the writings of the Marquis de Sade is clearly defined as an original work by writier Doug Wright.

In the late 18th century, we find Sade(Geoffrey Rush) committed to a mad house, as his literay works are so outrageously sexual and "sadistic", that he is accussed of inciting others to act out in evil ways. He, along with the other inmates, is cared for by the head of the asylum. a liberal priest, The Abbe du Coulmier(Joaquin Phoenix). Coulmier is a progressive thinker and allows Sade and the others artisitc freedoms within the confines of the asylum.

Sade has a passion for writing and is smuggling his provacative stories out with a beautiful young laundry maid(Kate Winslet) who has befriended him.They are published and all of France is is eager to read them. Napolean is appalled and appoints Dr. Royer-Collard (Michael Caine) to oversee the activities at the asylum. Collard's methods and thinking prove to be as cruel as any the Marquis could write about.

The Abbe trying to cooperate begins by taking away Sade's writing material, all his quills and ink, and eventually all of Sade's belongings.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A film I both loved and loathed May 7, 2001
I had very strong reactions to this film, so that I honestly cannot say whether or not this is a very good movie or a very bad one. It might be most accurate to say that there are things in it that are extraordinary, and that there are many, many elements that I profoundly disliked.
I should perhaps first point out, what others have also mentioned, that you will learn NOTHING about the life of the Marquis de Sade from watching this movie. Ezra Pound once wrote of a book that it was so filled with errors that an errata slip should have been published as a companion volume. It would take either a full length book or a documentary film to start untangling the historical errors. The movie is, therefore, not a biopic, but a complete fiction whose central character is very loosely based on the Marquis de Sade. The main historical point worth mentioning is that de Sade lived a long life and died in bed of natural causes, with full use of his oratorical faculties.
The virtues of the film are many. One must begin with the look of the film. The film garnered an Oscar nomination for art direction, and it was a nomination that was richly deserved. There are a lot of "period" films, but few that will feel as realistic as this one.
Then one must proceed to the acting. Geoffrey Rush was simply Geoffrey Rush. I have often wondered if Rush has any limitations as an actor. Every role I have seen him in he has played an apparent ease and familiarity that few of his contemporaries can achieve. I wonder, in fact, if he might not deserve crowning as perhaps the best movie actor active today. And all the rest of the cast was quite superb, from Kate Winslet to Joaquin Phoenix to the least of the asylums inmates.
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87 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quills: Fictional Sade Tale A Gem January 3, 2001
Quills is one of the best films of they year. It's adapted by Doug Wright from his Obie Award winning play and directed by Phillip (Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Right Stuff, Invasion of the Body Snatchers) Kaufman. It stars some of the best actors working in films today: Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix and Michael Caine.
It seems an odd time for a film which more or less romanticizes the last days of Marquis de Sade to be filmed and released-yet here it is. Although it's release is on a smaller city by city schedule, you'll probably want to make a point of seeing it in the theater.
Words are powerful things. The pen is mightier than damn near anything and creates more fear and controversy than anything as well!!! The pornographic and satirical writings of the Marquis de Sade (Geoffrey Rush) are not only escaping from the Charenton Asylum for the Insane where the aristocratic Marquis enjoys a great deal of creature comforts courtesy of a benevolent Abbé Coumier (Joaquin Phoenix), but they are also being published and distributed throughout France, much to the embarrassment of Napoleon who at first wants de Sade shot but then reconsiders and dispatches the sadistic but morally superior Dr. Royer-Collard (Michael Caine)to insure that de Sade's pornography is not seen by the public ever again. The Marquis' writings are leaving the asylum with the help of a laundress named Madeline (Kate Winslet) who's infatuated with de Sade's talent and in unrequited forbidden love with the Abbe'. Thus, the main cast of characters has been introduced, and the play can now begin.
There's a somewhat overly tidy twist ending which though clever, wraps up everything so neatly we're reminded this has been a stylish work of fiction.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Dark, sensual/sexual with moving acting. Couldn't ask for more.
Published 1 month ago by deborah
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie..
Published 2 months ago by Ammar Jesri
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
wow wow wow
Published 2 months ago by Cynthia Ceelen
4.0 out of 5 stars Far better than the trailers were allowed to suggest...
I've read the Grove Press edition of the Marquis de Sade, to my regret (I wish I could forget parts of "The 120 Days of Sodom") and expected a Hollywood version of the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Robert Sercombe
3.0 out of 5 stars I liked it: )
Interesting but a little strange. I liked it :)
Published 2 months ago by Danielle Klaver
4.0 out of 5 stars Marquis de Sade
Wow! This movie was mind blowing. Geoffrey Rush plays the Marquis de Sade and he does a phenomenal job. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Paula A. Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars What a screenplay!
After seeing the previews I feared this film would be merely distasteful, even though reviews were glowing. But when I saw the film I found myself mumbling, “What a screenplay! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Joyce
5.0 out of 5 stars Too good to miss if you like a twisted tale
An amazing story of the man whom lends his name to the term "Sadist", the Marquis de Sade. Geoffrey Rush gives an amazingly twisted performance as the Marquis. Read more
Published 4 months ago by HML73
5.0 out of 5 stars How do more people not know about this movie?
I love watching this movie with the commentary track, I am so much a behind-the-scenes person. Amazing performances by a stellar cast and yes there is the traditional liberties... Read more
Published 6 months ago by LN
5.0 out of 5 stars Old Time Romance
What a saucy and unexpected story! I highly recommend this if you want to see the true acting abilities of Geoffry Rush (not that they should ever be in question)
Published 6 months ago by booklover0325
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