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The Affair of the Necklace

105 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Special Features

  • 2 Documentaries: The Affair of the Necklace: The Making of a Scandal and Designing Affair
  • Additional Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Cast/ Crew Highlights

Product Details

  • Actors: Hilary Swank, Simon Baker, Jonathan Pryce, Adrien Brody, Brian Cox
  • Directors: Charles Shyer
  • Writers: John Sweet
  • Producers: Charles Shyer, Andrew A. Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Kira Davis, Nava Levin
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 25, 2002
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CY5S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,639 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Affair of the Necklace" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 60 people found the following review helpful By JB on July 5, 2006
Format: DVD
I understand that historic episodes adapted into film must be changed to a certain degree in order to be viewable in the movie theaters.However, in this case, real History is far more interesting and complex than the horror they made when writting the script of this movie and this is why:

-In the movie, Jeanne de la Motte descended from the Valois royal family, and her wealthy father got killed because he wanted people to be free and he could lay claim to the French throne...False! In reality, Jeanne claimed to descend from an Ilegitimate son of Henri II of Valois(The Bastard of Angouleme) which means her father had no legal rights on the French throne.Moreover, her father was a drunk in real life and her mother was a prostitute.

-In the movie Jeanne also is presented as a victim of the Monarchy, by writting her memoirs. The movie doesn't mention however that Jeanne falsely implicated Marie Antoinette in the Affair of the Necklace and she blackmailed her up untill the revolution.The Queen was innocent of everything.

In other words, the movie presents a rather innocent almost angelic Jeanne de la Motte when in reality she was a far darker, more corrupted woman who never stopped intriguing untill the time of her death.

The only thing worth seeing about this movie are the costumes and sets: they are extremely accurate and they got the chance to film some scenes in Versailles which is very rare.

Let's hope Sofia Coppola makes this story more justice in her upcoming picture "Marie Antoinette"...
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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Leah Marie Brown, Author VINE VOICE on July 15, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What a wretched piece of cinema. I mean, truly wretched. And the fault lies almost totally with Hillary Swank. She plays Jeanne de la Motte with such-over-the top mellodrama. She never seems to totally connect with the character, giving us this wide-eyed, fast-talking character that is neither compelling nor sympathetic.
What an utter shame. For she was surrounded by some true talent. The actor who plays Cardinal de Rohan is fantastic. In fact, all of the secondary actors and actresses do a decent job.
There's also the matter of the wildly inaccurate retelling of history. Clearly the writers and director wanted viewers to feel terribly sorry for poor little Jeanne. They perverted history in the telling of the story, casting Jeanne in the role of the poor, innocent, misused and discarded aristocrat who is justified in her actions. The truth was, Jeanne de la Motte was a whore and a thief, a con-woman who helped topple the monarchy and murder a queen. For more information on the affair of the necklace, read Simon Schama's book Citizens, or visit the award-winning website, Let Them Eat Cake.
The costumes in this movie are phenomenal. Truly eye candy. If it weren't for the wonderful sets and splendid costumes, this movie would have rated a ZERO.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Stephen M. Moser on January 23, 2005
Format: DVD
This historical drama is very nearly fabulous - but just misses it. It is a famous tale of intrigue and scandal, one that lent fiery fuel to Marie Antoinette's bad reputation, which in turn led to her beheading. It is the story of Countess Jeanne St. Remy Valois, played by Hilary Swank in her first role after winning an Oscar for *Boys Don't Cry*. Perhaps the point was to see how Miss Swank could act while wearing a dress, but the results are mixed, to say the least. Made out to be completely sympathetic, the Countess sees her father murdered and their property taken from them, and she wishes to avenge the wrong done to them. Begging for an audience with the Queen (Joely Richardson *is* fabulous as Marie Antoinette), the Countess is rebuffed. Meanwhile, in an unrelated episode, the Queen's jewelers have designed a magnificent diamond necklace, but the Queen, though she allegedly covets the necklace, does not purchase it, leaving the jewelers in a tight spot. The Countess falls in with an attractive courtier and also forms an alliance with Cardinal de Rohan (played magnificently by Jonathon Pryce), who is out of favor with the Queen, and convinces him to buy the necklace to smooth things over between them. Of course, the Countess is planning on stealing the necklace so that she may live happily ever after. Through machinations such a stolen letterhead, mistaken identities and other deceptions, the story comes to a boil when the details of the scandal begin to see the light of day, and unravels the careers of everyone concerned (especially Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette). It is a gripping story in the right hands.Read more ›
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Matthew S. Schweitzer on June 28, 2002
Format: DVD
The Affair of the Necklace is an entertaining and lavish retelling of the infamous scandal, in the years just prior to the outbreak of the French Revolution, that invloved a disgraced countess, a lecherous cardinal, the Queen of France, and a fabulous diamond necklace.
Hillary Swank plays the Comtesse de la Motte Valois, the daughter of a disgraced and murdered nobleman who is obsessed with reclaiming her title and her lands. Though married to a rakish philanderer, she falls in with a handsome though disreputable courtier named Rateux de Villet and the two hatch a ploy to use the rich and influential cardinal Rohan to buy the necklace, supposedly for Marie Antoinette, but in reality so that the Comtesse can use the diamonds to buy back her estate and reinstate her family's reputation. Once the cardinal realizes he has been duped he sets out to bring down the conspirators, but before he can, he himself is accused of complicity in the affair, along with his shady and mysterious "mystic" advisor Count Cagliostro, played by an outrageously wonderful Christopher Walken. The ensuing scandal enflames the country as the public, already resentful of the extravagance and indifference of the aristocracy, blame the ostentaciously elegant Antoinette as the true architect of the affair. The resulting backlash over the scandal helps to ingnite the Revolution and sends Antoinette and Louis XVI to the guillotine.
The Affair of the Necklace has its faults, but overall it is engaging and beautifully filmed, with sumptuous costumes and lavish sets. Swank is a little out of her element as the noble Comtesse, but even her American accent and sometimes cheesy dialogue can be overlooked. Walken is over-the-top but enjoyable as the charlatan seer Cagliostro, Jonathan Pryce is excellent as the sleazy cardinal Rohan, and Joley Richardson gives a good performance in her role as Marie Antoinette. This is an enjoyable piece of historic drama.
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