Quills (2000)
Front Cover Actor Back Cover
Geoffrey Rush The Marquis de Sade
Kate Winslet Madeleine 'Maddy' LeClerc
Joaquin Phoenix The Abbe du Coulmier
Michael Caine Dr. Royer-Collard
Billie Whitelaw Madame LeClerc
Patrick Malahide Delbené
Amelia Warner Simone
Jane Menelaus Renee Pelagie
Stephen Moyer Prouix, the Architect
Tony Pritchard Valcour
Michael Jenn Cleante
Danny Babington Pitou
George Yiasoumi Dauphin
Stephen Marcus Bouchon
Elizabeth Berrington Charlotte
Edward Tudor-Pole Franval
Harry Jones Orvolle
Bridget McConnell Madame Bougival (as Bridget McConnel)
Pauline McLynn Mademoiselle Clairwill (as Pauline Mclynn)
Rebecca R. Palmer Michette (as Rebecca Palmer)
Toby Sawyer Louison
Daniel Ainsleigh Guerin
Alex Avery Abbe du Maupas
Terry O'Neill Gaillon
Diana Morrison Mademoiselle Renard
Carol MacReady Sister Noirceuil (as Carol Macready)
Tom Ward The Horseman
Richard Mulholland Fop
Ron Cook Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte
Julian Tait Pawnbroker
Deborah Vale Sister Rose Fatima
Tessa Vale Sister Flavie
Howard Lew Lewis First Vendor
Andrew Dunford Second Vendor
Lisa Hammond Prostitute
Mathew Fraser Lunatic Band Member
Jamie Beddard Lunatic at Play
Movie Details
Genre Comedy; Drama; Horror; Romance
Director Philip Kaufman
Producer Julia Chasman; Peter Kaufman; Nick Wechsler; Doug Wright
Writer Doug Wright
Studio 20th Century Fox
Language English
Audience Rating R (Restricted)
Running Time 124 mins
Country USA
Color Color
With bedroom eyes and the mischievous smirk of an insatiable roué, Geoffrey Rush is a perfect choice to play the Marquis de Sade in Quills, directed by Philip Kaufman and adapted by Doug Wright from his own stage play. Imprisoned in France's Charenton asylum at the turn of the 18th century, de Sade is a stately court jester in disheveled finery, and Rush imbues the role with the fierce urgency of a writer whose sexual fantasies are his sole remaining defense against repression and hypocrisy. Deprived of quill and ink, he writes with wine, then blood, then his own feces--a descent into madness or an impassioned refusal to be silenced? Quills embraces freedom of expression ("such beauty, such abomination," as one character notes) while affirming that all freedoms have a price.

De Sade smuggles manuscripts out of Charenton with help from Madeleine (Kate Winslet), a virginal laundress who relishes de Sade's scandalous prose--a divine irony since she was taught to read by asylum abbé Coulmier (Joaquin Phoenix), whose desire for Madeleine is suppressed by Catholic propriety. The delicate dynamic of this trio is shattered by the arrival of Royer-Collard (Michael Caine, appearing somewhat comatose), a righteous hypocrite appointed to silence de Sade once and for all. It's all very engrossing as a piece of theater (which it still is, despite Kaufman's elegant filming), and although Wright's literate dialogue limits de Sade to zesty ripostes and sneering perversity, Rush's intensity ensures that the marquis's plight is no laughing matter. Quills has a point, makes it without condescension, and knows the difference between madness and passion. --Jeff Shannon

Personal Details
Seen It Yes
Index 129
In Collection Yes
Owner David Cowley
Product Details
Format DVD
Region Region 1
Screen Ratio Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Layers Single side, Dual layer
UPC 024543016625
Chapters 20
Release Date 2002
Subtitles English; Spanish
Packaging Keep Case
Audio Tracks ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Surround [CC]
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Surround
Nr of Disks/Tapes 1
Extra Features
Color Closed-captioned Widescreen Dolby
Internet Movie Database