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The Marquis Of O [1976] [DVD]

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Product details

  • Actors: Edith Clever, Bruno Ganz, Peter Luhr, Edda Seippel, Bernard Freyd
  • Directors: Eric Rohmer
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Arrow
  • DVD Release Date: 24 May 2004
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001V01MA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,698 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

This Cannes Grand Prix-winning film was a major departure for the great French director Eric Rohmer, who temporarily abandoned his usual studies of lovelorn and philosophically inclined compatriots in favour of a German-language costume adaptation of a novel by Goethe s contemporary Heinrich von Kleist. Visually ravishing (it was inspired by 18th-century painting, and the cinematographer is the great Nestor Almendros, who works wonders with candle-light), it tells the story of a widowed noblewoman (Edith Clever) who inadvertently finds herself pregnant two years after her husband s death, a situation guaranteed to inflame the prejudices of the era (not least those of her family) especially since she genuinely doesn t know who the father is, and has to place a newspaper advertisement inviting him to come forward. Bruno Ganz (Wings of Desire, Downfall) is the charming Russian count who seems to know more about the marquise s predicament than she herself does.


A fascinating and sympathetic portrait of an abused woman is given life and depth by Rohmer's eloquent direction.

Customer Reviews

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. B. Alcat on 8 Sep 2006
Format: DVD
"Marquise of O" is a film directed by Eric Rohmer (Jean Marie Maurice Schérer), and based on a story written by Heinrich von Kleist a long time ago. That story was somehow strange, but extremely original. The same can be said about this movie.

The main character is the beautiful marquise of O (Edith Clever), a young French woman that lives with her parents and her two daughters, leading a virtous life after the death of her husband. During the late nineteenth century Franco-Prussian war, the marquise is saved from rape by a handsome Russian count (Bruno Ganz). Overwrought by the incident, the marquise is given a potion to sleep. The following day she wants to thank the count, but is informed that he has left with the Russian troops.

The marquise of O goes on with her life, until two extremely unusual things happen. First, the count returns to her life, wanting to marry her immediately. Secondly, the marquise discovers that she is pregnant, and is immediately banished from her parents' house. But how did that happen, if the marquise swears that she has remained chaste after the death of her husband?

All in all, I can say that this movie is interesting, capable of entertaining but also of making you reflect on temptation, standards of propriety, and what is right and wrong. Moreover, the cinematography is so good that the spectator starts to believe that he is indeed watching something that happened a long time ago. Even though this is far from being my favourite Rohmer film, it is more than good enough to recommend, and that is the reason why I give it 3.5 stars.

Belen Alcat
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Di-Di on 2 Jan 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Marquise Von O is based on a short novel by Heinrich von Kleist of early 1800s. It is set in northern Italy during the Napoleonic campaigns. It's like a fairy tale, suspended between dream and reality, romantic , chivalrous. Rohmer's adaptation is visually beautiful, scenes looks like paintings. Actors are excellent, though their acting appear unnatural, like outdated stage performances, that's part of the charms of this film which is a little jewel . Delicate and enchanting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matti on 12 Feb 2010
Format: DVD
Die Marquise von O is French director Eric Rohmer's first feature-length theatrical release after a four-year break from filmmaking. Spoken in the original German language and the story is set in Italy during the 18th century. Edith Clever plays the widowed Marquise, who is sexually assaulted by Russian soldiers and rescued by a Count (Bruno Ganz). Some time later, she has to explain to her parents and brother why she's pregnant. Set during the Napoleonic Wars, hence the presence of Russian troops.
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By Janster on 30 July 2011
Format: DVD
I saw this movie at a foreign film festival as a freshman. It was the first time I had seen a movie from overseas except the children's film festival with Kukla, Fran and Ollie. It was the first adult, sophisticated foreign movie I'd ever seen.

It's really marvelous. The story, to an American, is very strange, that of a Marquise finding herself pregnant after an officer visits. She goes to sleep, wakes up, goes about life and finds herself pregnant later. It's kind of like the awakening of Sleeping Beauty, sort of what happened AFTER she awoke, except that this isn't the Disney version. The Marquise's Count steps up and does the right thing eventually, when he finds her and marries her. Love triumphs, as well as morals,ethics and good sense.

The movie has an intimate feel, like it was filmed with Steadicams in an old house that has slanting bars of light shining between folds of heavy curtain, piercing the gloom of the interior (which is nicely symbolic). Everything looks dark, cramped, off-kilter as an old house which has settled would do, and a little dirty(which is also nicely symbolic )which is what houses were like back then unless it was a grand palace. It looks like the kind of place where you'd write "HEY!" in the dust with your finger for a joke and then deny it later when your friend accuses you of being a smart-butt.

The costumes are marvelous, real flowing Regency dresses for the women, and real hairdos. The actress who plays the Marquise has hair that's a bit frizzy, which is how they liked it back then; they didn't have anti-frizz serum and blowdryers. They tortured their hair with curl papers. This lady's hair has that look.

The actors don't look like they're acting, either.
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