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Marat/Sade (1967)

Not Rated | | Drama, History, Music | 13 April 1967 (Sweden)
In an insane asylum, Marquis de Sade directs Jean Paul Marat's last days through a theater play. The actors are the patients.

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(play), (English translation by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Monsieur Coulmier
...
...
Cucurucu
Hugh Sullivan ...
Kokol
...
Newly Rich Lady
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A Mad Animal
...
Polpoch
Jeanette Landis ...
Rossignol
Robert Langdon Lloyd ...
Jacques Roux (as Robert Lloyd)
...
Monsieur Dupere
James Mellor ...
Schoolmaster
...
Father
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Storyline

July 13, 1808 at the Charenton Insane Asylum just outside Paris. The inmates of the asylum are mounting their latest theatrical production, written and produced by who is probably the most famous inmate of the facility, the Marquis de Sade. The asylum's director, M. Coulmier, a supporter of the current French regime led by Napoleon, encourages this artistic expression as therapy for the inmates, while providing the audience - the aristocracy - a sense that they are being progressive in inmate treatments. Coulmier as the master of ceremonies, his wife and daughter in special places of honor, and the cast, all of whom are performing the play in the asylum's bath house, are separated from the audience by prison bars. The play is a retelling of a period in the French Revolution culminating with the assassination exactly fifteen years earlier of revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat by peasant girl, Charlotte Corday. The play is to answer whether Marat was a friend or foe to the people of France. ... Written by Huggo

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Drama | History | Music

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

13 April 1967 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

A Perseguição e o Assassinato de Jean-Paul Marat Desempenhados Pelos Loucos do Asilo de Charenton Sob a Direção do Marquês de Sade  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several lines in de Sade's play give the impression that Charlotte Corday was a royalist (as she was portrayed, for instance, in the British press at the time of her trial). In fact she belonged to a revolutionary sect, the Girondins, more moderate than Marat's. See more »

Quotes

Mental Patients: [simultaneously] Marat, we're poor. And the poor stay poor.
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits - the play's title, stage credits and the actors appearing in the film - pop on the screen, one word at a time, until it is filled. The closing credits - the film's production staff - start off with a full screen of words; they then pop off the screen, one word at a time, until it is completely empty...just as it was when the film began. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Quills (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Never before has a title been so self explanatory...
19 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade (1967/Peter Brook) **** out of ****

"He who kills without passion, is a machine."- Marquis de Sade (Patrick Magee)

What does one look for in a film? I suppose it has something to do with personal interest, but the reason why I was fascinated with the film mentioned above, was because of its abnormally large title. As I was strolling through Blockbuster today, I noticed that it carried this film on DVD. And I thought to myself, "Isn't it rare that my local Blockbuster is housing such a rare 60's arthouse film?". So I took advantage of it, and rented the movie. And this is what I found within it...

Never before has a title been so self explanatory. It serves as the film's plot description. It is basically a filmed play about the French Revolution and the last days of Jean-Paul Marat (Ian Richardson). The catch is: It is performed by patients of a mental hospital in France (in 1808). And it is directed and acted in by a famous patient at the hospital: The Marquis de Sade. It is performed to the Administrator and his family, and many local citizens who care to watch. The point of the show is to prove that the hospital's rehabilitation methods are working, but de Sade has a far more ambitious goal than that. And the play is constantly interrupted by the administrator, who feels it should be more "politically correct" for the recent times. But after the second act, the inmates have secretly taken over, and he is forced just to watch in horror, as are we...the audience.

It is very hard to classify this film. At some points, it is a drama. At other points, it is a thriller, mystery, horror, comedy, and even musical (the musical numbers are very strange). But for the most part, it is a two hour history lesson. All the performances are excellent, and haunting (especially Glenda Jackson's performance). The film has a bizarre tone about it, and is easily the most eerie film I have ever scene. When I called it a history lesson, you might have lost interest right then. But, all the actors (especially the narrator who speaks only in rhymes), looks directly into the camera as they speak. It is as if they are talking to you, and as if you are the only one watching. This gives you the feeling that you must sit up and listen, or they will be angry with you.

"Marat/Sade" is the most unique, and most ghostly film I have ever scene. I only recommend it to fans of theater, and of course film buffs. Though the film requires your greatest attention, it is oddly rewarding.

-30-


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