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Jefferson in Paris (1995)

One of the obsessive speculations in American history is whether Thomas Jefferson, in the years before he became president, had an affair with (and fathered a child with) his 15-year-old ... See full summary »

Director:

James Ivory

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Nolte ... Thomas Jefferson
Gwyneth Paltrow ... Patsy Jefferson
Estelle Eonnet Estelle Eonnet ... Polly Jefferson
Thandie Newton ... Sally Hemings
Seth Gilliam ... James Hemings
Todd Boyce ... William Short
Nigel Whitmey Nigel Whitmey ... John Trumbull
Nicolas Silberg Nicolas Silberg ... Monsieur Petit
Catherine Samie ... Cook
Lionel Robert Lionel Robert ... Cook's Helper
Stanislas Carré de Malberg ... Surgeon
Jean Rupert Jean Rupert ... Surgeon
Yvette Petit Yvette Petit ... Dressmaker
Paolo Mantini Paolo Mantini ... Hairdresser
Frédéric van den Driessche ... Mutilated Officer (as F. van den Driessche)
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Storyline

One of the obsessive speculations in American history is whether Thomas Jefferson, in the years before he became president, had an affair with (and fathered a child with) his 15-year-old slave Sally Hemings. JEFFERSON IN PARIS follows Jefferson to France (as the U.S. ambassador to the court of Louis XVI), following the death of his wife his friendships and flirtations with the French, his relationship with his daughters and slaves from home (especially Sally), against the backdrop of the beginning of the French Revolution. Written by Michael C. Berch <mcb@postmodern.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature theme, some images of violence and a bawdy puppet show | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

31 March 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jefferson em Paris See more »

Filming Locations:

France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$61,349, 31 March 1995

Gross USA:

$2,474,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Christopher Reeve was considered by director James Ivory to play Jefferson, but studio pushed for the more bankable Nick Nolte for the lead. See more »

Goofs

When Thomas Jefferson arrived in Paris, Louis XVI was still a 31-year old king and not a 63-year old Michael Lonsdale. See more »

Quotes

Thomas Jefferson: Independence is not a toy for children to play with, but the privilege of a fully matured mind.
See more »


Soundtracks

SONATA OPUS 3, No. $ FOR HARPSICHORD, TWO VIOLINS & CELLO, PIÈCE DE CLAVECIN La Lugeac
Music by Claude Balbastre
Performed by Simon Heyerick (violin), Bernadette Charbonnier (violin) and David Bahanovich (cello)
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User Reviews

Too slow, too long
27 August 2011 | by richard-1787See all my reviews

I've enjoyed several earlier Merchant-Ivory films very much: Remains of the Day, Howard's End, Maurice. But this one, though it has all the same basic ingredients - director, script writer - left me flat. It moved far too slowly, and never caught me up in Jefferson the man - though I have always found Jefferson very interesting. We never see any conflict in Jefferson between his supposed vows to stay faithful to his first, deceased wife and then his feelings for either Maria Cosway or Sally Hemmings. Indeed, we really get very little sense of his feelings for Hemmings at all, and certainly they would have been complex. Nor do we ever learn why Jefferson's older daughter wants to convert to Catholicism - that, too, given her upbringing, would have caused conflicting emotions. There is also very little connect between Jefferson and the Revolution getting underway. The costumes and sets are all very beautiful, of course, and no doubt very well-researched. But I got no sense of Jefferson from this movie. (I leave to one side the issue of whether Jefferson did actually father Hemmings' children; this isn't a documentary, so that's not relevant.)


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