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Tara's Quills & Marat/Sade Page

MwbhImagesQuillsmlaform.jpgTara's QuillsMarat/Sade Page

This page highlights two stage plays that have been made into films which both have different "takes" on the same subject matter: The incarceration of the Marquis de Sade in an insane asylum during the latter part of his life.


The Play

The Film



The Play

The Film



de Sade:


Related Information:


The French Revolution

Sade (Film)

Other Related Fiction& Films

Title 5

Title 6


, the play by


Quills film

Quills film

Quills (2000 film) DVD

An interestingly grim fairytale, with a violent, yet wickedly funny twist, this is my favorite film for 2000. While having excellent design and directing, the two strongest features are the screenplay (also by Doug Wright), and the actors' performances. To give you a taste of both, I recommend seeing the clip to see how beautifully the film combines plot, humor and character development.

From the opening scene, where a beautiful guillotine victim appears to be finding a kinky arousal in the process of her execution, to the last, where a saintly young priest is seen madly scribbling a pornographic tale to alleviate his insanity, the whole film has a naughty, funny tinge, that makes it enjoyably to watch, despite all one's favorite characters ending badly.

The film Script also by Doug Wright is markedly different from the play, concentrating a great deal on the most likeable and sane character, Madeline, played by the estimable Kate Winslet. The Marquis de Sade, as played by Geoffrey Rush, is like the original Marquis, selfish, spoiled, lewd, rude, and insulting, yet somehow manages to, (as the original was said to) be curiously lovable and charming. Rush, it should be noted, does this while being physically as unlike the original as possible, Sade was in his 70's and a bit pudgy, Rush is 49 and bony. His lack of physical resemblance however doesn't come close to matching Joaquin Phoenix's for the role of Abbe Coulmier. Coulmier was a 4 foot tall dwarf.

Quills Links:

About The Play and Playwright : Notes on Quills the play by author, Doug Wright


Quills eGroup: Discussions of the movie Quills and Sadomasochism.

Clubs quills

Kisses a great web site devoted to the film and all related topics

Quills at the Wilma Theatre : Philadelphia premier of the play


18th Century Costume Flicks : Reviews of 18th Century Costume Films

Geoffrey Rush Interview : Talks about filming Quills


Geoffrey Rush Online : Fan site for the actor portraying de Sade in Quills


Official Movie Site for Quills US version of the official movie site


Quills News :Quills page on the "Discover Kate" fansite


Quills film Soundtrack Album : Amazon page for the soundtrack album, with audio samples.


The Geoffrey Rush Corner : Another fan site for actor Geoffrey Rush. Nice Photo section.


Geoffrey Rush Corner: Quills Page


Film Clip "The Sad Tale of a Virginal Laundry-lass"

Review & Links at Rotten Tomatoes Site

Phoenix Multimedia Site

Susan Block's Journal: Review of Quills [Note: X Rated images decorate this site]

"Quills" the Movie Webring

Online - Quills


by the Discover Kate Website



Quills (2000) Photos copyright Fox/Searchlight Productions:

MwbhImages10poster.jpg poster






(Yes, I know the delectable is in this film too, but his clothes aren't terribly interesting, and this page is part of a

Costume site





is the shortened title of the playThe

Persecution and Assassination of Jean Paul Marat as performed by the Inmates of the Asylum at Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis

de Sade by


/Sade and other Plays by Peter Weiss

[9] Script

This German play is, as the title implies, entirely a play-within-a-play where most cast members depict both a character from the French Revolution as well as an insane asylum inmate playing that character.

This play, while it also addresses censorship, is primarily concernedwith a debate between Marat as a sort of representative ofrevolutionary radical communism, and de Sade as a kind of nihilisticexistentialist frustrated with his own, and society's violently cruelurges, as well as the futility of revolutionary action to improvemankind. Despite this very heavy and multi-layered topic, the filmedproduction of the play (below) also manages to be both sexy and funny inregular intervals.

I designed

costumes for a production of the play in 1989 at Theatre UAF. It is one of my all-time favorite plays because of the sheer density of meaning in it. The play is set in the asylum in 1808 in the Napoleonic era, and the play within it is set in 1793 during the Revolutionary era. Most of the dialogue has relevance to political criticism in both eras. If that were not enough, it also has levels that are clearly evoking the era that Weiss was writing in (the 1960's) and also Germany's recent (Holocaust/WWII) past. Some passages in the play, most notably those relating to war, manage to have a level of meaning for ALL FOUR eras at once!

Add to this the delightful theatricality and musical numbers (really) of the play, and it is little wonder that it has regularly been performed around the world ever since it was written.

As a footnote, Geoffrey Rush, who plays the Marquis de Sade in the film of Quills, incidentally played Jean-Paul Marat, in an Australian stage production of Marat/Sade some time ago.

Marat Sade The Film

of the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Marat/Sade (1967) is considered a classic avant garde

1960's drama in the style known as "Theatre of Cruelty". It is often shown to university level theatre classes because it has wonderful examples of both Artaud and Brecht theatre styles in it. I show it to my classes and it never fails to blow their undergraduate minds. It stars Glenda Jackson as Charlotte Corday (now

Dame Glenda Jackson, MP), Ian Richardson (of "House of Cards" fame) as

Marat, and Patrick Magee as de Sade.

Great moments include a comic "orgy" scene where the inmates sing

"What's the point of a revolution without general copulation?" in a

round like "row-row-row your boat" and mime a vigorously improbablegroup sex event fully clothed, Magee's various speeches on the natureof man: "What we do, is but a shadow of what we want to do...",Richardson's unblinking intensity as he waits for the knife to killhim, and Jackson, doing a little dance trying to capture the knife

from de Sade while he teases her with it in an effort to get her in

his arms.

Marat/Sade Links

"Marat/Sade" DVD at :Amazon entry for "Marat/Sade" DVD

FilmMarat/Sade Links

"Marat/Sade" Video at Amazon com :Amazon entry for "Marat/Sade" video


"Marat/Sade" at Theatre UAF :Costume photos of a production of the play in Alaska

Ari Zonshine, Recent Projects :Photos and downloadable music for a new musical score/production of Marat/Sade

Arts Department presents bone-chilling, provocative 'Marat/Sade'


Marat Sade Scene Designs :Another page of scene design photos for a production of Marat/Sade


Marat/Sade & other plays by Peter Weiss :Amazon com entry for playscript


Marat/Sade Script :Amazon UK entry for the playscript


Marat/Sade and US :Amazon com entry for soundtrack of Marat/Sade and another play: US. Includes sound clips from the songs.



Marat/Sade at the Berliner Ensemble :A production history of the play in Germany, from the World Socialist Website.


Peter Weiss :Information on the German playwright, Peter Weiss, author of Marat/Sade


William Temple Davis Scene Design: Marat/Sade :Great photos of Virginia Commonwealth University production of Marat/Sade


& Memory--The Political Aesthetics of Holocaust Literature: Peter Weiss's The Investigation and Its Critics

Arts Department presents bone-chilling, provocative 'Marat/Sade'





AmazonBooks3Thelibertine.jpg (A new play about the Restoration period & Lord Rochester)




Marquis de Sade Links:

Books and Writers: de Sade : Brief bio and list of works of de Sade. A good introduction to the question, "...who was the..."

de Sade Links:

Conde Mansion : Detailed chronological biography of de Sade, plus quotes page.


La Coste; The Castle of Marquis de Sade : About de Sade's family home.


The History of Fashion and Dress: The French Revolution and Empire

Marquis de Sade in 20th century

Concise overview of fashion from 1789-1825

The Marquis de Sade a Life : Web page promoting a book on the life of de Sade


The Bad Rapping of the Marquis de Sade : Lyrics to a very naughty Beatnik type song on the Marquis, written in 1959


The Crime Library: The Marquis de Sade : Fictionalized story of the Marquis' crimes, arrests, etc. in light, well written prose.


The Marquis de Sade Award for sadism in psychiatry : Who is crazier, the "patients" or the "doctors"?


Dialogue Between a Priest and a Dying Man (1782) : Online text


Oeuvres du Marquis de Sade : Online texts of his works in the original French


The One Hundred And Twenty Days Of Sodom : Complete work, online, in English translation.


de Sade in the 20th Century : Links to 20th Century criticism, film and fiction on de Sade


Marquis de Sade

Parricide: Sade, Robespierre & the French Revolution

Links on Jean Paul


Home Page

- Galleria d'ARTE - Jacques Louis David "Marat assassinato"

Links on

The French Revolution

French RevolutionTHE CHAPEL PERILOUS: The Guillotine & The Terror


Links on the new French film "


(review of Film)

- Official film Site

Links on other

Related Fiction

and Films:


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Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom and Other Writings Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom and Other Writings

Juliette Juliette

The 120 Days of Sodom and Other Writings The 120 Days of Sodom and Other Writings

Quills by Doug Wright, Play script in Paperback


"The Tale of a Virginal Laundry-lass"

Quills Soundtrack album Quills Soundtrack album


The Misfortunes of Virtue and Other Early Tales (Oxford World's Classics) The Misfortunes of Virtue and Other Early Tales (Oxford World's Classics)

The Mystified Magistrate and Other Tales The Mystified Magistrate and Other Tales

Philosophy in the Boudoir Philosophy in the Boudoir

Lusts of the Libertines Lusts of the Libertines

Colonial Wig Colonial Wig

Marie Antoinette Wig Marie Antoinette Wig

Marquis De Sade's Justine

Haunted house trick Guillotine Haunted house trick Guillotine

Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure

Candide (Dover Thrift Editions)

Marat Sade (DVD) Marat Sade (DVD)

Marat / SadeVHS Marat / SadeVHS

Dramatic Works of the Marquis de Sade Dramatic Works of the Marquis de Sade

Home With the Marquis De Sade : A Life

The Libertine Reader

Les Liaisons Dangereuses

17th-18th Century


of My Life (Volumes I & II)

of My Life (Volumes III & IV)

Casanova : The Man Who Really Loved Women

The Invention of Pornography : Obscenity and the Origins of Modernity, 1500-1800 The Invention of Pornography : Obscenity and the Origins of Modernity, 1500-1800

The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France

Dark Prince: Intimate Tales of Marquis de Sade Dark Prince: Intimate Tales of Marquis de Sade

Biography - Marquis De Sade Biography - Marquis De Sade

The Fan-Maker's Inquisition : A Novel of the Marquis De Sade (Ballantine Reader's Circle) The Fan-Maker's Inquisition : A Novel of the Marquis De Sade (Ballantine Reader's Circle)

This Page is part of The Costumer's Manifesto, originally founded by Tara Maginnis, Ph.D. from 1996-2014, now flying free as a wiki for all to edit and contribute. Site maintained, hosted, and wikified by Andrew Kahn. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License; additional terms may apply. See Terms of Use for details. You may print out any of these pages for non-profit educational use such as school papers, teacher handouts, or wall displays. You may link to any page in this site.