16 thoughts on “18th-Century Quest: La Révolution Française (1989)

  1. The Atelier Caraco Canzeou made the dress. You can check here: http://www.ateliercaraco.com/main_fr.html
    (on the top: realisations, then on the left: spectacles, then on the right: La révolution Française on the scroll bar).
    This movie is my absolutely fav (with Barry Lyndon): it was on the TV for the Bicentenary (1989), I was 8 but fall in love with it.
    Me? fascinated by the le late 18th c? Nooooooo!

  2. I know, right? I’d seen images of Jane Seymour as Marie Antoinette floating around, but other than that, didn’t really have any clear ideas!

  3. A friend of mine that studies the period recommended this to me but I could not find it until now. Everything looks so gorgeous!
    (Also I might need to ask her on Saint-Just and the earrings, just in case)

  4. Looks awesome! We need to have a marathon viewing party. With champagne and strawberries. Who’s up for it?

  5. Yeah, several sources mention that Saint-Just wore earrings. Some of the drawings/paintings of him show them…he was kinda cheesy.

      1. It’s not quite clear, however, whether he really wore earrings or whether this was part of the image of “cheesy villain” his political ennemies wanted to present of him after his death.

    1. Erm, no. There is one in-period red chalk/pastel profile drawing which may be him which shows a large earring. This was copied in 19C history paintings as depicting him, but the sitter’s identity is by no means certain.
      The portraits which are definitely him do not show earrings, and indeed, his hairstyles would tend to hide earrings, which takes away the point of wearing them.
      Philippe Le Bas definitely wore earring/s, though.
      Interestingly, a biographer has pointed out that the 19C depictions of Saint-Just with earrings emerge when they were increasingly feminising his image (as in 19C, earrings were more exclusively a woman’s item of jewellery).
      The pastel portrait of Saint-Just which had belonged to Élisabeth Le Bas (née Duplay) is the best contemporary portrait of him (Musée Carnavalet). Not remotely “cheesy’, whatever you mean by that.

  6. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. It is now on my “Watch later” list on YouTube. Hurray!

  7. Another thing about this film is the lace trim on everything is sublime. I wonder if it was antique..

  8. Okay, late here, but had to comment. I remember watching this on tv back in the early 90s (my early teens-self had a crush on Jane Seymour!) and it was soo long. Everything was in English but the French version (on youtube) is actually better. I think it was a miniseries but started out as a feature length film. There are more Marie-Antoinette-scenes in the longer one. Anyway, loads of inspiration for a new Robespierre-style wig! (Trivia: the Dauphin and Princesse Royale were played by Jane Seymour’s real kids.)

  9. I have loved the film (or series) since I came to love the French Revolution. I still adore Andzej Severin as Robespierre, I think this was the first time that he was actually shown as the very humane, sensitive and struggeling revolutionary he was (except for my favourite depiction “La Terreur et la Vertu”). And yes, Klaus-Maria Brandauer is an outstanding actor. But when it comes to historical correctness, I am afraid that the series looses some of it towards the end. The presentation of 8-10th Thermidor is false, simple as that. It rushes through events, presenting them as if they happened in one day (it were three days, actually), just to give Danton the final word. Meh! Apart from that, the presentation of Saint-Just was not very much in line with historical research (in fact, he was very reflective, more moderate and far more cooperative than Robespierre).

  10. I really enjoy reading your appreciation of the costumes in several films I also analyse for my MA thesis on period pieces set btw. 1789 and 1871 (approxiamtely the life-time of the german count Fürst Pückler who I’m interested in). Reading this I just noticed that you meant Louis XVI and not XIV. Oops, I get confused with the period sometimes too…
    Best regards

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