The Queen Margot (movie, 1994)

Queen Margot is a French film directed by Patrice Chéreau and released in theaters in 1994 .

Adapted from the famous novel The Queen Margot by Alexandre Dumas Sr., the film tells the life of Marguerite de Valois , known as “Margot”, played by Isabelle Adjani , her wedding with Henri de Navarre , future Henri IV , interpreted by Daniel Auteuil , passing by the massacre of St. Bartholomew . Jean-Hugues Anglade , Vincent Perez , Virna Lisi , Dominique Blanc , Pascal Greggory and Jean-Claude Brialy complete the cast .

Far-reaching European co-production with a budget of 140 million francs , the film is shot between France and Portugal over more than six months in 1993 . Despite a mixed criticism that criticizes his emphasis and his theatricality, he managed to gather more than two million viewers in French cinemas during the year 1994 , thus constituting the most important public success of its director.

At the Cannes Film Festival in 1994 , the film wins the Jury Prize and actress Virna Lisi is awarded the prize for female interpretation for her role as Catherine de Médicis . Named twelve times during the 20 th ceremony cinema Caesar , Queen Margot receives five Césars , including that of best actress for Isabelle Adjani . This period film is nominated for the Best Costume Oscar in 1995 .


Life at the Court and in Paris , between the ” Vermilion Wedding ” and the massacre of St. Bartholomew .

August 1572 . Paris is boiling. Protestant Henri de Navarre, future Henri IV ( Daniel Auteuil ), is about to marry Marguerite de Valois ( Isabelle Adjani ), known as Margot. Catholic, daughter of France, she is especially the daughter of Catherine de Medici ( Virna Lisi ) and the sister of the unstable King Charles IX ( Jean-Hugues Anglade ) and ambitious princes Henri ( Pascal Greggory ) and François ( Julien Rassam). The two spouses do not like each other. It is about a political marriage, orchestrated by Catherine de Medici, destined to spare at the diplomatic level the susceptibilities of the Pope Gregory XIII and of Spain on the one hand, Protestant states on the other hand, and especially to to appease hatreds and rivalries within the kingdom between the Catholic party of Duke Henri de Guise ( Miguel Bosé ) and the Protestant faction led by Admiral Gaspard de Coligny ( Jean-Claude Brialy ). Fear, hostility and violence are felt even in Notre-Dame, where the wedding is celebrated. Margot’s brothers display a morgue without restraint and do not hide the ambiguous relationship they have with their sister. Margot is an arrogant and fickle princess. Queen Catherine hatched a plot on the very day of her daughter’s wedding.

Each of the parties tries to do battle and the awkwardness of the Queen Mother, coupled with the opposing ambitions of the various protagonists, not to mention the weakness of the king and the taste of power of the princes, will turn the whole country into a terrible massacre , six days only after the wedding. It is these dark hours that will make Margot discover what she did not know until now: altruism , friendship and love.

Technical sheet

  • Original title: Queen Margot
  • Director: Patrice Chéreau , assisted by Jérôme Enrico and Emmanuel Hamon
  • Scenario: Danièle Thompson and Patrice Chéreau
  • Sets: Olivier Radot and Richard Peduzzi
  • Costumes: Moidele Bickel
  • Costume Chef: Jean-Daniel Vuillermoz
  • Photography: Philippe Rousselot
  • Camera operator: Marc Koninckx
  • Sound: Guillaume Sciama , Dominique Hennequin
  • Editing: François Gédigier and Hélène Viard
  • Music: Goran Bregovic
  • Cast: Marguerite Capelier
  • Associate production company: Claude Berri
  • Executive production: Pierre Grunstein
  • Production company :
    •  DA Films , Renn Productions , France 2 Cinema
    •  NEF Filmproduktion GmbH , ARD / Degeto Film GmbH , RCS Films-TV
  • Distribution Company: Mediterranean Film Rental Agency
  • Country of origin: France , Germany , Italy
  • Original language: French
  • Format: Color – 35mm – 1.85: 1 ( Panavision ) – Dolby sound
  • Genre: Historical Movie
  • Duration: 159 minutes
  • Filming dates: May 10 to
  • Shooting: the library of the former Jesuit college in Reims was used in particular for the filming
  • Release date: France : 
  • Classification: Not allowed under 12 years


  • Isabelle Adjani : Marguerite de France known as “Queen Margot”
  • Daniel Auteuil : Henry of Navarre
  • Jean-Hugues Anglade : Charles IX
  • Vincent Pérez : The Mole
  • Virna Lisi : Catherine of Medici
  • Dominique Blanc : Henriette de Nevers
  • Pascal Greggory : Henri, Duke of Anjou
  • Claudio Amendola (French voice: Richard Bohringer 1 ) : Coconas
  • Miguel Bosé : Duke Henri de Guise
  • Asia Argento : Charlotte de Sauve
  • Julien Rassam : François, Duke of Alençon
  • Jean-Claude Brialy : Admiral Gaspard de Coligny
  • Jean-Philippe Ecoffey : Condé
  • Thomas Kretschmann : Nançay
  • Bruno Todeschini : Armagnac
  • Emmanuel Salinger : Of the Bartas
  • Laure Marsac : Antoinette
  • Michelle Marquais : the nanny
  • Bernard Verley : The Cardinal of Bourbon
  • Albano Guaetta : Orthon
  • Johan Leysen : Maurevert
  • Dörte Lyssewski : Marie Touchet
  • Marc Citti : Crussol
  • Grégoire Colin : the young slaughtered
  • Nicolas Vaude : a Protestant
  • Daniel Breton : a thief
  • Cécile Caillaud : Henriette’s maid
  • Jean Douchet : the bishop
  • Philippe Duclos : Telligny
  • Barbet Schroeder : a counselor
  • Erwan Dujardin : a page
  • Valeria Bruni Tedeschi : a courtesan
  • Hélène de Fougerolles : a courtesan
  • Alexis Nitzer : an advisor
  • Julie-Anne Roth : the slaughtered kitchen girl
  • Tolsty 2 , 3 : the hangman
  • Guy Duval : a bishop

Production and realization


The film is a European co – production that engages France , Italy and Germany 4 . It is shot between France and Portugal over more than six months in 1993 and requires an initial budget of 120 million francs that exceeds 20 million 4 . For this long-standing project which Claude Berri is the main producer and which is missing several times, Patrice Chéreau asks Danièle Thompson with whom he co-wrote the script over several years 5 , 4 . During the writing, several news (First Gulf War , ethnic wars of former Yugoslavia …) come to feed the inspiration of the two authors 4 .

The distribution is eclectic and international 4 . In addition to major French stars ( Isabelle Adjani , Daniel Auteuil and Jean-Claude Brialy ), Chéreau hires some of his favorite actors like Jean-Hugues Anglade , Dominique Blancand Pascal Greggory and his alumni of the Théâtre des Amandiers de Nanterre as Vincent Pérez , Bruno Todeschini and Jean-Philippe Ecoffey 4 . Among the international performers are Italians Virna Lisi , Asia ArgentoandClaudio Amendola , the Spaniard Miguel Bosé or the German Thomas Kretschmann 4 .

Director of four previous films, Chéreau says: “It’s with Queen Margot that I learned to make movies. ” 5 .

On a clear aesthetic ambition, the work is judged by its author more “Elizabethan” that “shakesparienne” and close to Christopher Marlowe for the idea of a deaf violence, ready to spring at any moment 4 . Chéreau had also staged in 1972 at the NPT Villeurbanne , Massacre at Paris Marlowe, dedicated to the night of St. Bartholomew 6 .

If the film draws as much inspiration from theater and literature as painting ( Francisco de Goya , Théodore Géricault , Eugène Delacroix , Francis Bacon ), it also seeks to be part of the tradition of a prestigious auteur cinemamixing family, power, madness, decadence , sex and barbarism like the Red Empress of Josef von Sternberg , Ivan the Terrible by Sergei Eisenstein , Macbeth of Orson Welles , Hamlet of Laurence Olivier , The Damnedof Luchino Visconti or Aguirre, the wrath of God of Werner Herzog 5 , 4 , 7 .

“I wondered where to find a modern example of feudalism, vassalage, or dependence. I thought about the Mafia. From then on, I substituted for those bad images that of the Godfather or the Freedmen that Scorsesehad the good idea to go out while we were working. […]. And I remembered this sentence of Visconti when he was preparing Les Damnés : “To tell the story of a monstrous family in which all crimes go unpunished. “

– Patrice Chéreau , in an interview with Serge Toubiana in Les Cahiers du cinéma , o 479/480, May 1994, p.  17 .

Filming Locations

Filming took place from May 10th at.

The marriage of Henri and Marguerite was shot in the basilica of Saint-Quentin in the Aisne , the cathedrals of Notre-Dame de Paris and Notre-Dame de Reims are too busy. Some scenes are filmed in Paris in the th district ( Notre-Dame de Paris , Parvis Notre-Dame – Place Jean-Paul-II and Ile de la Cité ).

Other locations in France include Bordeaux ( Gironde ), the former college of the Jesuits of Reims , Compiegne and Senlis ( Oise ), Maulnes Castle in Cruzy-le-Chatel ( Yonne ), Rambouillet ( Yvelines ), Nanterre ( Hauts-de-Seine) and Éclair Studios in Épinay-sur-Seine ( Seine-Saint-Denis ).

Other scenes are shot in Portugal, more precisely at the National Palace of Mafra located in the Lisbon region .



The film is exploited on two versions: the French one of 2 hours 40 and the other international, shortened of twenty minutes 4 . Indeed, Miramax’s American distributors , Robert and Harvey Weinstein , demand that the work be slightly raised to reduce the duration and put more emphasis on the relationship between La Môle and Margot 4 . A scene of the oath of love is glad reinserted and Isabelle Adjani , who, in full promotion of the film in the US in December 1994 , considers that it gives the whole more romance, emotion and depth 8 .

Home criticism and public

“Strange feeling, seeing this Queen Margot , a film that would have veins, a pulse, real heartbeat. Blood of love and blood of hatred, mixed. And these heartbeats would be dictated, punctuated by the violence, always, that irrigates the film of Patrice Chéreau . It is this blood, it is this incredible violence, it is these heartbeats that make it a true, a great success: Queen Margot avoids the pitfalls of a cinema that would be flickered like a picture book. “

– Serge Toubiana in Les Cahiers du cinéma , o 479/480, May 1994, p.  9 .

Queen Margot received mixed critical reception upon its release to coincide with its presentation at the 47 th Cannes Film Festival , some blaming his emphasis and theatricality 5 , 4 . It remains the biggest public success Chéreau and brings together more than two million spectators in rooms 4 , 9 The film also echoes the tragic news of the genocide in Rwanda , started a few days earlier 10 .

On the subject of criticism, the director states:

“We may not like Queen Margot , but there is a filmmaker in this film, there are real, long moments of cinema, I know it. I may not have been able to make a full movie that would be a total movie event. One day or another, I will end up seeing myself as a director who does both. It does not happen anymore, whereas all the examples that I have, like Welles or Visconti , Bergman or Kazanwhich I do not compare, did both. The cinema leads a bad debate with the theater: it is obsessed with the idea of not being theatrical, whereas there are very big very theatrical films and that the cinema is born of the theater. I claim this filiation and I will always claim the passage from one to the other. I do not feel a lack of recognition, not from La Reine Margot anyway 7 . “

The film’s success is the result Chéreau proposals for the part of Hollywood it declines, preferring to work in France 11 .



  • Cannes Film Festival 1994 :
    • Jury Prize
    • Best Actress Award : Virna Lisi
  • César of the cinema 1995 :
    • Best Actress : Isabelle Adjani
    • Best supporting actor : Jean-Hugues Anglade
    • Best Supporting Actor : Virna Lisi
    • Best photography : Philippe Rousselot
    • Best costumes : Moidele Bickel


  • Cannes Film Festival 1994 :
    • In competition for the Palme d’Or
  • Oscar of the cinema 1995 :
    • Best costumes : Moidele Bickel
  • Golden Globes 1995 :
    • Best foreign film
  • César of the cinema 1995 :
    • Best film
    • Best director : Patrice Chéreau
    • Best Supporting Actor : Dominique Blanc
    • Best original screenplay or adaptation : Patrice Chéreau and Danièle Thompson
    • Best music written for a movie : Goran Bregovic
    • Best editing : François Gédigier and Hélène Viard
    • Best decorations : Richard Peduzzi and Olivier Radot
  • BAFTA 1996 :
    • BAFTA’s Best Non-English Film

Around the film

  • A previous adaptation of Dumas’ novel came out in 1954 , directed by Jean Dréville after a screenplay by Abel Gance , with Jeanne Moreau (see: Queen Margot ).

See also


  • Gaspard Delon and Sandra Provini , Chéreau: Queen Margot , Neuilly, Atlande, coll.  “Competition keys. Cinema “,, 286 p. ( ISBN  978-2-35030-293-5 ).
  • (en) Brigitte Humbert , ” Emotions, Modernization, and Female Emancipation in Patrice Chéreau’s Queen Margot ” , Quarterly Review of Film and Video , Vol.  19, o 3,p.  223-235 ( DOI  10.1080 / 10509200214840 ).
  • Alain Kleinberger and Jacqueline Nacache , Analysis of a Work: Queen Margot , Patrice Chéreau, 1994 , Paris, Philosophical Library J. Vrin, coll.  “Philosophy and cinema”,, 134 p. ( ISBN  978-2-7116-2608-3 ).
  • (in) Julianne Pidduck , Queen Margot , London / New York, IB Tauris , coll.  “Cine-Files: The French Film Guides”,XII- 112 p. ( ISBN  978-1-84511-100-7 ).
  • Violet Rouchy-Levy , ” Queen Margot Queen Margot vs : the US version of Patrice Chéreau film ” 1895 , o 52,p.  90-115 ( read online  [ archive ] ).
  • Violette Rouchy-Lévy , ” The image of Protestants in Patrice Chéreau’s La Reine Margot “, Bulletin of the Society of the History of French Protestantism , vol.  154 “Protestantism and French cinema”,p.  163-173 ( JSTOR  24309424 ).
  • Geneviève Sellier , ” Queen Margot in the cinema: Jean Dréville (1954) and Patrice Chéreau (1994)” , in Odile Krakovitch , Geneviève Sellier , Éliane Viennot (eds.), Women of power: myths and fantasies , Paris, L’Harmattan , coll.  “Library of Feminism”,, 233 p. ( ISBN  2-7475-0261-9 ) , p.  205-218.
  • Éliane Viennot , “About the film by Patrice Chéreau, The Queen Margot , or the uneducated modernity”, May 1994, [ read online  [ archive ] ] .
  • Thierry Wanegffelen , ” Stop the massacre! La Reine Margot by Patrice Chéreau , ” Studies , No bones 1-2,p.  31-33 ( read online  [ archive ] ).


  • Once upon a time … The Queen Margot , documentary TV movie (52 min) directed by Guillaume Moscovitz , an episode of the collection A film and its time by Serge July and Marie Genin (broadcast on France 5 12 ).

Related Articles

  • Margaret of France (1553-1615) and Marguerite de Valois (nicknamed “Queen Margot” in the xix th century ).
  • Queen Margot , novel and play by Alexandre Dumas .
  • The Queen Margot , film made in 1910 by Camille de Morlhon .
  • The Queen Margot , film made in 1954 by Jean Dréville .
  • The Queen Margot , TV movie directed in 1961 by René Lucot .

External links

On other Wikimedia projects:

  • The Queen Margot (movie, 1994) , on Wikiquote
  • (in) La Reine Margot [ archive ] on the Internet Movie Database
  • Queen Margot [ archive ] on the Ciné-Ressources website ( Cinémathèque française )
  • Genesis and realization of a historical film by Violette Rouchy  [ archive ]

Notes and references


  1. ↑ Queen Margot article  [ archive ] on Rotten Tomatoes website
  2. ↑ Vladimir Kotliarov-Tolsty, born in Moscow in 1937, died February 23, 2013 in Paris, artist and actor of Russian origin.
  3. ↑ Anarchist artist Vladimir Kotliarov-Tolsty HAD died in Paris  [ archive ]
  4. ↑ a , b , c , d , e , f , g , h , i , j , k , l and m Anecdotes of La Reine Margot on  [ archive ] , accessed October 20, 2013.
  5. ↑ a , b , c and d ” King Chereau “, Liberation , ( read online  [ archive ] )
  6. ↑ (en) Patrice Chéreau on  [ archive ] , accessed October 20, 2013.
  7. ↑ a and b « Patrice Chéreau:” My work is often confused with life “ », Les Inrocks , ( read online  [ archive ])
  8. ↑ Isabelle Adjani, invited the antenna plate 2 in December 1994  [ archive ] , accessed October 20, 2013.
  9. ↑ Queen Margot on JP Box Office  [ archive ] , accessed October 20, 2013.
  10. ↑ Once upon a time … The Queen Margot , documentary TV movie (52 min) directed by Guillaume Moscovitz , an episode of the collection A film and its era by Serge July and Marie Genin (broadcast on France 5
  11. ↑ Armelle heliot , ” Chéreau, cried in Germany, almost ignored in the United States “, Le Monde , ( read online  [ archive ] )
  12. ↑ Sources: Light Festival 2010 and France 5, documentaries, series A film and his time [ archive ]

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