Synopsis: The infamous writer, the Marquis de Sade of 18th Century France, is imprisoned at Charenton Insane Asylum for unmentionable activities. He manages to befriend the young Abbé de Coulmier, who runs the asylum, along with a beautiful laundress named Madeline. Things go terribly wrong when the Abbe finds out that the Marquis' books are being secretly published. The emperor Napoleon contemplates sending Dr. Royer-Collard to oversee the asylum, a man famed for his torturous punishments. It could mean the end of Charenton and possibly the Marquis himself.
Genre: Biography, Drama
Director(s): Philip Kaufman
Production: 20th Century Fox
  Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 41 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
124 min

I have the perfect|candidate for the job:

Dr. Royer-Collard,

a distinguished alienist|who's a staunchly moral man...

of impeccable character...

and iron resolve.

- My colleagues have|called me old-fashioned.

- Even barbaric.

But here we favor an aggressive|course of treatment.

- Quite.

I do not seek popularity|or renown, Monsieur Delbene.|Mine is a higher mission.

To take God's tiny blunders|and those He has forsaken...

and condition them with|the same force, the same rigor...

one would employ to train|a feral dog or a wild stallion.

- This may not be pretty,

but it is mercy|just the same.

A few more months of this,|and he'll be fine.

- It is the emperor's hope...

that you bring your expertise,|your proficiency...

- to the asylum at Charenton.|- I'm much better now.

Charenton ? The administrator|there is quite well-loved, isn't he ?

He's young, an idealist.|You'll have to be politic.

- You know how|I define "idealism" ?

Youth's final luxury.

Not so hard. Don't force it.

Let the quill guide you.



We mustn't|just copy the words.

It's important|that we know what they mean.

St. Augustine tells us that angels and|demons walk among us on the Earth...

and that sometimes they jointly|inhabit the soul of a single man.

Then how can we know...

who is truly good|and who is evil ?

Well, we can't.

All we can do is guard|against our own corruption.

So you'll practice reading|tonight on your own for me ?

'And so the professor lifted|Columbe's skirt...

"high above her waist.

"'Let me be your tutor,' said he,|'in the ways of love.'

"With that,|he slid her pantalettes down,

"down, down over her knees.

'And there,|nestled between her legs,

"waspink of the tulip...

as slick as an eel-"

We oughtn't to be reading|his nasty stories.

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Doug Wright

Doug Wright (born 1962) is an American playwright, librettist, and screenwriter. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2004 for his play, I Am My Own Wife. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Quills" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 31 Jul 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/quills_16469>.

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