The Affair of the Necklace

Synopsis: Paris, 1786: a woman in court. The Crown murdered her father for his views about the poor, now Jeanne wants her home and good name back. She believes all can be set right if she can talk to the Queen, whose House Minister rebuffs her. With the help of a courtside gigolo, she learns to use what others desire to get what she wants. She needs a patron: with forged letters, she convinces Cardinal de Rohan she is the Queen's confidante and can help him regain royal favor. Jeanne conspires to have the Cardinal purchase a fabulous diamond necklace for the Queen. He delivers it to Jeanne for Marie Antoinette. If the scheme breaks down, what then? Might this affair spark revolution?
Director(s): Charles Shyer
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
118 min

Napoleon wrote that military

blunders and domestic catastrophes...

...fanned the flames

of the French Revolution.

But the Coup De Grce was

a curious palace scandal...

...involving a woman of nobility

denied, a member of the royal family...

...and the most magnificent string

of jewels in all of Europe.

This notorious intrigue

came to be known as...

...L'Affaire du Collier.

Jeanne de la Motte-Valois.

We have assembled to bring judgment

on you and the other defendants... instructed by His Majesty,

Louis XVI.

Before reading the record

of your interrogation... you care to make remarks

to this judging body?

I do.

If I reached for anything

that shone brilliantly... was the vision of a home denied me...

...and a sense of peace I have never known.

In the eyes of God...

...and the world...

...I wanted my life to be

as it should have been.

The name Valois first became known

to me many years ago.

Retraced five generations,

it was said... would come upon a king.

From this lineage,

there would emerge one whom I...

...and all of France would come to know...

...Jeanne Saint-Rmy de Valois.


Darnell Valois was a reformist.

A champion of the common folk.

The Valois name was associated

with the resistance... association one could ill

afford in those tumultuous days.

Who are they, Father?

Bring him out.

- No.

The monarchy believed the Valois name

would be buried...

...with the young girl's father.

But the monarchy would

prove to be wrong.

That winter, her mother's

broken heart gave out.

And in an instant,

Jeanne was an orphan.

And I would cross paths

with that damaged young woman...

...many years hence.

Jeanne grew up alone

and accomplished it quickly.

Vowing to restore honor

to the Valois name...

...she set her sights on the one

person she felt could make it right...

...the queen of all France,


The queen is in fine voice tonight.

The role of temptress suits her.

No doubt it is a role our Antoinette

has played before.

Who might that little tart belong to?

She goes by the name la Motte...

...countess, no less.

Claims to be of the house of Valois.

What is to be gained by that?

- Perhaps, simply, it is the truth.

What a novel approach.

I'm told she owes her position

to a marriage of convenience.

Her husband comes and goes

as he pleases.

With whomever he pleases.

- The poor dear.

Her dress walks the cusp of fashion.

Two seasons ago.

Her eyes, though.

Very exciting.

Be mindful of whom you came with tonight.

As if it were possible to forget.

Champagne, madame?

- No, thank you.

Brava, Majesty.


- Majesty.

It was an evening of triumph, yes?

- Your Majesty.

There's no need to worship at my feet.

I've only had a faint. You need not

revive me from the dead.

In my years of service to the Crown...

...I'd watched them come and go.

You again?

I've told you to keep your distance

from Her Majesty.

Ambitious aristocrats

trouncing one another... gain royal favor.

Forgive me. I was overcome

by the strain of an important matter.

But she was different.

One I feel the queen should hear.

- You and all the rest.

I've sought an audience,

but I'm turned away.

Her Majesty does not care to know you.

I will hear that from her own lips.

Minister Breteuil, this is not

worthy of your attention.

Allow me to attend to the countess.

See that you do.

Step aside, please.

I am Rtaux de Villette...

...your escort by command.

Ladies and gentlemen, the queen

of tarts, Antoinette.

Antoinette and Madame Campan

Together they did sup.

Taking turns they deeply drank

From each other's loving cup.

In the hay she passed the day

With Bonnervilles and Frank.

How do you think? 'Too too, ' we cry.

With a wink she did reply.

It never works, you know.

Little ploys to garner the queen's attention.

What's on the paper you were eager

to press into her regal palm?

Has this claim of heritage

been authenticated?

The king's minister of titles refuses

to see me. But I know the truth.

My father's estate was usurped

by the royal family.

I wish to petition for its return.

- By accosting Antoinette?

No. Being a woman, the queen will be

more sympathetic to my situation.

Once she learns of the injustice

my family has endured, she will...

Please forgive me, countess.

It is so fresh, new...

...and naive.

It is remarkable how quickly

you've made yourself tiresome.

De la Motte?

I knew a Nicolas de la Motte in the cavalry.

Thank you.

- Though, at the time, he was no count.

Though it's not uncommon

to buy such titles.

What you suggest is insulting.

It's less attractive coming

from a common gigolo.

Well, I fancy myself quite uncommon

in that respect.

You've come too far. The count has a

temper. If I call out, he'll come.

And do what?

Separate you from the beloved tools

of your trade.

How disagreeable.

He's back, then?

I saw him a week ago in Rambouillet.

Strange, though, he seemed ensconced

with an actress from the Comdie.

You inserted yourself in this.

How do you propose to take your leave?

Have you any suggestions?

- Find a use for yourself.


At court, to obtain your desires,

you must know what others desire.

And you have such knowledge?

- It's my second greatest talent.

The countess' entry into court

coincided with another...

...significant arrival.

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John Sweet

John Sweet is the name of: John Sweet (actor) (1916-2011), US Army sergeant serving in the UK in World War II and actor in A Canterbury Tale John Edison Sweet (1832–1916), American mechanical engineer who built the first micrometer caliper John Hyde Sweet (1880–1964), U.S. Representative from Nebraska John Sweet (canoer), American slalom canoer who competed in the early 1980s more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Affair of the Necklace" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 Jun 2024. <>.

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