The Affair of the Necklace (2001)

R   |    |  Drama, History, Romance

The Affair of the Necklace (2001) Poster

In pre-Revolutionary France, a young aristocratic woman left penniless by the political unrest in the country, must avenge her family's fall from grace by scheming to steal a priceless necklace.


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Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast


Charles Shyer


John Sweet

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User Reviews

28 April 2004 | dbdumonteil
A well known tale ...and a redeemed Comtesse de la Motte!
This storylike true story had already been filmed by Marcel Lherbier in 1946,with Vivianne Romance -famous for her bitchy parts-,a more than adequate comtesse de la Motte.

This is the first mistake of this "remake":Hilary Swank portrays a genuine heroine,whose properties have been stolen by an unfair monarchy,whose father was some kind of Robin Hood who protected the poor against the cruelty of times.She appears most of the time as a victim,a noble adventuress,with a romantic love affair with her sidekick,but it's the ending in London that takes the biscuit,when she reads her memoirs to old posh sobbing ladies "oh poor thing!oh poor dear!" Les "memoires de madame de la Motte" -which were published in France during the revolution are obnoxious,trash stuff..Historian Jean Chalon quotes this line in that notorious book "the voluptuous princess -she's speaking of Marie-Antoinette- was waiting for me in her bed ,and I must say she took advantage of her husband's absence..."Actually Marie-Antoinette never met madame de la Motte and the scene under the snow when the queen accuses la comtesse of ruining the monarchy is pure fiction.

The scenarists are as naive as the cardinal de Rohan,and as the people of Paris in 1786,who thought Madame de la Motte's punishment was unfair.La Motte wouldn't stay long in la Salpetriere anyway,and some say she was helped to escape.As for cardinal de Rohan ,he was far from being a saint,but he was naiveté could he believe that Marie Antoinette ,who had always despised her and never spoke to him,could use him as an emissary?

The film is entertaining and a lot of scenes are more historically accurate -such as the grove of Venus and the trial:that's was the queen's mistake:the king did not need the parlament to judge somebody-. Walken is ideally cast as comte de Cagliostro ,as Brody as Nicolas de la Motte.But the Queen's execution (1793) comes at the most awkward moment ,and La Motte was dead (in 1791) when it occurred anyway.The scenarists suggest her death might have been a crime :never an earnest French historian made a hint at that.At the time,the royal family had more important problems to solve .

The scenarists say that the affair of the necklace was the direct cause for the French revolution,which is a narrow-minded view.It might have been the straw that broke the camel's back but the reasons were much more complex and the students should take a better look at it.

The movie does not tell that after his exile,Rohan was restored to favor during the revolution ,became part of the Etats-Généraux" in 1789 ,and died in Germany in 1803,the last of the dramatis personae

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Did You Know?


The mansion shown belonging to the Cardinal Louis de Rohan is actually the Chateau de Vaux-Le-Vicomte, built between 1658 and 1661 for Nicolas Fouquet, Marquis de Belle Île, Viscount of Melun and Vaux, the superintendent of finances to Louis XIV. To ensure there was enough room for the Chateau and the planned gardens, three villages were bought and demolished. Fouquet was unfortunetly not able to enjoy the property for very long. In August of 1661, a few days after a ball, to which Lous XIV was invited, to celebrate the completion of the Chateau, the King had Fouquet arrested, charged with misappropriation of public funds, to pay for the lavish estate's construction. Fouquet was imprisoned for life, and his wife exiled. The King bought or confiscated many of the furnishings and works of art on the property, and hired the team responsible for its construction to design and build the Palace of Versailles. The property was returned to Madame Fouquet in the mid 1670s. The Chateau was never the property of the Cardinal, nor did he ever live there. In 1705, shortly after the death of her husband and son, Madame Fouquet sold the Chateau to the Marshall Villars, one of Louis XIV's most trusted Generals. He bought it sight unseen. His son would sell the property to the Duke de Praslin in 1764, and his descendants kept the property for over one hundred years. It was eventually bought, in a sad state of disrepairs, and with the gardens overgrown, and uncared for, by the Sommier family, who restored the gardens and the Chateau. The Sommier still own Vaux-le-Vicomte, and the Chateau is now open to the public. The Chateau has cropped up frequently in movies and television shows, most memorably as the home "rebuilt stone by stone in California" by the villain Drax in the James Bond film Moonraker (1979).


Narrator: Napoleon wrote that military blunders and domestic catastrophes fanned the flames of the French Revolution. But the cu-de-gras was a curious palace scandal involving woman of nobility denied, a member of the royal family, and the most magnificent ...


One Fine Queenly Day
Written by
Peter Skuce
Lyrics by John Sweet
Arranged and recorded by the Dufay Collective
Performed by Hermione Gulliford


Plot Summary


Drama | History | Romance


Release Date:

7 December 2001



Country of Origin


Filming Locations

Czech Republic

Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$125,523 2 December 2001

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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