The Marquise Of O

The Marquise Of O

Synopsis

Rohmer followed the great successes of his “Six Moral Tales” with a marked departure from his playful studies of shifting ethical codes in contemporary France by adapting an 1808 novella by Heinrich von Kleist. Like the novella, the film begins with the publication of a remarkable newspaper advertisement, signed by the Marquise of the title, in which she reveals that she is pregnant and desirous of the man responsible to reveal himself. While chance encounters spontaneously drive the protagonists of the “Moral Tales” to examine their own consciences, here fate forces the Marquise to confront both her own comportment and the prejudices of her day. Taking full advantage of the film’s West Germany locations and entirely German cast, Rohmer and Nestor Almendros enriched the period film with rich quotes from German Romantic painting." – Harvard Film Archive