It Slices, It Dices
February 19, 2007 4:27 PM   Subscribe

MovieSceneFilter: Help me remember where I can find this grand ol' guillotine scene. I'm doing it for the kids!

I'd like to show it to kick off my class discussion on popular violence in the wake of the French Revolution. It's a scene that shows disheveled aristocrats waiting their turn on what looks like a manure cart, unkempt and bedraggled after their stay in prison. As a noblewoman prepares to meet the cleaver, she looks down to see the hoi polloi gathered round, laughing and pointing into the basket where her head will soon roll with the others lying there. My students love any kind of multimedia, and they are going to need something to enliven Robespierre's speeches to the National Assembly.

And I'd of course be grateful for any other recs for film clips!
posted by foxy_hedgehog to Media & Arts (10 answers total)
There's a decent scene or two with guillotine beheadings in Quills; near the opening, as the Marquis de Sade watches from his cell window.

Tried finding the scene on Youtube but no luck so far.
posted by mr_book at 4:39 PM on February 19, 2007

How old is this movie you're talking about? There's The Laughing Lady from 1946.
posted by phaedon at 4:41 PM on February 19, 2007

Danton certainly had some guillotine scenes of note.
posted by Abiezer at 4:51 PM on February 19, 2007

Definitely within the last decade; I think Quills might be a good guess. Another other guillotines appreciated too.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 5:57 PM on February 19, 2007

It wasn't Coppola's Marie Antoinette, that's for sure. I watched that last nigth and was looking for a good beheading scene. Nary a head rolled.
posted by rossination at 7:39 PM on February 19, 2007

The Scarlet Pimpernel has had several film and TV treatments.
posted by frogan at 10:12 PM on February 19, 2007

Oh God, how can we forget A Tale of Two Cities? It's had several film adaptations, as well.
posted by frogan at 10:13 PM on February 19, 2007

Seconding mr_book and thirding foxy_hedgehog. It's definitely the opening scene of Quills. What a great flick.
posted by diggerroo at 6:00 AM on February 20, 2007

The most recent (?) adaptation of the Scarlet Pimpernel, mentioned here is a good candidate. I believe the first episode has Lady Blakeney in such a situation...and much as I love Quills, I'd feel a tad worried showing it to teenagers (less because they can't handle it, more because of furious parents).
posted by sarahkeebs at 8:26 AM on February 20, 2007

I'm a fan of the 1982 Scarlet Pimpernel, myself, and I'm pretty sure it had some good guillotine scenes.
posted by walla at 12:39 PM on February 20, 2007

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