The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade

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Straightforward 'theatrical' version of Peter Weiss' fascinating play, a brilliantly analytical Brechtian epic with tortuous play-within-play convolutions. In the asylum, de Sade (Magee) has written a play, to be performed by inmates under his own direction and staged before an invited audience: a dialectic on revolution argued between Marat (Richardson) and de Sade himself, its performance continually interrupted by the director of the asylum (Rose) demanding certain excisions. There was much critical hostility to the film when it was first released, based on the premise that Brook had ruined his own stage production by isolating details for emphasis at the expense of an overall tableau effect. In fact the film works very well, right up to the audience-entrapping finale.

Release details

Duration: 116 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Peter Brook
Screenwriter: Adrian Mitchell
Cast: Ian Richardson
Patrick Magee
Glenda Jackson
Michael Williams
Robert Lloyd
Clifford Rose
John Steiner
Freddie Jones
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