In every generation, there comes along a person so scandalous, so rebellious, so willing to break taboos that they topple the world’s ideas of what being a free spirit truly means. In the 17th century that person was unequivocally John Wilmot, AKA the 2nd Earl of Rochester – the wily and talented rogue who lived his short, wild life like a Restoration rock star and become known all at once as a troublemaker, a genius and one of history’s most irrepressible believers in liberty.

Now, in Laurence Dunmore’s THE LIBERTINE, two-time Academy Award nominee Johnny Depp brings forth the sexy, irreverent and ultimately moving adventures of a man who broke all the rules at a time when the rules of modern society were first being written. With a gritty and raw realism, the film brings to life the swinging times of 60s London – 1660’s London, that is.

Set against the extraordinary backdrop of The Restoration – a pivotal age of enlightenment when rapid-fire new developments in science, religion and the arts, as well as a growing new sensual freedom, created the modern world as we know it – THE LIBERTINE follows the meteoric rise and fall of the Earl. As the story begins, he is drawing acclaim with his daring writing and raising eyebrows as a gifted rogue with a lascivious lifestyle. A close confidante of the high-living King Charles II (two-time Academy Award nominee John Malkovich), the Earl delights in lampooning England’s royals with his subversive wit and scandalizing London society with his sexual escapades – all the while reveling in getting away with anything he can.

But when the Earl falls in love with Elizabeth Barry (two-time Academy Award nominee Samantha Morton), the theatrical protégé he plans to turn into England’s biggest star, their affair and a subsequent betrayal will be the start of the Earl’s plunge from the heights of social celebrity to the depths of ruin, as he seeks his final redemption.



November 18, 2005


Laurence Dunmore


Stephen Jeffreys


The Weinstein Company






114 minutes