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Films >> Jefferson in Paris (1995) >>

0:00:16 Opening Credits
The credits are accompanied by images of Jefferson writing with his invention the polygraph, or copying machine.
0:02:56 Madison Heming’s Story
Journalist's meeting with Madison Hemings, Jefferson's son with Sally Hemings. Madison introduces his wife Mary and tells journalist that he and his siblings never took the name "Jefferson." Hemings mentions his father, the 3rd President of US, Jefferson. Journalist asks, "Did Jefferson have children with any other slave women beside your mother?" Hemings answers "No" and later says that Jefferson did not favor the slave children as he did his white children but that they were spared the harder tasks including field work. Hemings brings out items passed on to him by his mother and discusses the legacy he (and the other Hemings children) received of his freedom. His wife sings "free at last" from Negro spiritual.
0:07:41 Jefferson greets the court of Louis XVI
Jefferson, in his official role as Ambassador to France, visits the court of King Louis XVI. Jefferson removes a stray thread or hair while reading his official greeting to the king; cutaway to amused court attendants. Louis, bored with Jefferson's long and formal greeting, asks Jefferson "Have you found a good house?" and later remarks "It's very important to have a decent house in Paris."
0:09:50 Jefferson renovating his residence
Jefferson provides directions for the renovation of the hotel into his residence.
0:10:36 Martha (Patsy) at the Harpsichord
Martha (Patsy) Jefferson at the harpsichord; she is joined by her father on the violin.
0:11:20 Patsy to the Convent
A carriage arrives, bringing Patsy to the convent where she will stay during her father's assignment in France. The other women at the convent lean out the window and comment that Patsy is pretty. Other young women greet Patsy.
0:11:44 Abbess meets with Thomas Jefferson
Abbess promises not to attempt to convert Protestant Patsy to
Catholicism. Jefferson and Abbess walk down corridor. Jefferson tells Abbess that his wife died three years ago.
0:13:31 Jefferson and Patsy part
Jefferson tells Patsy that James (slave) will fetch her on Saturdays and reassures her that soon her sisters Lucy and Polly will be coming to France as well. Jefferson leaves in his carriage; Patsy at the gate behind bars.
0:14:43 James in the French kitchen
James, Jefferson's slave, receives praise for his cooking from French cooks; he is told he should be paid for his work.
0:15:25 "I wants to get paid"
Jefferson demonstrates a measuring wheel to James. James haltingly asks Jefferson for wages; Jefferson, acknowledging that their circumstances are different in France where the slavery system is not in place, agrees to pay him 24 francs each month. Jefferson says that back in Monticello "We shall revert to our own system."
0:16:48 Lafayette’s Party
Preparation for gathering at the Marquis de Lafayette's home.
0:17:02 Mocking the Queen
Players at card game openly mock the Queen (Marie Antoinette).
0:17:22 The American Moose
Jefferson reveals the skeleton of the American moose.
0:18:05 Calonne burned in effigy
Calonne is the Controller-General of Finance. He is burned in effigy while the crowd shouts "No more foreign adventures!" James watches from a distance.
0:18:26 Cosways’ Arrival
A carriage arrives at Lafayette's, bringing Richard and Maria Cosway. Richard Cosway was a noted portrait painter of the time. In the film he is in Paris on an assignment
0:18:51 Cosways meet Lafayette’s
Richard Cosway greets Lafayette, telling him of the civil unrest he and Maria had seen along the way, joking that he was perfectly ready to "sacrifice Maria" because she is "much more inflammable than I am."
0:19:30 Jefferson meets Maria Cosway Jefferson meets Maria Cosway
Jefferson and Maria exchange meaningful glances, while Richard continues to tell the story of witnessing the burning of Calonne in effigy.
0:19:48 Dinner underway
Maria Cosway sits with Jefferson. Jefferson remarks that, though Patsy is studying at a French convent, American morals are better for Americans. Maria asks about America. Jefferson responds "The subject is as large as the land itself." Richard Cosway mocks American independence, asking Jefferson if it is true that the colonists only revolted over trade restrictions, for the liberty of drinking French wine.
0:22:29 Discussion of Declaration of Independence
The liberal aristocrats discuss Jefferson's Declaration of Independence. One asks "Are all men created equal, or should this read ‘All white men are created equal?'" Jefferson responds by acknowledging that slavery is evil, whether or not the Negro is considered inferior. Lafayette asks about the first draft that included a clause on the abolition of slavery; Jefferson remarks that it was taken out by Congress as "too particular." The aristocrats remark that the American Revolution is incomplete.
0:24:00 Maria Cosway plays the harp and sings
Jefferson closely observes Maria's performance.
0:25:18 Jefferson and M. Cosway outdoors
Jefferson observes Maria giving the brush off to a smitten but married and aging aristocrat (D'Hancarville). He asks her, "Are you always cruel to those who love you?" They discuss their different national attitudes toward love.
0:27:04 Head and Hearts Game
In this game each player is assigned to the team "Head" or "Heart" and must, in turn, make a statement in support of emotion (heart) or intellect (head). Richard Cosway leads the game. Maria is assigned to "Heart" and Jefferson to "Head." Maria and Jefferson become so intensely involved that they go out of turn and Richard remarks "She's lost her heart." (regarding Maria) and "He's lost his head." (regarding Jefferson).
0:29:45 Maria Cosway and Jefferson in Church
Jefferson is displeased by the interior of the Catholic Church he is visiting with Maria, remarking on its "overloaded monstrosities." Maria tells him of her past and of her painting (Richard encourages her to paint but not to exhibit). When Maria remarks on Jefferson's reticence about his life, he tells her of destroying all the letters between his late wife and himself. He says their happiness was "hers and mine" and then "only mine, to be shared with no one." They touch hands.
0:32:14 Patsy having her hair done
Patsy is impatient with the French hairdresser.
0:32:43 Jefferson and Maria Cosway playing a duet
Patsy comes in to observe Maria and Jefferson playing. Maria complements Patsy's appearance
0:33:25 Patsy tears out her hair extensions
Patsy, presumably jealous at seeing her place taken by Maria in the duet, tears apart her hair and stuffs the extensions in a vase.
0:33:38 Jefferson at the Polygraph
In his letter Jefferson recounts the excesses of the French court. This segment includes images accompanied by a voice-over of Jefferson reading aloud from his letter. Court of Versailles -- what Jefferson calls "useless splendors."
0:34:51 The King and Queen at dinner
The King and Queen at dinner, observed by the court. Jefferson remarks that the King and Queen are like actors on a stage. He discusses the unpopularity of the Queen; she attempts to compensate by paying her favorites to play with her. The Queen and her favorites enjoy playing at being simple shepherdesses, something that costs the government one million livre per year, Jefferson comments.
0:36:03 Puppet Show
Jefferson comments on the salacious puppet shows that mock the Queen, showing her in "incestuous" activities. Jefferson's words are accompanied by a scene from the puppet show, observed by James.
0:36:36 Aristocrats Appeal
John Trumbull demonstrates to Lafayette his painting "Surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown." It is pointed out to him that Cornwallis was ill and not present at the surrender; hence, the painting and its title are in error. The conversation turns to the sacrifices these French aristocrats have made in the American Revolution --losing eyes, limbs, etc. Lafayette turns to Jefferson and tells him that these men expect financial support from the American government, which has yet to pay its debts to them.
0:38:15 Jefferson dictates letter
Jefferson dictates letter to his government, requesting money for the French noblemen. Jefferson acknowledges to his secretary Mr. Short that the American government is insolvent and that he himself has not been reimbursed for his outlay in establishing himself in France.
0:39:06 Journey to The Hague
In voice-over Jefferson, presumably continuing the letter he began earlier, describes his travel to The Hague to obtain a loan for the American government. The voice-over is accompanied by images of Jefferson at a meeting, presumably with those who will make the loan for him at The Hague.
0:39:30 Short brings letter to M. Cosway
Mr. Short brings Maria a letter explaining that Jefferson will be unable to attend the "fete on Friday" to which he was originally committed.
0:40:19 Maria Cosway to Jefferson
Maria writes a letter, expressing that she misses Jefferson.
0:40:38 Jefferson to Maria Cosway
Jefferson's return letter. He obsesses over the greeting, indicating his growing attraction to Maria Cosway.
0:41:11 Jefferson observes Dutch hogs
Images of Jefferson observing hogs are accompanied by a voice-over, presumably Jefferson reading from the letter he is writing in the previous scene. He compares the Dutch and Virginian way of smoking ham.
0:41:23 Cosway reads Jefferson’s letter
Jefferson's voice-over continues at the start of this scene. Maria reads from the letter concerning the Dutch hogs. Richard, opening a door from a side room, sees his wife reading the letter; when she notices him, she quickly conceals it.
0:41:40 Ordination
Patsy observes the ordination ceremony for two nuns. Maria is also present at this ceremony. Patsy's friend cries. Patsy asks, "But why are you crying?" and her friend responds "It's with joy."
0:43:30 Cosway meets Patsy at convent
After the ordination, Maria meets Patsy in the corridor. Maria attempts to get information regarding when Jefferson will return to Paris. She expresses a desire to be friends with Patsy and to ease her isolation in France. Maria discusses the tragedy of her family; three sisters and one brother were killed by the family nurse. Maria's story is accompanied by images of her nurse poisoning a child. Patsy asserts that her father "will never marry again because that is what he vowed to my mama on her deathbed."
0:46:07 Jefferson re-appears at opera
Jefferson makes his public re-appearance in France at the opera. He greets Richard and Maria Cosway. Maria and Jefferson alone. Solo from opera "Dardanus" (composer Jean-Philippe Rameau). Jefferson expresses love for Maria; he tells her that his heart kept telling him "I love the lady."
0:51:21 Hot Air Balloon
Jefferson tells Maria "Come to America. Come to Monticello." Jefferson expresses his great need for Maria. They kiss. Jefferson renounces his vow to his dead wife: "The earth belongs to us, to the living."
0:55:45 "For you I would try anything!"
Jefferson, in attempting to show his exuberant love for Maria, seriously injures his wrist in jumping over logs.
0:56:10 Repairing injured wrist
Patsy and others set Jefferson's wrist.
0:56:20 Jefferson’s Pain
Jefferson's fitful sleep. We see what are presumably images from his dreams -- his wrist being caught in a vise and Jefferson being thrown from a horse while Maria looks on.
0:56:38 Cosways going to the ball
Richard and Maria in a carriage. Maria expresses alarm that they are not stopping to visit Jefferson who is recovering from his injury. Richard wishes to get to the ball on time. He tells Maria that he has finished his painting assignment so that they are free to return to London; he pointedly remarks that, though Paris is full of amusements, "Some of them are of the wrong kind."
0:57:40 Jefferson at Polygraph
Jefferson writes a letter to Maria. He expresses concern that his letter will be opened by spies at the post office. When Jefferson mentions the post office in his voice-over, the images switch from him at his writing desk to the interior of an English post office, where indeed his letter is being opened and read. Jefferson eagerly asks when Maria will return to Paris.
0:58:15 Mesmer’s “Remedy”
Jefferson takes part in a remedy organized by Dr. Mesmer, a current sensation in Paris. The remedy involves a number of people, all women but for Jefferson, seated around an apparatus. Dr. Mesmer does his rap and a number of the women become agitated. In her excitement, one woman throws part of her wig at Jefferson. He stands up and denounces the remedy as "trash and tricks for the weak of mind," ignoring Lafayette's entreaty to give it a chance.
1:00:16 Unrest in the Streets
Images of "the people" running through the streets and setting upon a bakery in order to take bread. Jefferson's voice-over -- from the letter in 0:57:40? -- describes the shortage of bread and fuel for the upcoming winter, accompanied by images of Jefferson and Lafayette's carriage being accosted in the street.
1:01:08 Queen’s amusements/Dr. Mesmer
Jefferson's voice-over continues over images of the Queen and others with Dr. Mesmer during one of his "healing" sessions. Jefferson describes the hatred of the people for the Queen who indulges herself in the fashions of the time and lives in a separate reality from that of the people. Jefferson points out that the Dauphin and the King remain loved by the people.
1:02:35 Liberal Aristocrats propose reforms to King
Jefferson's voice-over continues, over images of the liberal aristocrats, including Lafayette, bringing a proposal to the King. They wish to revive the "Estates General," a body which will represent the interests of the people, Jefferson explains.
1:03:40 Maria’s Letter/Lucy’s Death
The scene starts with Jefferson treasuring a letter from Maria; he slips it into his pocket with pleasure. Then he opens another letter and we hear a voice-over (it is not clear who is speaking -- most likely a friend or family member of Jefferson) describing the circumstances of Lucy Jefferson's death from "whooping cough." Jefferson nearly faints when reading of his daughter's death and grabs the table for support.
1:04:30 Lucy interred
A close-up of Lucy's coffin going into the grave. The mourners throw dirt onto it.
1:04:40 Patsy and Jefferson: “No one shall ever come between us.”
Patsy promises devotion in the wake of Lucy's death. Jefferson says he will bring Polly, the other surviving daughter, over to France. Patsy and Jefferson nearly kiss (!) but the pain in his wrist prevents it.
1:05:40 Polly greeting Sally Hemings at Monticello
1:05:49 Jefferson at Polygraph
Jefferson writes home that he wishes Polly to come to France, accompanied by a servant "to whom she is particularly attached."
1:06:00 Sally
Voice-over from Jefferson's letter accompanying images of Sally Hemings and Polly Jefferson playing at Monticello. After we learn from the voice-over of Jefferson's wish to have Polly accompanied by Sally, Sally tells Polly how much fun the sea voyage will be -- "Ain't that gay, Polly? Ain't that gay?"
1:06:30 Return to Madison Hemings
The film returns to the scene of the journalist's meeting with Sally Hemings' son Madison. Journalist learns Sally Hemings and Mrs. Jefferson were half sisters. Madison's wife points out that there's no point in delineating all of these relationships because "They don't speak of it now; they didn't speak of it then." Madison points out that the only important distinctions are between master and slave, black and white.
1:07:53 Sally and Polly Arrive in France
Jefferson and Patsy greet Polly who has just arrived with slave Sally. Polly, when taken in by her family, expresses dismay at being separated from Sally.
1:08:37 James and Sally discuss “Granny’s” death
Sally and James discuss family events. James introduces his sister to the French servants.
1:09:30 Folk Remedies/Letter from Maria
The doctors remark that Jefferson's wrist will be a long time in healing. Sally, overhearing, remarks that Jefferson needs a poultice of hot ashes and mustard; Jefferson asserts the superiority of American folk remedies. A letter from Maria arrives.
1:10:38 Maria in England
Maria writes a letter to Jefferson, upbraiding him for his lack of contact. She tells him she will be arriving in Calais in the next week.
1:11:09 Patsy and Jefferson’s failed duet
Jefferson's wrist prevents him from playing the violin in a duet with Patsy on the harpsichord.
1:11:52 Polly’s nightmares
Polly's sleep is disturbed by nightmares of Lucy's death. Patsy comforts her.
1:12:32 Patsy and Sally
Patsy disapprovingly reminds Sally that she is to sleep with Polly when Polly is home from the convent. Sally turns over to Patsy the poultice she has made for Jefferson.
1:13:09 Patsy brings Sally’s poultice to Jefferson
When Jefferson asks if Sally has made the poultice, Patsy pointedly does not answer.
1:13:38 Sally Comforts Polly
Sally comforts Polly in bed with a song.
1:14:13 Jefferson’s Advice
In discussion with newly arrived American slave-owners, Jefferson advises that they keep "their boy" in France, while saying nothing about him, so as not to run afoul of France's condemnation of slavery.
1:14:28 Horatius Byrd
James and Sally Hemings in conversation with the previously mentioned "boy" newly arrived in France. The new visitor discusses the liberality of his master James and, when asked, says his name is "Horatius, Horatius Byrd, my own master's name" (in contrast to Jefferson who does not allow his slaves to take his name?).
1:15:17 The arrival of Maria Cosway’s carriage
The arrival of Maria Cosway's carriage interrupts the conversation. Maria "greets" Sally by condescendingly appraising her looks, taking Sally's chin in her hand. Maria remarks to James, as he leads her into the house to wait for Jefferson, "What a pretty girl that was." In the hallway Sally asks James about Maria.
1:16:00 James Overhears
James enters the room to announce Maria's arrival. James overhears Jefferson discussing with the newly arrived Americans the possibility that their "boy" could claim his freedom in France, where slavery is illegal. Jefferson remarks that it is unlikely the "boy" will "know enough to claim that right." When the discussion moves to Jefferson's own "servants" Jefferson takes the discussion out of the room. James has obviously discovered that he has the right to declare his freedom in France.
1:16:56 Maria and Jefferson’s Reunion
Maria recalls their "happy days" in an impromptu song at the harpsichord. Jefferson and Maria kiss and Maria announces that she is alone in France.
1:18:50 Buying Calico
Maria leads Jefferson in purchasing material for new dresses. Jefferson tells Maria that the material is for a "servant girl" (Sally) and remarks that he "inherited" her. When Maria registers shock at the notion of inheriting people like property, Jefferson tries to cushion the blow by commenting that "[w]e are responsible for these people as members of our most intimate family." He further notes that he does not expect a foreigner to understand the situation since, he says, even Americans not born in the South do not understand the "special relationship we have with our Negroes."
1:20:29 Burning Brienne in Effigy
Maria and Jefferson witness unrest in the streets, the burning in effigy of the new finance minister. A rock shatters a window in Jefferson's home. Jefferson remarks that the people are only "making their voice heard." Maria expresses fear that people are not good; Jefferson says the people are only seeking their liberty and are inherently good, though warped by centuries of tyranny.
1:21:41 Patsy’s Dress
Patsy calls for Sally while being fitted for her new dress. She sees the new material provided to Sally by Jefferson.
1:22:16 Sally and James: Wages
James, seeing Sally with some laundry from Jefferson, remarks "He's gotta pay you for that." James accuses Sally of not being able to go beyond her slave mentality; Sally retorts by pointing out James' dependency on liquor. James continues to assert that Sally must demand wages for her work while in France.
1:23:24 James and Sally in hallway
James threatens Sally -- "You tells him right this minute!"
1:23:56 Sally and Jefferson alone
Sally goes into Jefferson's room. Sally, in order to cover her agitation over the confrontation with James, tells Jefferson that she is afraid of ghosts following her from Virginia. Jefferson humors her fears and the conversation continues as Jefferson prepares for bed. Sally strokes Jefferson's face as he sleeps, claiming to brush away a fly. While she continues to "brush," he suddenly opens his eyes and grabs her hand.
1:28:22 Jefferson’s Advice
At dinner Jefferson remarks that the orders of nobles, clergy and commons must be combined. Lafayette says that the liberal nobles are pushing for this consolidation.
1:29:30 Guillotin’s Demonstration
Using a model of his new invention Guillotin "beheads" a stalk of asparagus. The dinner guests surround the model to take turns at its use.
1:30:31 Jefferson Offers Payment to Sally
Sally and Jefferson are alone. Jefferson comments on the effectiveness of Sally's poultice for healing his wrist, and, without prompting, offers her payment, telling her she will receive the same amount (24 francs) each month. Jefferson offers to keep Sally's payment safe for her until she wants it. Jefferson gives Sally a gift of a choker. He puts it around her neck; she admires it in the mirror; and then Jefferson rather provocatively fondles the necklace.
1:34:00 Patsy’s Suspicions
Patsy sees that Sally is gone from Polly's room. She witnesses Jefferson's door closing. Then she observes that Sally is gone from her own room.
1:35:00 Sally Dressing Patsy
Sally is helping Patsy to dress. Patsy is stiff and obviously angry. Polly comes in and she and Sally begin to tease each other. Patsy suddenly slaps Sally to teach her "respect for your mistress."
1:36:08 Patsy Leaving in Carriage
Patsy in bed overhears other girls at the convent reading aloud from a pornographic novel. Patsy friend tells Patsy she is ready to take her vows and Patsy greets the news joyfully. Her friend tells Patsy that she prays for Patsy to join "the true church" as well.
1:37:17 Jefferson at Polygraph
Jefferson writes about the increasingly volatile situation in France. He remarks that the nobles do not wish to give up power and are supported in their efforts by the Queen. When Jefferson mentions the Queen in his voice-over, the setting switches from Jefferson at the polygraph to the Queen entreating the King to maintain his "credibility" by refusing the reforms proposed by the liberal aristocrats and Third Estate. Jefferson's voice-over continues at the beginning of the scene in which the King refuses to grant the reforms and tells the Estates-General assembly that he is guided by laws which cannot be changed "or even discussed."
1:38:38 Desmoulins’ Speech (July 12, 1789)
Desmoulins, journalist and politician in support of the people, gives a rousing speech. The crowd agrees to take up green as the color to indicate their revolutionary support, and massive civil unrest spreads throughout Paris. Historically Desmoulins' speech occurs after the dismissal of the reformist Finance Minister Necker and after the refusal of the reforms put forward by the Estates-General; the National Guard is formed the next day, and on the second day following the speech, the Bastille is stormed.
1:39:33 People in the streets (with Jefferson’s voice-over)
Jefferson remarks that the spirit of liberty is spreading through all ranks of society. Jefferson at Polygraph. He writes that he will agree to be "stoned as a false prophet, if all does not end well in this country." Images of people in the streets. Several have heads on their pikes, presumably giving the lie to Jefferson's prediction that the revolution will end well. A man is hanged by the crowd. The crowd sings (Ca Ira! -- I cannot tell for sure but the song may likely be this most popular revolutionary one).
1:40:36 King Receives News
The King, participating in a fox hunt, receives a message that "It is a revolution." He moves away from his retinue and cries. Here the film lingers over images of the mass of hunting dogs tearing at a piece of meat, in a pointed metaphor for France's situation.
1:42:06 Lafayette and Others: Song of Liberty
The liberal aristocrats celebrate the revolution in a song extolling virtue, nature and liberty.
1:42:50 Maria Cosway receives a flower
Maria, in a room next to the singers, is painting a portrait of D'Hancarville. One of the celebrants offers her a flower, as a "beautiful new thought." D'Hancarville talks about the deep affinity the aristocrats have for the people. Maria expresses doubt and asks why they don't "run for your lives." D'Hancarville says it is too difficult to give up money, connections and friends. "So one persuades oneself that everything will turn out well."
1:44:34 King and Queen’s Forced Return (with Jefferson’s voice-over)
The scene starts with another image of Jefferson at his polygraph machine. Then the image switches to a crowd accompanying the King and Queen who, Jefferson explains in voice-over, have been forced to return from Versailles in order to help the people. Lafayette leads the crowd. The scene ends with the King and Queen looking morosely at each other. Historically, the forced return ended in the royal couple being put under limited house arrest in Paris.
1:45:26 Patsy with Maria Cosway (1)
Maria and Patsy in private conversation at the convent. Patsy expresses her wish to take vows as a Catholic nun. "You don't know how we live in Monticello." Patsy, apparently disillusioned by her knowledge of Jefferson's relationship with Sally, expresses a desire to stay away from America and Monticello. Patsy expresses her desire that "all the Negroes could be free forever -- they of us and we of them." Patsy suggests to Maria that her father's relationship with Sally is "unspeakable."
1:45:26 Patsy with Maria Cosway (2)
Maria and Patsy in private conversation at the convent. Patsy expresses her wish to take vows as a Catholic nun. "You don't know how we live in Monticello." Patsy, apparently disillusioned by her knowledge of Jefferson's relationship with Sally, expresses a desire to stay away from America and Monticello. Patsy expresses her desire that "all the Negroes could be free forever -- they of us and we of them." Patsy suggests to Maria that her father's relationship with Sally is "unspeakable."
1:48:33 Sally, Jefferson, and the Buckle
Sally and Jefferson alone. Sally bends down to unbuckle Jefferson's shoe.
1:49:27 Maria visits Jefferson in Garden
James admits Maria to Jefferson's garden, where Maria comes across Sally picking corn for dinner. Maria witnesses Sally hitting Jefferson playfully and her shocked expression indicates that perhaps she is recalling Patsy's remarks about the "unspeakable" nature of Jefferson's relationship with his slave. "I've planted an American garden." Jefferson notes that all of his American plants failed to succeed in Paris, except for corn. He tells Maria that he wishes she could taste the American sweet potato. Maria says he sounds homesick. Sally takes corn from James who is cooking it in the kitchen's fireplace. Maria announces that she is leaving France, saying she has worn out her welcome. "My affections have not altered," Jefferson protests. Obviously Maria is ending her relationship with Jefferson, in light of the revelations concerning Sally and Jefferson's emotional withdrawal following Lucy's death.
1:52:45 End of the happy days
Sally brings corn for Maria to try. After witnessing the unforced and affectionate exchange between Jefferson and Sally, Maria rejects the corn and walks away. Maria suggests that Jefferson's relationship with Sally is "best left unexplained." Maria rejects as impossible Jefferson's suggestion that they resume their "happy days."
1:53:57 Maria Leaving France
Maria takes leave of Lafayette and his wife. When chastised for leaving without a word to Jefferson, Maria remarks that Jefferson's heart will not be touched by her leaving. She comments pointedly that in the American soil nothing grows but corn and "What is it? Sweet potatoes! "
1:55:15 Consummation
Jefferson, sad, is in bed, presumably reading a letter from Maria, telling him that she is leaving France. Sally enters and offers to cheer him up with a song. At first, Jefferson asks for something sad to suit his mood but laughs at the lugubrious melody Sally hums. Instead Sally begins to show him some dances that are overtly sensual. The scene ends with Jefferson and Sally in bed. Jefferson asks, "Are you still scared of me, Sally?" And Sally answers, "I ain't scared of you, Massa."
1:58:29 Abbess with Jefferson
The Abbess expresses regret that Jefferson is taking Polly and Patsy from the convent, in response to Patsy's desire to take vows in the Catholic Church. Jefferson asserts that Americans must follow their own ways. He accuses the Abbess of unduly influencing his daughter; when she objects, he responds that Patsy is too young to make her own decision regarding her religious beliefs.
1:59:45 Patsy leaving Convent
Jefferson and Patsy together in a carriage; Patsy looks particularly glum.
1:59:52 Sally and Jefferson
Jefferson walks past Sally's room and stops at her door. Sally appears expectant. Jefferson walks past. Sally appears discouraged.
2:00:16 Patsy and Jefferson: “Monticello is yours”
Jefferson tells Patsy that he has been recalled home to become Washington's Secretary of State. Jefferson questions Patsy about the reasons for her estrangement from her own country as demonstrated by her recent interest in converting to Catholicism. In a scene of reconciliation, Patsy accepts her father's passionate offer to become the mistress of Monticello.
2:03:00 Sally Pregnant (2)
In the course of a discussion in which James asks Sally to give him her money, Sally reveals to James that she is pregnant by Jefferson. James is disgusted, "You's glad to breed more little niggers to work in your master's fields." Sally believes she and her child will be treated well, but James angrily tells her "You know blamed well what our white father done for us. Give us away for her weddin' present when his white daughter, our white sister, married Mr. Jefferson." James says, "Sal, if we stays in Paris we's free." Sally breaks down in tears at the thought of leaving Monticello. James, by his passionate statement that blacks should no longer accept being treated like animals, finally appears to convince Sally to petition with him for her freedom.
2:03:00 Sally Pregnant (1)
In the course of a discussion in which James asks Sally to give him her money, Sally reveals to James that she is pregnant by Jefferson. James is disgusted, "You's glad to breed more little niggers to work in your master's fields." Sally believes she and her child will be treated well, but James angrily tells her "You know blamed well what our white father done for us. Give us away for her weddin' present when his white daughter, our white sister, married Mr. Jefferson." James says, "Sal, if we stays in Paris we's free." Sally breaks down in tears at the thought of leaving Monticello. James, by his passionate statement that blacks should no longer accept being treated like animals, finally appears to convince Sally to petition with him for her freedom.
2:07:03 Interlude
The brief interlude starts with the exterior of Jefferson's home in France, then moves into a quiet domestic scene -- Patsy at the harpsichord and Jefferson at his drawing table.
2:07:23 James confronts Jefferson: “Sally and I are staying.”
In the climactic scene of the film, James tells Jefferson that he and Sally are staying in France, where nobody is a slave. James speaks for Sally who stays back. James reveals to Jefferson that he knows about Sally's pregnancy. He speaks for her claiming that she wants freedom for herself and her coming child. Jefferson proposes to free James. Sally expresses fear at the prospect of being freed. Jefferson's revised proposal: James may claim his freedom after returning home to Virginia. Sally will remain under Jefferson's care until his death, when she will be freed, along with her children. Patsy brought in to witness Jefferson's oath. Jefferson swears oath and holds Patsy to carry it out, if something happens to him. The scene ends with a close up of Sally's tearful face.
2:14:11 Notes on Characters
Text describing the futures of the main characters.
2:15:35 Journalist leaves Madison Heming’s
The journalist's carriage pulls away from the Hemings' house in Pike County, Ohio.
2:15:43 End Credits