Dumas' original story has inspired plays, an opera and the famous Garbo film of the thirties. This lavish French production stars Isabelle Huppert as the infamous courtesan Alphonsine Duplessis. Sold by her father as a young girl, she soon leaves the country and eventually moves amongst the wealthy aristocratic society in fashionable Paris. She has many lovers and finds herself a rich protector and a dashing young husband. But despite her ambition she is still very much under the influence of her drug-addicted father.