Don Juan DeMarco is a 1995 American romantic comedy-drama film starring Johnny Depp as John Arnold DeMarco. He is a man who believes himself to be Don Juan, the greatest lover in the world. Clad in a cape and domino mask, DeMarco undergoes psychiatric treatment with Marlon Brando’s character, Dr. Jack Mickler, to cure him of his apparent delusion. But the psychiatric sessions have an unexpected effect on the psychiatric staff, some of whom find themselves inspired by DeMarco’s delusion; the most profoundly affected is Dr. Mickler himself, who rekindles the romance in his complacent marriage.
The movie is based on two different sources; the modern-day story is based on director/screenwriter Jeremy Leven’s short story Don Juan DeMarco and the Centerfold, while the flashbacks depicting DeMarco’s back-story are based on the more familiar legend of Don Juan, especially as told by Lord Byron in his version of the legend.
Psychiatrist Jack Mickler (Marlon Brando) dissuades a would-be suicide—a 21-year-old, costumed like Zorro and claiming to be Don Juan (Johnny Depp), who is then held for a ten-day review in a mental institution. Mickler, who is about to retire, insists on doing the evaluation and conducts it without medicating the youth. “Don Juan” tells his story—born in Mexico, the death of his father, a year in a harem, and finding true love (and being rejected) on a remote island. Listening enlivens Mickler’s relationship with his own wife, Marilyn (Faye Dunaway). As the ten days tick down and pressure mounts on Mickler to support the youth’s indefinite confinement, finding reality within the romantic imagination becomes Jack’s last professional challenge.