In the film, Richelieu is depicted doting on his cat, Mistigris (the 'Joker' in a pack of cards). By the 18C, his fondness for cats had become an established part of his legend. It has been claimed that he had at least 14 cats at the time of his death in 1642: Gazette, Rubis sur l'Ongle, Pyramus and Thisbe (inseparable), Serpolet (Wild Thyme), Felimare, Soumise, Lucifer, Ludovic le Cruel, Lodoïska, Mimi-Paillon (possibly previously Mademoiselle de Gournay's cat), Mounard le Fougueux, Perruque and Racan (twins, allegedly born in the academician Racan's wig), and Gavroche. The cat which figures in the posters for this film is black, and does not resemble the screen Mistigris, who appears to be a fluffy calico. See more »
Enjoyable historical drama about efforts of Cardinal Richelieu (George Arliss) to unite France against its enemies, as well as protect his ward (Maureen O'Sullivan) from lustful King Louis XIII (Edward Arnold). Cardinal Richelieu is a complex historical figure, usually portrayed in movies as a villain. Here, he's the hero. George Arliss may be largely forgotten today but he was one of the finest actors of the '20s & '30s. Arliss gives an effortless performance in this film. Even some of the quality actors backing him up here pale by comparison. Edward Arnold is great as Louis XIII, although from what I've read of the real monarch, this performance is more Arnold than Louis. It is entertaining though. Maureen O'Sullivan and Caesar Romero supply the romantic subplot. Both do well in unchallenging roles. Douglas Dumbrille, Halliwell Hobbes, and Frances Lister are among the other nice actors in the cast. It's a fine old costumer with drama, romance, and intrigue. A little slow-going at times but always interesting.
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