Three narrators (French writer Jean Martin, an English royal equerry, and a papal chamberlain) tell the story of seven matched pearls, four of them now in the British Crown. Episodes whirl ... See full summary »
Three narrators (French writer Jean Martin, an English royal equerry, and a papal chamberlain) tell the story of seven matched pearls, four of them now in the British Crown. Episodes whirl us from Pope Clement VII to Mary Queen of Scots, from whom the pearls are stolen while she's occupied with the headsman. Historic events are seasoned with sly, satiric humor, and famous beauties are portrayed by stunning actresses. Then the narrators meet, and decide to try tracing the three unrecovered pearls from 1587 to the present... Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sacha Guitry's movies probably don't show up in college courses on French film. But then again, neither, I suspect, do Marcel Pagnol's, which says a lot about such courses. This movie, Les perles de la couronne, is not a great movie, by a long shot. It is, however, an extremely funny one. It is a whirlwind tour of French history, and the characters going flying by, most without development or even much dialogue. Acting, except in a few magisterial cases (Raimu), is non-existent. What you do get is a brilliant narrative delivered by its brilliant author, Sacha Guitry. He is nothing to look at - though he was married to a succession of some of the most beautiful women in French theater and cinema - but he knows how to read his own words. Cynical to the extreme, but very funny.
Other than that, most of the women in this movie are remarkably beautiful to look at.
And you get to see Raimu in his heyday. What more could you ask, after you've worn out your copies of Marius, La femme du boulanger, La fille du puisetier, and the other masterpieces he made with Pagnol? This is basically an extremely funny history lesson, history as it should be taught but seldom is.
Definitely a movie for everyone, including and maybe even especially for those who have been fed a dull diet of "important" French cinema. The camera work may be nothing to write home about here, but the narration is a stitch.
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