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 »
Life story of a charming scoundrel, with little dialogue other than the star/director's witty narration. As a boy, only he survives a family tragedy when he's deprived of supper (poisonous ... See full summary »
The tragic love story between Guido, the owner of a marble quarry and Luisa, the humble daughter of one of his employees, ends up in her giving birth to a baby boy. Giulio's mother is ... See full summary »
Set against the backdrop of a repressed Czechoslovakia, five non-related vignettes are presented, each showcasing the need and want for human connection. In "Mr. Baltazar's Death", a middle... See full summary »
Living with her father and stepmother in Naples, Anna is very unhappy as her stepmother hinders her attempts to live her own life. While her parents are away, she goes out with Carlo, but ... See full summary »
Pépé le Moko is a gangster from Paris that hides in Algier's Casbah. In the Casbah, he is safe and is able to elude the police's attempts to capture him. But he misses his freedom, after ... See full summary »
A Slavonic Mass by Leos Janácek plays as historical figures, biblical characters, and mythical creatures gather in the pleasure dome. Aphrodite, Lilith, Isis, Kali, Astarte, Nero, Pan, and ... See full summary »
Samson De Brier,
A small group of adult bourgeois friends are on a day outing in the country, that outing which includes having a picnic. While they are going for a walk after the picnic, they encounter a ... See full summary »
Guido Carani, an engineer of noble descent, has just lost his son born to him by a chorus dancer, who, desperate, has become a nun. After a while he also loses his wife and daughter in a ... 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>
Do you know who the granddaddy of the Monty Python was?Sacha Guitry is a serious contender."Les Perles de la couronne" was his biggest commercial success and it's still much fun to watch it today.
It was the first of the "historical" movies of the artist: "Si Paris m'était Conté " "Si Versailles m'était Conté " "En Remontant les Champs-Elysées " were to follow.
Guitry was French wit at its best .Only Henri Jeanson could write as good as he could .His is not a vitriolic style like his peer Jeanson,but a sense of humor completely mad which verges on absurd.
Tell me who could put in a two-hour movie FRancois Premier and Henry the Eighth,Mary Stuart and Catherine de Medicis,Henry the Fourth and the popes,Napoleon and JOsephine,Napoleon the Third and Eugenie de Montijo ,the queen of Abyssinia and Elizabeth the First, Madame du Barry and the Sans-Culottes ,a cuckold and a courtesan, three thieves ,one of them being good at maths and logic,Virgin Mary in the flesh (two divine interventions),and more and more and more....??? Madness is everywhere and critic George Sadoul who would dismiss Guitry as "filmed stage production maker" and "as a man contemplating his navel ,if he were here today,should see his objections swept away in a deluge of joyful film making ,which only the snobs will not hear and only the deaf and the blind will not acknowledge.
The extraordinary quality of the screenplay -which is very complicated ,Guitry really invented here the Film à Tiroirs- is one of simple happiness.You should see Ann Boleyn(sic) teach King François's son the indicative present of the verb "to have" (and the obsolete form "thou hast" )."I need an English teacher too,the king says ,would you be my mistress?".This is a film that should be watched in French with English subtitles to enjoy the word games the puns and the gags which show at every minute .
About King Henry the Eighth:"He protested ,he protested ,he protested so much that he became a Protestant!".
The film is marvelously constructed;Sheherazade could not do better even if she tried her best: Once there was a pope who wanted to get rid of his dear niece Catherine's gallant .He had two invaluable pearls so he asked the young man for five more pearls which he would find around the world: around the world in eighty days or more.The Queen of Abyssinia sequence alone is worth the price of admission.Arletty ,with soot or paint smeared all over her face ,can only speak Abyssinian! So it takes three interprets (English,Italian,French ) to translate the sovereign's mumbo jumbo! When the lad came back,the seven pearls were given as a wedding present to Catherine de Medicis.Four pearls ,through the years ,were preserved,but three of them were stolen.Guitry goes backwards and forwards between the present and the past,with absolute virtuosity.And he even manages to make a "poetic" ending : the last pearl gets back to where it once belonged in a way...
Vive Sacha Guitry!
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