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In Peru in the eighteenth century. Camilla, the star of a theater company, hesitates between three men. The Viceroy gives her his magnificent golden coach. A young Spanish officer suggests the two of them settle down together among Indians. Ramon, a torero, offers her a share of his glory. Written by
Vincent Merlaud <email@example.com>
Jean Renoir's colorful English language comedy is not the masterpiece prevailing critical opinion would have you believe ("riotously textural!" raved the Village Voice), but it is a pleasant and entertaining novelty. A spirited Anna Magnani leads a troupe of Italian actors to a Spanish colony in 18th century Peru, where the appreciative Viceroy rewards her talent (and beauty) with the gift of a golden coach, setting off a small political and romantic scandal. It plays for the most part not unlike a literate stage farce, and Renoir emphasizes the theatricality of the story by directing (and shooting) it like theatre, with deliberate, flat compositions and distracting color costumes; the action even begins on a legitimate stage, the walls of which 'disappear' as soon as Renoir's camera dollies into it. The (at the time) newly struck 1992 print, presented by Martin Scorsese, shows obvious evidence of restoration only in the curious epilogue, which brings the story back to its original stage setting, and appears to have been poorly reconstructed on video.
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