A witty journey through the history of Paris told to a group of students by Sacha Guitry, from its foundation at the time of Caesar to 1955. Among others you will meet King Charles VII ...
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From 1769 to 1821, Napoléon Bonaparte's life, loves and exceptional destiny but as seen through the eyes of Talleyrand, the cynic and ironic politician, who once was the Emperor of France's Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Honoré Panisse is dying, cheerfully, with friends, wife, and son at his side. He confesses to the priest in front of his friends; he insists that the doctor be truthful. But, he cannot ... See full summary »
The writer Pierre Carot became rich and famous with his book "Life as a Couple", which was based on the loving relationships of four couples. Now he's setting up his will and wants to leave... See full summary »
Young, handsome, dashing but cynical, Octave Mouret arrives in Paris, determined to conquer the belles of the capital. His first attempts are not too successful though as he is rebuffed by ... See full summary »
A French lieutenant makes a bet that he can seduce any woman in town in the two weeks before his regiment leaves for maneuvers, but his chosen target (a Parisian divorcée) isn't like other girls he's known.
France, 1815. After his defeat at Waterloo, Napoleon heads for exile. Royalists occupy Paris and attempt to restore the monarchy. However, the battle doesn't seem to be over. On July 6, ... See full summary »
On the eve of her 16th birthday, Sylvie's father needs cash to stay in his castle so he sells Sylvie's favorite thing, a painting of Alain, the lover of Sylvie's grandmother, killed in a ... See full summary »
A witty journey through the history of Paris told to a group of students by Sacha Guitry, from its foundation at the time of Caesar to 1955. Among others you will meet King Charles VII making Agnès Sorel his mistress; you will witness the creation of printing spurred on by King Louis XI; share the life in the Louvres Palace at the time of King François Ier; spend the last night before St Bartholomew's massacre; be horrified by the murder of Henri III by a fanatical monk, watch the abjuration of protestantism by King Henri IV; try to resolve the Man in the Iron Mask enigma; take part in the storming of the Bastille, be present at the execution of King Louis XVI and at the trial of Queen Marie-Antoinette; participate in the Paris Commune, take sides in the Dreyfus affair. Written by
Sacha Guitry made several historical mistakes. For example, when King Charles VII meets Agnès Sorel and makes her his mistress she tells him the year is 1432, which is impossible since in that very year she was only ten. See more »
Sacha Guitry died in 1957 and he did not know whether he would finish his movie...He wanted Henri-Georges Clouzot to replace him should he disappear before his work was over.
It was not to be fortunately .It's Guitry's legacy,and it's a delight.Try to see the two movies ("Si Versailles m'était conté and "Si Paris" ) one after the other.They are both witty films ,full of humor -this humor which the Nouvelle Vague did not know- of puns,of anachronisms,of likely stories and historical games.
Guitry's plan was to tell the tale of Paris.Five students come to his house and tell the writer/director history they are taught in their schools is a big bore .As if they were listening to Sheherazade they begin to listen...and we do too...
Unlike so many historical epics,Guitry's work is not linear ,going back and forth between past and present,mixing true historic lines (trial of Marie-Antoinette for instance) and scenes of his own devising (Voltaire's armchair ) It's important to notice the presence of old people and of death in a movie which is a comedy: Guitry insists on the dying Voltaire, and on the centenarians (Fontenelle and the "Cocotte" (= courtezan)).In "Si Versailles..." the best sequences were those where King Louis XIV was getting old .Guitry himself was seriously ill at the time.
Guitry's art is often dazzling:he mixes music,songs (though the
part played by Gerard Philipp is rather bland),dance,mime (and Louis de Funès's talent burgeoning),paintings (Winterhalter's famous "Empress Eugenie and her ladies-in-waiting" suddenly becomes a lively sequence where those women complain about crinoline dresses)...
Many scenes take place in the Bastille ,and deal with its prisoners and the famous Lettres de Cachet which allowed the king to imprison whoever he wanted .Much to the Parisians' surprise after the storming of the prison,there were only seven prisoners then,including two madmen.
Guitry's takes clichés we used to find in old history books (and even still find today)and pushes them to absolute absurdity.Most of the time,it is brilliant: Henri the Fourth had a double (in case of assassination,cause his predecessor Henri the Third was murdered by a monk).When the king (the real king) is killed by Ravaillac,the "stuntman" runs to his mom and shouts :"At last!" Mother gives a sigh of relief "the nightmare's over!"
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