1661: Cardinal Mazarin dies. In the power vacuum, the young Louis asserts his intention to govern as well as rule. Mazarin's fiscal advisor, Colbert, warns against Fouquet, the Surintendant... See full summary »
1661: Cardinal Mazarin dies. In the power vacuum, the young Louis asserts his intention to govern as well as rule. Mazarin's fiscal advisor, Colbert, warns against Fouquet, the Surintendant who's been systematically looting the treasury and wants to be prime minister. Fouquet believes Louis will soon tire of exercizing power; he overplays his hand, offering a bribe to Louis's mistress to be his ally. She reports this to the king who arrests Fouquet. Louis and Colbert design a brilliant strategy to keep merchants making money, nobles in debt, the urban poor working and fed, and peasants untaxed. Years later, in a coda, we see Louis exercising the power of the sun. Written by
"The rise of Louis the Fourteenth" is an austere work ,close to documentary.If you're looking for an Hollywoodian entertaining flick ,pass by.The scene which depicts King Louis's first "conseil" directly comes from count Lomenie de Brienne's memoirs :the words Louis utters are exactly the same.
This is the kind of film that should be shown in every school of the planet .It is a lesson many directors should pay attention to.All that matters is included:Louis 's sinister souvenirs of "La Fronde" which would lead him to surround himself with ministers from the bourgeoisie and to live far from Paris.The main subject of the movie is the taming of the nobles :Fouquet was the last of those arrogant lords,so his downfall was bound to happen (with a "little" help from Colbert,a merchant).It's a long way from Mazarin's death to the scenes in Versailles Palace where the nobles have become servants .They used to fight to keep their military and political power,now they would fight to be the one to hold out his shirt to their king when He gets up.They would become courtiers.
Rosselini had nothing to prove when he made this made-for-TV work:an Italian,he displayed a perfect command of such an important time in the history of my country.
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