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Delusions of Grandeur (1971)
"La folie des grandeurs" (original title)

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Don Salluste, a petty tyrant in his own home and minister of the King of Spain, falls from grace. Wanting revenge, he tries to compromize the Queen with his valet Blaze, introduced as his ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alice Sapritch ...
Dona Juana
Karin Schubert ...
La Reine / The Queen
Alberto de Mendoza ...
Le Roi / The King
Don Jaime de Mora y Aragón ...
Grand d'Espagne
Eduardo Fajardo ...
Grand d'Espagne
Grand d'Espagne
Joaquín Solís ...
Grand d'Espagne (as Joachim Solis)
Venantino Venantini ...
Del Basto
Gabriele Tinti ...
Don Cesar
Paul Préboist ...
Le muet
Salvatore Borghese ...
Le borgne (as Salvatore Borgese)
Astrid Frank
Robert Le Béal ...
(as Robert Le Beal)


Don Salluste, a petty tyrant in his own home and minister of the King of Spain, falls from grace. Wanting revenge, he tries to compromize the Queen with his valet Blaze, introduced as his cousin. But poor Blaze gets stuck with a rather repulsive duenna, who is madly in love with him and very keen on getting her way. This wild comedy takes off at a dashing pace set by the De Funes, Montand and Sapritch trio. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

spain | queen | king | cult film | undressing | See more »


Comedy | History


PG | See all certifications »



| | |



Release Date:

13 December 1971 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Delusions of Grandeur  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


ESP 60,597,609 (Spain)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Gérard Oury planned to give the role of Blas to Bourvil. But as Bourvil died in 1970, Yves Montand ultimately got it... See more »


Referenced in La joie de faire rire (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

"The man with the forty faces per minute"
23 April 2009 | by (Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

I've seen many comedies with Luis De Funes and have been his fan as long as I can remember. His participation in a movie promises good time, plenty of physical comedy, funny mess of grandiose proportions and up roaring laughs. He was "The man with the forty faces per minute", the little volcano or small but powerful dynamo machine whose energy could supply electricity to a town of the average size , whose hilarious hyperactivity, perfect for a comic ever-changing face, and the ego of gigantic size in such miniature frame always produced a highly comic effect. All his trademarks are in full display in the updated version of the tragedy by Victor Hugo Ruy Blas, La folie des grandeurs (1971) or Delusions of Grandeur. Ruy Blas has been adapted to the screen several times including 1948 film with Jean Mairet and 2002 version with Gerard Depardieu. Oury's film formally follows the Hugo's story but with De Funes in the cast, you would not expect it to be a serious political drama, and you will be absolutely right. The film takes place in 17th century Spain and centers around a practical joke played on the queen of Spain by Don Salluste de Bazan, the rich, greedy and backstabbing tax collector for revenge. Don Salluste disguises his servant Blaze (Ives Montand) as a nobleman and takes him to the king's court. Attractive, funny, and suave, Blaze saves the king from the bomb, becomes popular, is appointed a tax collector instead of Salluste, and conquers the queen's heart. Don Salluste returns to take his revenge by notifying the king with the anonymous letter about queen's infidelity. The final act that brings together Salluste, Blaze, Salluste's nephew Don Cesar de Bazan whom his loving uncle sold as a slave to the Sahara barbarians, the furious jealous king, the queen who is in love with Blaze and her Cerberus like dueña, old virgin Donna Juana (very funny Alice Sapritch) who is also passionately in love with Blaze is non-stopping laugh that left me in stitches. La folie des grandeurs, directed by Gérard Oury, adapted by Oury's daughter Danièle Thomson, and starring Louis de Funès (Don Salluste) and Yves Montand (Blaze) is based on the serious drama but it is so deliciously silly, dizzyingly fast, absurd, and hilarious that you would laugh even when you know how silly it is. Ives Montand replaced Bourvil who was initially meant to play Blaze, and who had a great chemistry with De Funes on the screen nicely balancing latter's super activity and aggressiveness with his gentle naiveté and kindness. But as Bourvil died in 1970, Yves Montand ultimately got the role and proved to be quite good in a comedy even though the viewers were used to see him playing the cool and cynic characters in the thrillers and dramas.

As always with De Funes, he practically owns the movie. While watching " La folie des grandeurs" for the first time last night I could not help laughing hard and loud even knowing how silly and over the top the movie was but laughing even more because of it. This morning, I began laughing again just recalling De Funes' face and him losing his voice and making some impossible quacking and squeaking noises when caught by surprise in the most hilarious scene of the film. "La folie des grandeurs hold the record as the most successful French film of 1971, the fact that does not surprise me at all.

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