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The Song of Roland (1978)

La chanson de Roland (original title)
In the 11th-century epic Roland des Roncesvalles is a legendary knight from the age of chivalry in France. He is depicted as a key figure in halting the advance of the Arabs into France.

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(as Michèle-Annie Mercier), | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Roland / Klaus
Alain Cuny ...
Turpin / Le moine
...
Anna
Pierre Clémenti ...
Olivier / Le clerc
Jean-Pierre Kalfon ...
Marsile / Turold / Charlemagne
Monique Mercure ...
Marie
...
Le commerçant / Oton
Serge Merlin ...
Pair Marsile / Ganelon / Thierry
László Szabó ...
Duc Naimes / Chevalier hongrois
Mario Gonzales ...
Blancandrin / Jeannot, le voleur
Yvan Labejoff ...
Turgis / L'esclave noir (as Yvan Labejof)
Isabelle Mercanton ...
Femme commercant
Dominique Valentin ...
La fille du seigneur
Marilu Marini ...
La femme du seigneur
...
Le Seigneur
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Storyline

Roland des Roncesvalles is a legendary knight from the age of chivalry in France. In the 11th-century epic La Chanson de Roland, he is depicted as a key figure in halting the advance of the Arabs into France. In this story, the 10th-century legend is staged by a group of 12th-century pilgrims using the 11th-century poem. Their acting is interrupted by a violent peasant uprising, which kills many of the pilgrims. However, one of the survivors, is converted to the peasant cause and later speaks out in favor of more just treatment for the downtrodden. Written by Ulf Kjell Gür

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Release Date:

4 October 1978 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Song of Roland  »

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(Eastmancolor)
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User Reviews

Epic poem
17 October 2015 | by See all my reviews

If you have seen Frank Casssenti's previous effort ,"L'Affiche Rouge" ,you will notice it's based on the same pattern: thespians who recreate events of their past: WW2 resistant fighters martyrs seen by 1976 comedians in "L'Affiche" , count Roland's saga in Carolus Magnus' time circa 800 seen by troubadours of the twelfth century in "la Chanson De Roland ".There's a big difference though: the Nazi reprisals are historic facts whereas "La Chanson De Roland" was written at the end of the eleventh century,thus long after the so called events .(the historians tell us,for instance,that Roland was killed by the Basques,not by the Sarazens .

"La Chanson De Roland " was written to glorify the chivalry,to sing their praises ,and in the end,to vindicate the three classes of the French society of the Middle-Ages (one of the characters hints at it):those who pray,those who fight and those who work.In a Marxist vision of this Chanson De Geste, the director's main purpose is to show us that this legend is the medieval "opium of the people" ;so is religion,as we see this "Pilgrim's Progress" through these dark times -although modern historians such as Regine Pernoud told us that the Middle-Ages were not such a dark period- : fever,famine,pillagers.

In its form ,after "L'Affiche Rouge" ,it's more of the same:"the show in the show".But the "Chanson De Geste" was performed in the castles with a great economy of means: spoken,sung ,mimed ;in the movie it's given a cinematographic treatment ,with some stage performances ,just like the 1976 work.This is debatable,if the movie should be shown by teachers as the precedent user suggests.

The movie stars Pierre Clementi,who was in "l'Affiche rouge";also featured are ambitious thespians such as Alain Cuny and Dominique Sanda (wasted) as well as a cast-against type Klaus Kinski as Roland/the comedian.Jean -Claude Brialy briefly appears.

The moral of the movie is Crystal clear: you can carry on with your pilgrimage to Compostella ,or take a rebel stand and join the rebellious peasants ;that's what the comedian who plays Roland does,forgetting a hero from an obscure past epitomizing a regime which will last till August 1789 in France.

Like this? Try this.......

"La Voie Lactée" Luis Bunuel,1969.


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