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Beaumarchais the Scoundrel (1996)

Beaumarchais l'insolent (original title)
The life story of the titular Beaumarchais (Fabrice Luchini), playwright and adventurer, who gets himself into numerous different scrapes and romantic encounters in 18th Century France.



(inspired: Librement inspiré de l'oeuvre inédite de), (scenario, adaptation and dialogue) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Monsieur Lejay
Evelyne Bouix ...
Le courtisan à Versailles
Pierre Gérard ...
Lord Rochford
Axelle Laffont ...
Mariette Lejay


The life story of the titular Beaumarchais (Fabrice Luchini), playwright and adventurer, who gets himself into numerous different scrapes and romantic encounters in 18th Century France. Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A most remarkable true story of love affairs, scandals and espionage.


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Release Date:

17 October 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beaumarchais the Scoundrel  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


FRF 95,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$27,216 (USA) (24 October 1997)


$630,269 (USA) (12 December 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Daniel Auteuil was first considered for the title role. See more »


Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais: By "we", I mean France.
See more »


Featured in Bouillon de culture: Beaumarchais (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Molinaro, the scatterbrained
13 April 2003 | by See all my reviews

"Beaumarchais, l'insolent" is definitely a disappointment. First, by reading the title, you could have thought that the movie would embrace Beaumarchais' whole life: from his childhood until his death. Well, it's not the case. It only focuses on the most important part of Beaumarchais' life. The one that takes place between 1775 and 1785. During this era, Beaumarchais was an extraordinary character. Not only, was he a great French writer, but he used to have several other jobs. For example, he was a spy for the king, supporter of the Human Rights (he took part in the writing of the Declaration of Independence).

Unlike to Ariane Mouchkine's movie called "Molière", here, the movie hasn't got the precision and the brilliance of the making and especially the Beaumarchais' lucid and visionary look on the society of the eighteenth century. Moreover, the screenplay only retains the most famous sequences and cues from Beaumarchais' full life.

On another hand, Molinaro had a wrong idea by making nearly all great French actors appear in one movie. Indeed, you only see them for a few minutes (sometimes a few seconds!) and generally in decorative and minor roles that don't bring anything to the movie, notably Alain Chabat. Among these actors, some of them are more specialized in comic films. So, the transition from a comic movie to an historic movie fits badly for them.

At last, the movie tries more or less to introduce a certain humor but this one doesn't articulate very well with the sequences. So, it turns out to be pointless and vain.

At the end, this is a low-key biography where you could have wished more contribution and harshness.

5 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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