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To get royal backing on a needed drainage project, a poor French lord must learn to play the delicate games of wit at court at Versailles.



(scenario), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bernard Giraudeau ...
Bernard Dhéran ...
Monsieur de Montalieri
Carlo Brandt ...
Le Chevalier de Milletail
Abbé de l'Epée
Urbain Cancelier ...
Baron de Guéret
Bruno Zanardi ...
Marie Pillet ...
Jacques Roman ...
Philippe Magnan ...
Baron de Malenval
Maurice Chevit ...
Le Notaire


In the periwigged and opulent France of Louis XVI, an unwitting nobleman soon discovers that survival at court demands both a razor wit and an acid tongue. Written by Dawn M. Barclift

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Il n'epargne personne. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic nudity, some sexuality and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

22 November 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Baronul  »

Box Office


FRF 50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$48,539 (USA) (22 November 1996)


$2,503,829 (USA) (21 March 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Opening film at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival. See more »


Mathilde de Bellegarde: A woman who throws herself at a man always loses him.
See more »


Referenced in Baghead (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

29 July 2001 | by (Palo Alto, CA) – See all my reviews

Patrice Leconte's most achieved feature. The scenario mixes wit, cruelty, finest ferocious humor, politics and romance with a rare balance. Rhythm is fast, and the movie is served by a wonderful cast (many actors are among the best stage actors in France), notably main character Charles Berling and Bernard Gireaudeau's abbe de Villecourt. Jean Rochefort's supporting performance is outstanding, as is the impersonation of a Versailles court's bird of prey by Fanny Ardant. All in all, i.m.h.o., one of the best French movies of the 90s.

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