The Comte de Gonzague schemes against his cousin, the Duc de Nevers, even though he is the Duke's heir and will inherit his estates. The Count has kept secret the existence of the Duke's ... See full summary »
Francois Merlin is an espionnage-book writer. He likes to mix every-day character he can met in his book. In his book, he is Bob Saint Clar, his neighbour Christine appears as Tatiana and ... See full summary »
Barnie lives in Calais but works in London. Everyday, he takes the Eurostar to go to his office. Although he is married to Lucie, Barnie has two lovers in London: Margot, a young and fresh ... See full summary »
Colonel Chabert has been severely wounded in the French-Russian Napoleonic war to the point that the medical examiner has signed his death certificate. When he regains his health and memory... See full summary »
Set in Europe during WWI, a doctor and lawyer have converted a musty old mansion into a ritzy hotel and health spa. The chateau is inhabited by an eccentric collection of characters from ... See full summary »
The Comte de Gonzague schemes against his cousin, the Duc de Nevers, even though he is the Duke's heir and will inherit his estates. The Count has kept secret the existence of the Duke's bastard, recently born. When the Duke learns of his child, he journeys to wed the mother, a baron's daughter, in her father's isolated chateau. The occupants of the castle are surprised and murdered by the Count and his men. The only ones to escape are the Duke's friend, the skilled swordsman Lagardère, and the infant, a girl, now the rightful heiress to the Duke's vast fortune. The Count believes the pair to have drowned, when in fact they have been concealed by a travelling troupe of Italian players. Twenty years pass. The Count has discovered that the two survive and seeks to have them slain. But Lagardère gains the confidence of the Count, and employment as his bookkeeper, through his clever disguise as a hunch-back... Written by
Period Romp through early 18th Century France - c'est magnifique!
Not a deep film in any sense but a magnificently entertaining one nevertheless. Witty and fast-paced, it bears comparison with the highly popular 'Taxi' films. Probably my favourite French film in terms of the sheer pleasure it has given me.
Set in the France of Louis XIV and the Regency which followed his death c.1699 - c.1720, it contains a fair degree of historical accuracy. Philippe d'Orleans, Regent of France (Philippe Noiret) has a central role as the arbiter of justice who ultimately allows good to triumph over evil. This is an unabashedly romantic view of absolutist France and one should not delve too deeply into the world that is recreated here. Like Robin Hood movies, the historical backcloth provides the setting for a good swashbuckle with an underdog hero eventually triumphing over a high-born villain against all the odds.
The later plot revolves around the Louisiana scheme which saw fortunes won and lost in an early example of stock market speculation - a French equivalent of the British South Sea Bubble.
It is also a buddy movie with the main hero (Daniel Auteuil) striking up a friendship across the class barrier with the Duc de Nevers who reveals the secret Nevers sword thrust, a leitmotif which starts and ends the film and helps the (19-year?) time span hang together.
Never's scheming cousin murders him in order to inherit his fortune and the film quickly turns into a revenge movie. Auteuil saves Nevers' baby girl and heir and plots to topple the villain and to restore her to her rightful place.
Towards the end the film becomes heavily romantic and reviewers have questioned the plausibility of the resulting relationship. It is perhaps the weakest part of the plot.
The catchy score helps the film to bowl along in a relatively light-hearted way. Despite a lot of villainy and murder, the film's main tenor is one of unremitting fun. Were it being acted out on stage it would almost be a farce. Simply wonderful!
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