Based on the novel of the same name by Maurice Druon, Les Rois maudits (The Cursed Kings) is the second television adaptation of this seven-volume book which is widely agreed to be an ... See full summary »
Based on the novel of the same name by Maurice Druon, Les Rois maudits (The Cursed Kings) is the second television adaptation of this seven-volume book which is widely agreed to be an accurate representation of actual events. It is the early 1300's and the treasury of France, under the rule of Philippe IV (Philippe le Bel or Philippe the Beautiful), is empty. The king decides the only solution is to raid the treasures of the Knights Templar (amongst others) and concocts various charges of treason, heresy and deviance against the Knights and their Grand Master Jacques de Molay. Having confessed under torture to the crimes of which he is accused, de Molay is condemned to be burned at the stake. With his dying breath he curses the king, the king's advisor (Guillaume de Nogaret), the pope (Pope Clement V) and the thirteen succeeding generations of their families. There follows one of the most dramatic periods in French history, half a century of political intrigue, murder, treason, war ... Written by
When this screened on SBS, I caught the last half-hour of the first episode by accident. I was hooked! The series itself it so over the top and camp but it's an interesting and fascinating way to bring the story to life.
In Ausralia, when it first screened it was shown on Sunday nights and Monday mornings at work resulted in the kinda of intense water-cooler discussions not repeated until Masterchef! It was recently replayed and it was as fabulous as the first time round. The sets and costumes are amazing - it's really avant garde theatre done for TV. Possibly the first time that has actually worked.
And of course, then there's Jeanne Moreau - impossibly beautiful, vulgar and scheming all at once. I'd love to read the book - I'm yet to find an English translation.
It's definitely not for everyone - but if you don't mind your history with a bit camp, this is just great fun and it's exquisite to look at.
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