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Sénéchal the Magnificent (1957)

Sénéchal le magnifique (original title)
Sénéchal, an actor touring the provinces with the "Tournées Carlini" does not meet the success he thinks he deserves. One night in Dreux, he finds himself without his luggage and dressed up... See full summary »


Jean Boyer


Jean Boyer (adaptation), Jean Manse (dialogue) | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Fernandel ... François, Lucien Sénéchal
Nadia Gray ... La princesse Marida Ludibescu
Madeleine Barbulée Madeleine Barbulée ... Mme Roberte
Simone Paris Simone Paris ... L'actrice qui joue Mme Serval
Robert Pizani Robert Pizani ... Le prince Alexandre
Suzanne Dehelly Suzanne Dehelly ... La malade
Roland Armontel ... Carlini (as Armontel)
Jenny Astruc Jenny Astruc
Paul Azaïs Paul Azaïs ... Le garagiste - mécanicien du car
Georges Baconnet Georges Baconnet ... Le président du tribunal
Barbara Brault Barbara Brault ... Bit part
Sacha Briquet Sacha Briquet ... Le représentant en télévision
Jacqueline Caurat Jacqueline Caurat ... Nicole, une soubrette
Albert Dinan Albert Dinan ... Léon Duchêne aka M. Léon
Catherine Gay Catherine Gay


Sénéchal, an actor touring the provinces with the "Tournées Carlini" does not meet the success he thinks he deserves. One night in Dreux, he finds himself without his luggage and dressed up as a Foreign Legion officer, he is invited to a party thrown by a colonel. He creates a sensation there and does not leave the colonel's wife ... indifferent! Back in Paris, Sénéchal goes through a similar experience. This time around, wearing tuxedo and top hat, he gets mistaken for a diplomat and charms the guests of a wedding party. Arrested by the police, he chooses to do without an attorney at his trial and his brilliant eloquence has him acquitted. A question remains unanswered though : will all those people who give an ovation in real life ever go to see him on stage ? Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


FERNANDEL - that man of a thousand faces...that roue of many drolls...lover, lawyer, Legionnaire...actor, gambler, billionaire...a barrel of fun!






France | Italy



Release Date:

24 May 1957 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Sénéchal the Magnificent See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

The great pretender
20 July 2010 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Jean Boyer made lots and lots of comedies in a long lucrative career.He never made a single movie you would call "art house" cinema ,but who cares ?His huge filmography includes enjoyable stuff such as " Circonstances Atténuantes" "La Chaleur Du Sein" "Garou-Garou Le Passe Muraille" or "Le Trou Normand" .The first two movies owe a lot to Michel Simon and Arletty;the last ones to Bourvil.Which means that Boyer's movies depend on the actors:and when you deal with Fernandel,you play safe.

"Senechal" is thoroughly enjoyable for it is primarily a one man show;Fernandel is the only principal and the movie seems to be made of sketches,all of them being much fun to watch.

A failed stage actor is on the dole after they close the play.He used to play a Legionnaire and a true military man mistakes him for a true officer for he is wearing the uniform.He invites him to his place where his wife ,who has probably listened to Edith Piaf's songs a bit too much ("Mon Légionnaire" ,"Le Fanion De La Légion")becomes crazy about him.The impostor's depiction of Africa is priceless "there it's not like here ,it's different,they don't do what we do" So is that of the Honduras when Fernandel is mistaken for a consul :"it is wet in the rainy season" A failed actor on stage,Senechal becomes a wonderful actor in real life and he begins to play his roles in the real world.When he returns to stage ,completely voiceless,he will get his own back on the writers by turning a stodgy melodrama into a farce (maybe recalling Pierre Brasseur's treatment of L'Auberge Des Adrets " in "Les Enfants Du Paradis ")

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