Fantomas wants to collect money from scottish rich' for letting them live. The French inspector (Louis de Funes) comes to a scottish castle to protect the owner, and to catch Fantomas. ... See full summary »
Louis de Funès,
In the first of the Angélique series, the beautiful feisty teenage heroine becomes entangled in a political assassination plot and is betrothed to a stranger who is twelve years her senior and a reputed sorcerer.
Antoine Brisebard, a famous comedy playwright, is struggling with financial difficulties and is preparing to sell his country villa to an English couple. What no one knows, however, is that... See full summary »
Louis de Funès,
Two men, a painter and a poor guy, have to cross over Paris by night during World War II and to deliver black market meat. As they walk along dark Parisian streets, they encounter various ... See full summary »
Episodic portrait of a criminal, from 1934 until after the war. Roberto Borgo is tough, cool, sardonic, loyal, and deadly. He comes to Marseilles to help his friend Xavier Saratov get out ... See full summary »
1) Jerôme Chambard, a retired man, taken in by nuns in a convent, swears like a trooper. 2) Françoise takes a lover because he has promised her a diamond necklace. 3) Denis, a seminarist, ... See full summary »
Entertaining, colorful romp from a much-filmed source including three versions by distinguished film-makers: in 1929 (directed by Alberto Cavalcanti; available on DVD from Image), 1943 (directed by Abel Gance) and 1990 (directed by Ettore Scola; I actually watched this one some time ago, and I recall it being more of a meditative fantasy on role-playing than the unassuming romantic swashbuckler the 1961 film under review emerges to be!).
Jean Marais looks more at home here than he did in PONTIUS PILATE (1961), which preceded this viewing: he's typically dashing and athletic and, despite being 48 years old, is said to have done all his own stunts. Since the plot revolves around a traveling theatrical troupe and culminates in a revelation which links one of its members to the villain of the piece, it probably influenced Rafael Sabatini's classic "Scaramouche" (itself filmed numerous times, and whose titular figure even makes a fleeting appearance at one point in the film!). This version, then, suffers from generally uninspired handling (it doesn't help that I'm not at all familiar with the director) though the plentiful action sequences are admittedly energetic.
Leading lady Genevieve Grad is decent enough (although the supporting role of the gypsy girl Chiquita, played by Joelle La Tour, is a far more interesting character) and Gerard Barray appropriately slimy as Marais' nemesis. The supporting cast, luckily, features a number of reliable character actors among others, Philippe Noiret, Louis De Funes, Riccardo Garrone (his duel at night with Marais is a definite highlight) and Jean Rochefort; interestingly enough, rather than showing the film's happy ending in full, all four actors are involved in a mocking re-enactment of it!
Finally, however, the film is overlong since we also get too many subplots and contrived situations for instance, Chiquita (who, with her lover, had intended to rob the troupe) and a couple of hired assassins (Garrone and Rochefort) conveniently reform and decide to help in the hero's cause!
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