7.2/10
1,105
16 user 22 critic

The Taking of Power by Louis XIV (1966)

La prise de pouvoir par Louis XIV (original title)
After the death of Cardinal Mazarin, young king Louis XIV decides to assert his power to control the aristocracy.

Director:

Roberto Rossellini

Writers:

Philippe Erlanger (scenario), Jean Gruault (adaptation)
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Cartesius (TV Movie 1974)
Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

This made for television film chronicles the illustrious life of French philosopher René Descartes (1596-1650)

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Ugo Cardea, Anne Pouchie, Claude Berthy
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Several stories depicting the landscapes and fauna of India are mixed with documentary footage.

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A series of vignettes depicting the lives of the original Franciscan monks, including their leader and the bumbling Ginepro.

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Aldo Fabrizi, Gianfranco Bellini, Peparuolo
Socrates (TV Movie 1971)
Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A false accusation leads the philosopher Socrates to trial and condemnation in 4th century BC Athens.

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Jean Sylvère, Anne Caprile, Giuseppe Mannajuolo
Blaise Pascal (TV Movie 1972)
Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Blaise Pascal struggles to understand the natural world around him, in addition to an inner quest for religious faith.

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Pierre Arditi, Rita Forzano, Giuseppe Addobbati
The Age of the Medici (TV Mini-Series 1972)
Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

This is a lengthy exposition of the social and political history of renaissance Florentine history, told through dramatised conversations between the main participants, particularly Cosimo ... See full synopsis »

Stars: Marcello Di Falco, Virgilio Gazzolo, Adriano Amidei Migliano
Europe '51 (1952)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A wealthy woman becomes obsessed with humanitarianism when her young son dies after attempting suicide.

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Alexander Knox, Ettore Giannini
Paisan (1946)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The language barrier has tragic consequences in a series of unrelated stories set during the Italian Campaign of WWII.

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Carmela Sazio, Joseph Garland Moore Jr., William Tubbs
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A barber, murderer because of jealousy, spends twenty years in jail. He cannot, however adjust himself to a changed world and to the hypocracy of his own relatives and decides to return ... See full summary »

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Totò, Vera Molnar, Nyta Dover
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A demon bestows on a self-righteous working photographer's camera the power to smite from the Earth "evil-doers". Naturally, the indignant photographer turns his new weapon on, one by one, ... See full summary »

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Gennaro Pisano, Marilyn Buferd, William Tubbs
Il messia (1975)
Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The story of the life of Jesus Christ.

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Pier Maria Rossi, Mita Ungaro, Carlos de Carvalho
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Bardone, a petty con man, is arrested by the Gestapo and coerced into impersonating a partisan leader in order to expose another resistance organizer.

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Vittorio De Sica, Hannes Messemer, Sandra Milo
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Marie Patte Jean-Marie Patte ... King Louis XIV
Raymond Jourdan Raymond Jourdan ... Jean Baptiste Colbert
César Silvagni César Silvagni ... Cardinal Mazarin (as Silvagni)
Katharina Renn Katharina Renn ... Anne d'Autriche
Dominique Vincent Dominique Vincent ... Madame Du Plessis
Pierre Barrat Pierre Barrat ... Nicolas Fouquet
Fernand Fabre Fernand Fabre ... Michel Le Tellier
Françoise Ponty Françoise Ponty ... Louise de la Vallière
Joëlle Laugeois Joëlle Laugeois ... Marie-Thérèse
Maurice Barrier ... D'Artagnan
André Dumas André Dumas ... Le Père Joly
François Mirante François Mirante ... M. de Brienne
Pierre Spadoni Pierre Spadoni ... Noni
Roger Guillo Roger Guillo ... L'apothicaire
Louis Raymond Louis Raymond ... Le premier médecin
Edit

Storyline

1661: Cardinal Mazarin dies. In the power vacuum, the young Louis asserts his intention to govern as well as rule. Mazarin's fiscal advisor, Colbert, warns against Fouquet, the Surintendant who's been systematically looting the treasury and wants to be prime minister. Fouquet believes Louis will soon tire of exercizing power; he overplays his hand, offering a bribe to Louis's mistress to be his ally. She reports this to the king who arrests Fouquet. Louis and Colbert design a brilliant strategy to keep merchants making money, nobles in debt, the urban poor working and fed, and peasants untaxed. Years later, in a coda, we see Louis exercising the power of the sun. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | History

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | Latin

Release Date:

8 October 1966 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Rise of Louis XIV See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The title character (Louis XIV) doesn't appear until 20 minutes into this 94-minute movie. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Inside the Actors Studio: Martin Scorsese (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Informative and intriguing look at the early reign of Louis XIV, "The Sun King"

The story starts with the death of Cardinal Mazarin, who has been the de facto ruler of France for some time. Louis, until this point, content to frolic with mistresses and indulge in the arts, decides to take up the reins of state, much to the astonishment of the court. His mother has been waiting for this opportunity to once again become influential in affairs of state and is looking to place her man the Marquis de Tellier as prime minister. Louis clearly loves his mother very much, however decides that she should not attend the council of ministers and takes Colbert, the steward of Mazarin as his right hand. The film portrays Colbert as someone recommended to Louis by Mazarin on his deathbed. I think this is probably misleading, as, from my short readings on the subject Colbert was already well known to Louis.

Louis decides upon a route and branch restructuring of governance in France. He is haunted by an event from his childhood known as The Fronde, a sort of 17th century civil war that had almost claimed his life and had reduced parts of the country to brigandage. He decided on a pretty much totalitarian solution, which the historians refer to as absolutism, to become the "Sun" of France. That is, all affairs in France would be run by Louis, all citizens and nobles would derive their worth from Louis, just as nature derives all things from the sun. He believed that this was the natural order of things as ordained by God.

His mother and her agenda is not needed for this revolution. There's a quite touching scene between Louis and his maman where he is clearly pained at what he's doing to her (almost like sending her off to the old folks home).

He moves the entire court from Paris to Versailles (which undergoes a huge revamp), and institutes a preposterous new dress code. Not only that, but he requires the nobles to leave their estates and permanently reside in Versailles. Louis also wants to calm the people and sets Colbert a reformist agenda that will aim to lower taxes and reduce dependence on foreign manufacturers.

The reign of Louis XIV reminded me of the reign of Amenhotep IV (later called Akhenaten, or the servant of Aten), the pharaoh of Egypt who moved his entire court from Thebes out to a newly constructed city, Amarna, and attempted to totally erase the old religions in favour of the monotheistic worship of Aten, the sun.

I felt the film was very energising from the start, in Louis here was a man who wanted to change France. We're shown that he is just a man like the rest of us, in his bed chamber he leads his courtiers in prayer, which he forgets halfway through, and has to mumble. Towards the end we see him alone in a chamber reading a book, learning like the rest of us.

Some people may not like this movie because the whole is very deadpan, which I feel is very realistic, but if you like a passionate French period drama like La Reine Margot, well this is very different. It seemed a very painterly movie, a lot of effort had been gone to with composition and the camera was very static. The costumes got pretty dreadful towards the end of the movie, Louis insisted on an overload of ribbons and lace, like he's setting out to humiliate his entire court.

So here we had a man, pharaoh, who decided to fashion his world in his manner, with the assurance of a sleepwalker. It is hard to judge him, it's hard for me to see the events as anything other than a page in history's baroque miscellany.

It's absolutely fascinating and has awoken in me an urge to find out more about the subject. Rossellini created a series of these films for television apparently he believed that television should be pedagogic. He was against barbarism. Note the very careful use of words, not learning or philistinism, pedagogy and barbarism. Luckily for him he's not around today to see what has become of TV.


12 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 16 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed