During the latter part of World War I, Private Charles Plumpick is chosen to go into the French town of Marville and disconnect a bomb that the German army has planted. However, Charles is chased by some Germans and finds himself holed up at the local insane asylum, where the inmates are convinced that he is the "King of Hearts." Feeling obligated to help the inmates, Charles attempts to lead them out of town, but they are afraid to leave and frolic about the streets in gay costumes. Will Charles be able to deactivate the bomb in time and save his newfound friends?Written by
Rick Gregory <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It's World War I, and a Scottish Private named Plumpick (Alan Bates) is ordered to infiltrate a French village and stop a bomb that the Germans have planted from going off. Upon arriving, Plumpick discovers the entire village deserted, except for the patients of the local insane asylum, who have been left behind. The patients soon escape the asylum, play dress-up with the various clothes they find lying around the village, and take it over. Not only this, but they crown Plumpick their king! With the German army still in the vicinity nearby, Plumpick must find the bomb, diffuse it, and save his "subjects" from certain death....
An all-time foreign film classic, "Le Roi De Coeur," aka "King Of Hearts," is a marvelous movie, full of sweetness, charm, and both clever comedy & fine drama that also comments very well on the stupidity of war. Alan Bates, who sadly passed away recently, is simply wonderful as Private Plumpick, as is the lovely Genevieve Bujold as the young patient named Poppy that Plumpick falls for, and Adolfo Celi is quite funny as Plumpick's stuffy superior officer. The rest of the film's big ensemble cast, whether playing the asylum patients or various soldiers, are all excellent, too.
The only thing that stops "King Of Hearts" from being perfect is that it *could* very well be argued that the insane asylum patients in this movie aren't...well, *insane* enough. They may speak strangely to one another or to Private Plumpick, but, for the most part, they act & behave quite coherently. But other than that, "King Of Hearts" is a very charming foreign film, and one of the very best films of the late, great Alan Bates. Definitely seek this one out.
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