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Belle Epoque (1994)

Fernando Fernán Gómez , Jorge Sanz , Fernando Trueba  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

Price: $75.98 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Fernando Fernán Gómez, Jorge Sanz, Penélope Cruz, Miriam Díaz-Aroca, Gabino Diego
  • Directors: Fernando Trueba
  • Writers: Fernando Trueba, José Luis García Sánchez, Rafael Azcona
  • Producers: Andrés Vicente Gómez, Manuel Lombardero
  • Format: Color, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 20, 2003
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008G4H7
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,224 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Belle Epoque" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

BELLE EPOQUE is the irresistible story of Fernando, a handsome, young Spanish Civil War deserter who befriends a free-thinking artist. Fernando finds himself in a romantic dilemma when the artist's four beautiful daughters return to their country home -- which woman should he romance? The answer ishilariously simple, as Fernando is seduced instead, by each of the high-spirited sisters. BELLE EPOQUE is a rollicking sensual romp celebrating newfound sexual freedom for women. A delicious blend ofhumor and passion that captured the Oscar(r) (1993) for Best Foreign Language Film and introduced theworld to the enchanting beauty of Penelope Cruz (Vanilla Sky).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Belle Epoque, Beau Film July 4, 2003
Belle Epoque is a beautifully rendered film with a good sense of humor and a well-paced plot. Unlike what a previous reviewer wrote, it is actually set in the years PRECEDING the Spanish Civil War, that is, when a republic was established after the abdication of Alfonso XIII in 1931. The debate between Monarchism and Carlism versus Republicanism and Anarchism -a split in Spanish society that would culminate in the outbreak of the Civil War in 1936- is made accessible as expressed by the colorful characters in this movie: the pampered mollycoddle Juanito, the irreverent priest, the artist-patriarch (who nevertheless lives like a "scared old bourgeois"). The Civil War of the 1936-39 was only the last of the many civil wars that erupted in Spain during the modern era (e.g. the Carlist Wars of the Nineteenth Century). The movie will throw light on this turbulent time as it affected ordinary people, and for those of you not squeamish about the idea of a man sleeping with four beautiful women in the course of a few days, I recommend this movie highly. "Belle Epoque" is NOT fluff or late-night soft porn; it is only disguising its gravity behind a façade of lightheartedness.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Spanish film August 9, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
The story line for this film is not anything extraordinary but the actors/actresses weave a wonder web of mayhem and love that pervades through the simple story line to make this a timeless classic. It is also interesting how Trueba uses role reversal to turn the tables on poor Fernando and throws him into a matriarchal setting where the men AREN'T the ones wearing the pants in the family....quite literally in one sense. Overall a great movie that I have seen time and again...Great Castillan spanish accents as well!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spanish film-making at its best. May 4, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
This is one of the finest movies I've ever seen. It is funny, unique, and truly entertaining. Not just for fans of Spanish movies and culture, it will be enjoyed by all who watch it! Add it to your collection, you won't be disappointed (but make sure you avoid the dubbed version).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amourous portrayel of Spanish politics March 8, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This film is a sly comment of politics in Spain. It was made just after Juan Carlos freed the country from Franco's fascism. On the surface in may seem plotless, but each young lady is representative of a type of governmet, Fernado is the people of Spain, and Manolo the spirit of progress. Much better if you speak Spanish, but delightful for the Anglophone interested in European politics. A real intellectual treat, not for light viewing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warm and rustic August 3, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Although this is a Spanish production set during the Spanish Civil War in the thirties, it is a French bedroom farce all the way, and a delightful romp to be sure. Warm and rustic with a light satirical air, "Belle Époque" plays like something from Molière with a touch of Cervantes and a dollop of Shakespeare folded in. Four young women, daughters of Manolo, an ageing Republican artist, played with warmth and a becoming rakishness by Fernando Fernán Gómez, converge one at a time on our very lucky hero (Jorge Sanz) so as to better help him decide which one he really loves. Director Fernando Trueba lets him try all four before a decision is reached. The sex scenes couldn't get by the Vatican, but are so charmingly done that we are delighted. None of your sick, violent Anglo matings here. No rapes, no drugs, no booze, just sweet country coupling all around.
The target of the satire is mostly the Catholic church and the Fascists, but the Republicans take some hits as well. The war is entirely in the background except for a little comédie noire scene at the outset where two stupido Fascists soldiers do themselves in. Our hero's foil is a Jerry Lewis sort of mamma's boy romancing one of the daughters with his inheritance and his mother. He flip-flops between the church and the Republicans trying to please mamma and Clara, his enchantress, second daughter of Manolo. Manolo's foil is the parish priest, a hypocritical libertine, who commits most of the deadly sins before expiring by his own hand when the Republicans win (temporarily) the war.
The title (in English, "The Age of Beauty") is ironic because of the war, but literal as it refers to the time of our youth.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
Belle Epoque reminds of a traditional French-style cinema, just like the title itself.
It is a story of basically decent, but very confused young man (incredibly cute one, too), whose only concern is how to survive amidst the chaos of Spanish Civil War.
The film begins with this young man, Fernando, almost being killed, but it ends with him being very much alive and happy. In the process, Fernando meets a lot of new people: an old man, Manolo, and his unconventional family, to say the least. The relationship between Manolo and Fernando takes a special place in the story, along with Fernando's amorous interest in Manolo's daughter(s).
Apart from love and youth, Belle Epoque is also looking at Spain's historical background and hypocritical nature of society during the Great Spanish Civil War.
Overall, Belle Epoque is both visually appealing and very philosophical, at the same time. It is a real masterpiece.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Romantic comedy?
Romantic comedy? Hardly.

A good-looking young man seduces (is seduced by?) the four daughters of his host. Read more
Published 9 days ago by rwx
5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely loved it - spain the way it used to be ...
absolutely loved it - spain the way it used to be -fernan Fernando gomez is a genious ! Penelope cruz when she first started movies - the story is hilarious especially if you grew... Read more
Published 25 days ago by rick smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Camera Work
Scenery is gorgeous and so are the sisters who seduce the deserter living in their house. Which sister will he choose to marry? Read more
Published 3 months ago by edward hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabuloso!
Love, love, love this movie! I count it as one of my favorites. An unconventional plot with romance, drama and laughs. Get the Spanish with subtitles - so worth it.
Published 3 months ago by mikeyvintage
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Great, I enjoyed receiving it on time ...keep up the god work... It came on time and as it was described
Published 19 months ago by Rabih Ayoub
2.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly mediocre film you'd expect to win Best Foreign Language...
*** This review contains spoilers ***

The bulk of 'Belle Epoque' is supposed to be a pastoral romance, a farce of sorts despite being set during the heady eve of the... Read more
Published on October 10, 2010 by Turfseer
5.0 out of 5 stars Spanish love and flirtation stories!
drama, mischief and a lucky man who walks in to a situation that some would say, "I was just there at the right time and right place" this adventure of is so incredibly cute funny... Read more
Published on May 19, 2010 by Juan Calderon
5.0 out of 5 stars Spanish Classic
Hysterically funny,great intra family rivalry and love.

Excellent backdrop of chaos during Spanish Civil war. Read more
Published on April 18, 2010 by Vanessa Gray
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia, comedy and beauty...Belle Epoque!!!
This is a favorite for me and my family from my parents in their 70's to my cousins in their early 20's. Read more
Published on July 18, 2008 by Valle Menier
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining
I can watch this movie over and over. The cast is interesting, and in some cases, good looking. While there is some interesting commentary, this movie is more for enjoyment than... Read more
Published on July 8, 2008 by Amazon Customer
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