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Fanfan La Tulipe (1952)

Gerard Philipe , Gina Lollobrigida , Christian-Jacque  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gerard Philipe, Gina Lollobrigida
  • Directors: Christian-Jacque
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001EP8ELM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,987 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fanfan La Tulipe" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Restored digital transfer
  • New video program about actor Gerard Philipe
  • A clip from the colorized version of the film
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Optional English-dubbed soundtrack
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Plus: A new essay by Kenneth Turan

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Legendary French star Gerard Philipe swashbuckled his way into film history as the peasant soldier Fanfan in Christian-Jaque's devil-may-care romantic action-comedy. In eighteenth-century France, Fanfan joins King Louis XV's army to avoid a forced marriage to a local lass. And thus begins an adventure that sees Fanfan getting himself out of close scrapes and into tight squeezes with Gina Lollobrigida's impostor fortune teller, Adeline, on his way to fighting in the Seven Years' War. Filled to the brim with dazzling stunts and randy innuendo, Fanfan la Tulipe, which won the best director prize at Cannes and was a smash hit upon its initial release, remains one of France's all-time most beloved films.


New, restored digital transfer
New video program about actor Gerard Philipe
A clip from the colorized version of the film
Theatrical trailer
Optional English-dubbed soundtrack
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by Kenneth Turan and an excerpt from Georges Sadoul's monograph on Philipe


A lot of battle scenes, a lot of swordplay, a lot of comedy, and a lot of fun! They don't make 'em like this anymore! --A.O. Scott, New York Times

Lighter than a souffle and just as tasty --Time Out New York

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A marvellous romp October 26, 2008
Indeed, a welcome release. This 1951 French comedy by Christian-Jaque has been treasured by generations of moviegoers, and with good reason. It is a perfectly realized swashbuckler filled with fine humor and Gallic dalliance, and interpreted by a wonderful cast headed by the greatest French actor of his generation, Gerard Philipe. Shot on the Riviera in locations that do evoke 18th-century France, FANFAN LA TULIPE is a film to be savoured on a minute-to-minute basis, since its delightful attractions never seem to end.

Particular mention must be made to the fact that Gina Lollobrigida had the first great opportunity of her career in this film. It amazes one to think that this exquisite actress had already been featured in 17 films since 1946, and practically had to leave Italy in order to become a star. This, notwithstanding the obvious potential she had shown in PAGLIACCI (1948), in which she is a a knockout as Leoncavallo's heroine, Nedda.

All in all, a film to be enjoyed many times, and for many reasons.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Criterion Collection - Indispensable Authority on Film December 6, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a prime example of the influence Criterion asserts on film fans. Until three weeks ago I had never heard of "Fanfan la Tulipe" nor it's primary stars. I read the brief blurb at the Criterion site before nearly impulsively purchasing the dvd. Not surprisingly, I wasn't disappointed with either the dvd presentation or the quality of the film itself.

As I've come to expect from Criterion - the film print looks fantastic and the essay booklet is interesting and informative. The Criterion essays are always important because they not only provide a bit of background information behind the film, but also point out the lasting influence the work acheived. For instance, this essay includes an amusing quote from critic Georges Sadoul as well as a few ideas on why this film isn't as well known today despite its popularity upon release.

There are numerious distillations of the hilariously clever plot of this film, so I won't go into that. Suffice it to say that if you're a fan of period films, particularly Tyrone Power or Errol Flynn swashbucklers, you're going to have a great time with this one.

This is one Criterion film in which there simply isn't much bonus material. The brief program about lead actor Gerard Philipe is the only one of note here. The colorized clip isn't worth much, but I'm always happy for anything extra on a dvd.

Side notes: Film snobs may whine that "popcorn" releases such as this aren't worthy of the iconic Criterion logo, but its just this sort of celluloid elitism that Criterion is trying to dispel. No longer will the casual film buff search the world over and pay too much for a copy of films like "Before the Rain" or "Mon Oncle Antoine".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More fun than the 3 Musketeers??? September 19, 2008
I have been waiting for this DVD for many years - it is a nice way to complete one's collection of 17th & 18th century, French adventure related movies such as The Three Musketeers, The Man in the Iron Mask, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Count of Monte Cristo, Scaramouche and Angelique to name but a few.
Because of its great action scenes, this movie did very well in the US back in the 50s when it was first released. It was even thought of as a "French western".
To use an analogy between the main star and a famous American star, Gerard Philipe was in many ways the French James Dean. Very popular in France, he had the misfortune of an early death (Philipe died one week short of his 37th birthday). On the other hand, Gerard Philipe's athletic performances may remind some of Johnny Weissmuller rather then the cool Dean ...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
"Once upon a time there was a charming land called France.... People lived happily then. The women were easy and the men indulged in their favorite pastime: war, the only recreation of kings which the people could enjoy." The war in question was the Seven Year's War, and when it was noticed that there were more corpses of soldiers than soldiers, recruiters were sent out to replenish the ranks.

And so it was that Fanfan (Gerard Philipe), caught tumbling a farmer's daughter in a pile of hay, escapes marriage by enlisting in the Regiment d'Aquitane...but only by first believing his future as foretold by a gypsy, that he will win fame and fortune in His Majesty's uniform and will marry the King's daughter. Alas, Adeline (Gina Lollobrigida) is not a gypsy but the daughter of the regiment's recruiting sergeant.

When Fanfan charges away from the recruits, saber in hand to rescue a carriage under attack, who should be inside but the Marquise du Pompadour and...the King's daughter. He now is convinced he will marry high, despite the extremely low-cut blouses Adeline wears. She, in turn, will soon discover her own love for Fanfan. We're in the middle of an irreverent movie of Fanfan's destiny, the ribald adventures of a sword-fighting scamp and rogue. There are escapes from hangings, swordfights on tile roofs, blundering battles, romantic escapes and more joyous derring do than you can imagine. What Fanfan lacks in polish he makes up for in irreverence and enthusiasm. He's a quick stepping swordsman and a fast-talking lover, but with such naïve belief in his destiny and such an optimistic nature, how can we not like him?

Gerard Philipe was an iconic stage and screen actor (who Francois Truffaut disparaged constantly in the pages of Cahiers du Cinema).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars good quality for a very old
good quality for a very old movie
Published 1 month ago by mjm
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a classic but good!
I ordered this because I had seen it when I was taking French at UCLA. It was so funny then that I took my parent to see it! They loved it. Read more
Published 11 months ago by ant hater
4.0 out of 5 stars A French Take on Swashbuckling
I purchased "Fanfan" as a big fancier of swashbucklers, but not a foreign film buff. I admit to an initial wariness of this French swashbuckler, but was pleasantly... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Karen Amrhein
4.0 out of 5 stars Adventures with Gina
A promiscuous peasant Fanfan (Gérard Philipe) was caught in the haystack with a local girl and now must pay the ultimate price; you guessed it a forced marriage. Read more
Published on September 9, 2012 by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice review for a wonderful movie
Fanfan (Gerard Philipe) is a womanizer. He ecapes marrying one by subscribing to the 7 years war in 1763 or so. Read more
Published on May 30, 2010 by Vittorio De Alfaro
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun
Fanfan la Tulipe, in its 1952 Gerard Philippe incarnation, is a highly enjoyable romp that alternates between the bawdy and the witty as it follows the adventures of its... Read more
Published on May 9, 2009 by Trevor Willsmer
4.0 out of 5 stars Reminds of the Errol Flynn films
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.

Fanfan la Tulipe, is a film about Fanfan a man who joins the French army in a spur-of-the-moment... Read more
Published on December 6, 2008 by Ted
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun romp full of action and adventure!
Adapted from a beloved French story dating back to an 1819 song, Fanfan la Tulipe is a French swashbuckling bodice-ripper, an action-adventure film as if written by Oscar Wilde -... Read more
Published on December 5, 2008 by Cubist
1.0 out of 5 stars Fanfan la Tulipe
Fanfan la Tulipe may be a favorite with the French but frankly I find it tolerable only if one views it as a spoof of swashbucklers. Read more
Published on November 23, 2008 by Anne-Marie Byrnes
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