Fanfan La Tulipe
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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.
SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:
New, restored digital transfer
New video program about actor Gerard Philipe
A clip from the colorized version of the film
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
- 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
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Top customer reviews
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".
The influence, quality, and importance of a film is really all quite subjective anyway. I count "This Sporting Life" among the greatest character studies ever made, while you may find it a boring two hour exercise in watching a dumb brute driving the widow he lives with insane.
Fanfan realizing he has been flimflammed decides to make the predictions come true. Mean while the seven year war goes on as planned until fait takes its turn.
Together we watch the swashbuckling comedy. Yes production may come true but it looks more likely that Fanfan la Tulipe and his adopted father are about to swing from tree of justice. Can anybody save them?
The version I watch was criterion black and white. Once in French with English subtitles and once in English dubbed. You may find the subtitles do not exactly match the dubbed version. There is also a short history of Gérard Philipe on this criterion version. And some clips from the colorized version.
I have not seen it yet but there is a 2003 version with Penélope Cruz.
Gerard Phillipe, perfect in the role of Fanfan, may not be very well known to most people today, because he died not long after this movie was made. He and Jeanne Moreau were the stars of the original "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" directed by Roger Vadim which was very successfully re-made (twice) a decade ago--as Dangerous Liaisons and as Valmont The original (with English sub-titles) is available on VHS at Amazon.com.
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