Start the Revolution Without Me
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I'm surprised there are so many negative reviews of film here on Amazon. The only people I've ever met whom even remember this film remember it because it's one of their favorites.
The plot: Two sets of twin brothers are switched at birth just before the French Revolution. One set is raised in the opulence of the aristocracy while the other set are raised as peasants.
1789, the rich brothers are sent to infiltrate Louis XIV palace and take part in an overly elaborate coup. The poor set are reluctant members of the French revolutionaries. After a mix up, the peasants become guests is Louis XIV's palace where they are not only out of place at balls and dinners, but fighting for their lives to survive this overly elaborate coup. In the climax the brothers flee with their girlfriends as the uprising peasants storm the palace in a battle royal.
Why this works:
High production quality: Photography, costume design, set direction, and editing are usually pushed aside in most comedies since the focus is on the actors and the jokes they tell. `Start the Revolution Without Me' is brilliantly shot on location to a production degree that dwarfs most recent 18th century films and take full advantage of it's beautiful setting.
Orson Wells' narration: I'd never have guessed that Orson Wells could be so funny. And in fact he isn't. He narrates throughout as if `Start the Revolution Without Me' were a serious historical piece. This is what's so funny. EVERY scene is introduced with the phrase "1789" the way only Wells can.Read more ›
Bud Yorkin & Norman Lear (of All in the Family) directed and produced and added a cast of the best English comedians to their two stars, Sutherland & Wilder. This includes: Hugh Griffith as the befuddled King; Billie Whitelaw as a randy Marie Antoinette; Victor Spinetti as the reptilian Count Escargot; Jack MacGowran as the seedy Revolutionary amongst others. Oh, and Ewa Aulin (she played Candy) is delicious.
When Gene Wilder goes nuts, no one can match him for hilarity. As the arrogant, pigheaded, lightning-tempered Corsican nobleman he is just simply wonderful. Sutherland's foppish brother is a perfect counterpoint.
There is so much good stuff in this that one could go on at length (the Ball with everyone passing notes of intrigue and the King in his chicken costume is just one). Suffice it to say, they threw in the kitchensink with one-liners, references to Dumas and every kind of swashbuckler, non-sequiters, puns etc.
A crazy madcap just-for-fun all-out comedy. One of the best ever made. A Classic. See it.
The story involves two sets of twins - with one brother in each set switched at birth. One set is raised as aristocrats; the other as peasant revolutionaries. The time - 1779. (When you see the movie, you'll know how funny that line just was!)
Donald Sutherland and Gene Wilder are hilarious as the mismatched brothers, with the peasant-raised set rather normal if a bit cowardly, and the aristos just this side of psychotic. (Ok, maybe they are on the other side...).
Throw in a misunderstood Louis XVI betrayed by everybody and his brother, a Marie Antoinette who could give Messalina a run for her money and, of course, the sinister minister, D'Escargot, and you have the most outrageously funny Gene Wilder movie ever.
Gene Wilder is absolutely hilarious as both the cowardly peasant and the kinky Corsican Brother. This is right up there with his performance in THE PRODUCERS, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, and his side-splitting vignette in Woody Allen's EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX.
Donald Sutherland is also hilarious as his shuffled twins and the rest of the cast is excellent. Billie Whitelaw, who six years later played the demonic maid in THE OMEN, is a sexy Queen Marie Antoinette.
Definitely check this out--when it finally hits on DVD!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I remember this from years ago and it was great fun to see again. They don't make zany movies like this any more. Gene Wilder is at his classic manic best. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Gerry
A previous reviewer said that Orson Wells does a terrific job of deadpan narration between scenes except that's not Orson Wells. Orson Wells doesn't narrate this movie. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sandra
A magnificent send-up of swashbuckler films. However, much has already been said about the movie. This review is of the DVD. Read morePublished 2 months ago by R. Jones
Hannibal Free Public Library, Hannibal, Missouri, purchased this DVD, catalogedit, and placed in the circulating collection. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
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