Royal Affairs Of Versailles

One of Sacha Guitry’s biggest commercial successes (1954), this 165-minute stuffed pheasant of a movie is a historical pageant in color, notable mainly for its chockablock all-star cast, including Claudette Colbert, Jean-Louis Barrault, Gerard Philipe, Edith Piaf, Orson Welles (as Benjamin Franklin), Brigitte Bardot, Jean Marais, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Charles Vanel, Gaby Morlay, Lana Marconi (Guitry’s fifth wife), and Guitry himself. Going out of its way to ingratiate, it certainly amuses; but being flamboyantly Guitry-esque, it also begs indulgence more than once. Its original title is Si Versailles nous etait conte, which translates roughly as If Versailles Could Talk. (JR)

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