Monsieur Beaucaire

1946

Adventure / Comedy / History

0
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 90%
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 546

Keywords:   king, guillotine, barbor

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 12, 2022 at 10:03 PM

Cast

Alan Hale Jr. as Courtier
Bob Hope as Monsieur Beaucaire
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
856.38 MB
990*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 33 min
P/S counting...
1.55 GB
1484*1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 33 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 9 / 10

France And Spain In a Hopeless Situation

Some current film fans with a perfunctory knowledge of cinema stars of the past will be shocked to learn that Rudolph Valentino and Bob Hope played the same title role in two different versions of Booth Tarkington's Monsieur Beaucaire. Of course you can believe there's a vast difference in the version.

The Valentino version is a straight dramatic part about a Parisian barber in the court of Louis XV pretending to be a nobleman. Rudy was at his most romantic in the role and it was one of his biggest hits in the Twenties.

Bob Hope's Monsieur Beaucaire finds Bob as a barber at Versailles in the court of Louis XV and worried about the romantic intentions of his sweetheart, scullery maid Joan Caulfield. Cole Porter wrote it best that Caulfield is true to Hope in her fashion, but she's an ambitious girl who knows what it takes to get ahead in the court. She aspires to be Madame Pompadour who is played here by Hillary Brooke.

Due to a set of circumstances way too complex to write about, Hope and Caulfield both get themselves banished, mainly because of Hope's fantasies and both get themselves involved in the politics between France and Spain where a royal marriage is being arranged to the dismay of both participants, Marjorie Reynolds for the Spanish and Patric Knowles for the French.

Playing the puppet-master in all the intrigue is Joseph Schildkraut who shows a real flair for comedy. His final duel with Hope ranks right up there with one Hope engaged in with Basil Rathbone in Cassanova's Big Night.

Rounding out a wonderful cast of supporting players are Howard Freeman as the King of Spain and Reginald Owen and Constance Collier as the King and Queen of France. You don't doubt why Louis has Madame Pompadour around when you take one look at the Queen.

By the way Joseph Schildkraut comes to one of the most satisfying ends a villain ever got in film. You'll have to see Monsieur Beaucaire and laugh all the way through to see what happens.

Reviewed by theowinthrop 7 / 10

A Good Bob Hope Comedy

This film was done when Hope was at or near the peak of both his film popularity and his comic abilities. Based on a Booth Tarkington novella, which had served Rudolph Valentino with mixed results in 1924 (he acted well, but the part labeled him as gay with certain male critics), the story is how Hope is the barber at Versailles to King Louis XV (Reginald Owen), gets into serious hot water with the King and Queen (Constance Collier) and is forced to flee the palace disguised as the Duc de Chandre (Patrick Knowles). Owen has sent Knowles to Spain to get rid of him (he's a rival for Madame de Pompadour - Hillary Brooke), and to have him marry the daughter of the King of Spain (Marjorie Reynolds, who is daughter to Howard Freeman). But Knowles is a target for an assassination by minions of the head of the Spanish Army (Don Francisco - Joseph Schildkraut). So Knowles and his associate (Cecil Kellaway) let Hope masquerade as Knowles. Knowles, in the meantime, is looking for the delightful looking woman he met on the way to Spain - he does not realize it is Reynolds. And Hope keeps crossing paths with his old girlfriend, Mimi (Joan Caulfield), who is furious at him for getting her banished from France accidentally.

In 1946 Hope was between 44 and 42 years old, so physically he still looked reasonably presentable as a man (when properly made up with make-up) who is in his 30s. That helps considerably. Compare this film to it's Technicolor counterpart in the middle 1950s, CASANOVA'S BIG NIGHT. In that film the plot is very similar, but the middle aged man, with the middle aged spread is not believable as even a comic substitute for the great lover. He is just plausible in BEAUCAIRE. He also demonstrates his timing is sharper, and he even demonstrates (possibly accidentally, but one wonders) a gift for mimicry. At one point he is speaking when behind a mask as though he is Owen, and he momentarily does capture something of the speech pattern and bluster of the English actor.

As pure escapism the film is more than adequate. As history it is questionable. Schildkraut is a type of Spanish Napoleon, wanting to overthrow the royal family in a war between Spain and France. Hence the need for the royal marriage that involves Knowles and Reynolds. But the military in Spain in the 18th Century produced no such figure as Don Fernando (it is hard to believe the screen writers Norman Panama and Melvin Frank were thinking of a later adventurer and court favorite Count Godoy). Owen is quite good at being Louis (he had played the role a decade earlier in the George Arliss film VOLTAIRE). The year is never giver - actually it is quite vague, but 1765 seems the most probable year: At one point Collier and Owen are reminiscing about their wedding. Queen Marie (the daughter of the King of Poland) married Louis in 1725, and Owen mentions they've been married 40 years). The Queen died in 1768, and Louis died in 1774. The problem is that the Spanish King is Philip II in the cast. King Philip II of Spain ruled from 1555 - 1598. The King of Spain in 1765 was Carlos III (notable for a number of reforms, and being reluctantly drawn into policies by the French). You see, the Bourbon Family had begun ruling Spain in 1714, at the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, when King Louis XIV's second oldest son became King Philip V of Spain (the Philip they screenwriters were probably thinking of). But the so-called "Family Compact" united the foreign policies of Spain and France for most of the 18th Century. So the threat of a war between the two countries never really existed in history at this time.

There are many nice touches in the film: Hope's attempt at suicide (with an unknotted hangman's noose) that is almost pushed to completion by his friend Leonid Kinski; Hope's mimicry of Owen (mentioned above); the climactic duel between Hope and Schildkraut, in which both men get entangled with a harp and a cello. Caulfield and Knowles both get a chance to sing. And Hope even (with Schildkraut's assistance) gets a passing shot (literally) at his rival/friend from the "Road" Pictures. It remains an entertaining spoof, and one of Hope's best comedies.

Reviewed by rsoonsa 7 / 10

Very funny, albeit the plot has scant resemblance to the original.

A "costume comedy" of the sort occasionally essayed by Bob Hope, this "version" of the Booth Tarkington novel is meant as a pastiche of the 1924 Rudolph Valentino film, but the one-liner master extraordinaire and his favourite scriptors, Melvin Frank and Norman Panama, can not resist going their own way, and a comically winning tangent it is. Splendidly directed by George Marshall, with top-flight cinematography and editing by Lionel Lindon and Arthur Schmidt, respectively, the action unfolds in the royal courts of 18th century France and Spain, nations on the verge of war. As the barber for King Louis XV (Reginald Owen), Beaucaire (Hope) finds himself in a situation where he must impersonate a nobleman, the Duc Le Chandre, or lose his head, whereas in the Tarkington original his impersonation is clearly of his own choosing. Meantime, in Madrid, conniving Don Francisco, commander-in-chief of the Spanish army, desires to prevent the upcoming marriage of the actual Le Chandre (Patric Knowles) with Spanish Princess Maria (Margaret Lindsay), by assassination if necessary, in order to destabilize the crown, leading to armed hostilities between the neighbouring countries and an opportunity for him to organize a coup. The false Duke, Beaucaire, becomes the prospective victim of this homicidal chicanery and we view him at his wedding ceremony where desperate measures must be taken to avoid being captured and then killed in quick succession. Hope's gags are beyond counting, some of them quite funny and all featuring his perfect timing, and a scene at the Spanish court that satirizes the use of the lorgnette by the nobility is classic, while there is pulchritude galore with three excellent actresses: Joan Caulfield as Beaucaire's true love Mimi, Hillary Brooke as Mme. Pompadour, and the lovely Lindsay, given her first role since Paramount picked up her contract. Also to be commended for their sharp performances in this fast-moving frolic are the swashbuckling Knowles, Schildkraut, Owen, Cecil Kellaway and Constance Collier, while Hope is supported for the first time by songs from Ray Evans and Jay Livingston, contributors to 11 subsequent films by the comedian, whose work here was Woody Allen's inspiration for the latter's LOVE AND DEATH.

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