King of Hearts

1966

Comedy / Drama / War

3
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 94%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 89%
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 3153

Synopsis


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June 27, 2018 at 06:00 PM

Cast

Geneviève Bujold as Coquelicot
Alan Bates as Le soldat Charles Plumpick alias le roi de coeur
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
840.73 MB
1280*544
French
NR
24 fps
1hr 42 min
P/S 4 / 9
1.61 GB
1920*816
French
NR
24 fps
1hr 42 min
P/S 1 / 14

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by martin-941 10 / 10

Subversive Anti-War Fairy Tale

Perhaps I am biased because the female lead, Genevieve Bujold (Coquelicot / Poppy) reminds me of a young French girl whom I fell in love with, and then lost, 40 years ago - the very same year that I first saw the film (1966 or early 1967).

But personal memories apart, it is stunning to watch how French director Philippe de Broca managed to fuse hilarious fun and melancholy reflection in a mold that is an incredible mixture. There is fairy tale, commedia dell'arte, circus, slapstick, comedy, romance - and World War I carnage. Among the supporting roles, the cast features some of the foremost French actors of those times; and it is obvious that they enjoyed every bit of it, especially as they put in a number of biting quips along with marvelous cameos.

This is what happens: For one day Private Charles Plumpick (Alan Bates) becomes, rather against his will, the mock king of a group of lunatics. This motley crowd have escaped from their asylum and have temporarily taken possession of a deserted town in Northern France between the 1918 front lines. Eventually Plumpick owes it to his lunatic friends that he survives when his Scottish battalion and their German counterpart meet in battle. There seems to be no way out of the madness of war. But don't miss the penultimate scene! (Rumour has it that it was censored in the American version at the time...)

My favorite scene is when young, innocent Coquelicot takes the shortest way from the brothel (well - it's a French film, isn't it?) to the town hall to meet her loved one, the King of Hearts - using two telegraph wires as a tightrope.

Why the film was a flop in its own country, and why neither a DVD or at least a video tape is available in France, I simply do not understand. Is it because only the French speak French but the Scots speak English and the Germans speak German? (Note de Broca himself, very early in the film, in a 5 second cameo as Private Adolf Hitler!) No need to worry - there are subtitles to help you along. Actually the DVD recently on sale in the USA *is* the original French version! Subtitled, and uncensored, to be sure.

I cannot deny that the film does have its shortcomings. The story is somewhat inconsistent, there seem to be goofs galore, continuity is lousy. But then it seems that de Broca had to make do with a lousy budget, too. And what he has created is essentially a dream which opposes to the nightmare of war a vision of humanity. In such dreams inconsistency, goofs and lousy continuity do not really matter. So it is still 10 out of 10.

Reviewed by RDenial 10 / 10

They don't make them like this anymore

As I was reading through the comments here for "King of Hearts" I noticed two different schools of thought on the film. Many, like myself, have fond memories of seeing this film in the 60s and 70s and were delighted by it. The other comments come from younger viewers who see this film as being "dated" and not that funny, yet worthwhile viewing. At first I was a little miffed at this generations comments about a gem of my generation, until it dawned on me that they were somewhat correct. The film is a bit dated because they just do not make films like this anymore. It was never meant to be knee slapping funny. The humor was a non-intrusive "gentle" humor that seems to be a foreign concept in this day and age. Another reason many younger viewers do not "get" this film is because one of the themes here is non-conformity. This was a crucial concern of those growing up in the 60s. We wanted our individuality to show and not be just a number. Society has did a 180 since then. Today people are more concerned with fitting in than standing out. So yes, this film possibly is a bit dated. It is a bit of movie magic from a far simpler time and I have a feeling that there are a lot of people under 30 who would not see this as dated at all. King of Hearts is one of a small handful of films that celebrates the simple magic of being alive. Come and experience it.

Reviewed by middleburg 10 / 10

Great, Charming, Profound

The King of Hearts should be seen by a new generation of viewers now in the

summer of 2004. This is a great fable--which during the 1980s might have

seemed dated, but now is more relevant than ever. It is a great meditation on war. As a movie, the circus-like atmosphere and characters combine to form a grand entertainment. We get seduced by the world of childlike imagination and sense of wonder we see in the inmates. We embrace them. Great

philosophical moments abound--all surrounded by beautiful colors, wonderfully funny moments and a gorgeous music score. The final scene is such a classic-- and takes the audience by such surprise--one goes out of the film absolutely

exhilarated. A funny, charming and ultimately profound film.

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