1962 [FRENCH]

Action / Adventure / Comedy / Drama

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

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Jean-Paul Belmondo Photo
Jean-Paul Belmondo as Louis-Dominique Bourguignon alias Cartouche
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.04 GB
French 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 56 min
P/S 1 / 1
1.93 GB
French 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 56 min
P/S 1 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer7 / 10

A lotta fun

While this certainly isn't one of the deeper or meaningful costume dramas I have seen, I must admit it's a lot of fun--even though the character played by Jean-Paul Belmondo is crazy when it comes to his relationship with the lady played by Claudia Cardinale. It's in many ways a re-telling of the Robin Hood story in 18th century France--with a much more flawed main character. Like Mr. Hood, Cartouche steals from the rich and gives to the poor, but unlike Robin (who was quite happy with Maid Marion, thank you very much),once Cartouche got the girl of any man's dreams, it just wasn't good enough. Claudia Cardinale played a ravishing young thief who was desperately in love with him and ultimately would do anything for Cartouche--and the idiot keeps looking at other women! Ultimately he understands the stupidity of this, but by then it's just too late.

The story excels when it comes to exciting fights and costumes. However, at times, it lets the viewer down because the mood of the film seems to shift too much--almost like there were several versions of the film and they morphed them together. On one hand, it's a romance and in that department it does an excellent job. On the other, it's an exciting adventure yarn and once again it succeeds in this department. But, at some points in the movie (particularly when Cartouche is in the army),it also tries to be a pretty broad comedy. I actually think the film might have been better if the entire thing had been comedy or they removed the comedy altogether. It just seemed disjoint and odd the way it changed styles. However, regardless of this, the film is still worth seeing and is a lot of fun.

Reviewed by Bunuel19768 / 10

CARTOUCHE (Philippe De Broca, 1962) ***1/2

I had previously watched this eons ago one Sunday night on Italian TV – a film that has easily come to be universally considered as France's finest offering to the swashbuckling genre and, with this in mind, it more than holds its own alongside Hollywood's best similar offerings. What gives this added texture, then, is the authentic feel for 18th century France (stunningly rendered in widescreen color cinematography by the distinguished Christian Matras, who was particularly adept at this sort of thing),a quality that is undoubtedly further enhanced by a typically wonderful Georges Delerue score; incidentally, listening to it once more, I realized that the lovely romantic theme here was very much a dry run for his celebrated, haunting work on Jean-Luc Godard's CONTEMPT (1963) – which has for some time firmly insinuated itself among my all-time favorite movie scores!

Of course, the film finds star Jean-Paul Belmondo at the peak of his powers as the amiable titular rogue; however, his supporting cast – headed by luscious Claudia Cardinale, an atypically villainous Marcel Dalio, as well as Jess Hahn and Jean Rochefort as the hero's rowdy copains – is no less impressive. With respect to the action sequences, the swordfights aren't as plentiful as I had expected, though certainly vigorously handled all the same. As a matter of fact, another element that distinguishes it from contemporary outings in the prolific genre (even where French cinema is concerned),is that there is a good deal more emphasis here on brawling and (especially) romance – with Cartouche (actually a nickname) largely neglecting devoted commoner Cardinale for the amorous attentions of an unattainable aristocratic lady until it's too late. Unusually, therefore, this comes with a downbeat ending in which the heroine sacrifices herself to save her lover from an assailant's arrow – which is then followed by a beautiful and moving funeral rite.

For the record, this was the first (and best) of director De Broca and star Belmondo's many collaborations which, box-office-wise, peaked with their next one, THAT MAN FROM RIO (1964),which I also own; incidentally, I have its follow-up UP TO HIS EARS (1965) as well albeit in French without the benefit of English subtitles! I would also love to catch up with the others – LE MAGNIFIQUE (1973) and L'INCORRIGIBLE (1975) – which look to be quite fun from the theatrical trailers I caught some time ago in a French Belmondo Box Set. Furthermore, De Broca would try (and relatively succeed) in recapturing the spirit of CARTOUCHE many years later with a much-filmed swashbuckling property LE BOSSU (1997). By the way, the low-budget Italian production of 1954 which also goes by the name of CARTOUCHE and stars Richard Basehart apparently has nothing else in common with this one (being, for one thing, a much-inferior product). One final thing: although the film under review is also available as a Special Edition DVD in France, I opted for the cheaper, barebones R1 disc from Anchor Bay given the prohibitively expensive shipping charges and the typical unavailability of English subtitles on the included audio commentary!

Reviewed by jotix1007 / 10

The brigand

Louis Dominique Bourgingnon and his brother Louison were small time bandits in pre revolutionary Paris. Together with their pal, Douceur, they plied their trade in the streets. They stole from unsuspecting citizens and had to bring it to Malichot, a Fagin-like man who then saw to the pilfered goods, keeping most of it for himself. The trio, not content with the meager share they got for their effort, decide to challenge the boss. An angry Malichot swears revenge.

The friends find refuge in the army. The three friends soldiers to go to fight battles, in the process they manage to become heroes, when in reality they were deserters. Their biggest opportunity came when the Marshall arrives carrying chests of gold to the battlefield. They stage a fantastic escape, avoiding their pursuers to get them. The friendly thieves go into a country inn, where the gorgeous Venus befriends them. With a new resolution in mind, Louis Dominique becomes Cartouche, a man that will steal money from the rich and shares it with the poor.

This picaresque tale, adapted for the screen by none other than Philippe De Broca, who also directed, gets a larger than life treatment that still charms viewers after almost fifty years after it was done. Daniel Boulanger, a frequent collaborator of Mr. De Broca and Charles Spaak contributed to the scenario for this 1962 French film that also marked the beginning of the director's long association with Jean-Paul Belmonto, who is seen in the title role.

A young Jean-Paul Belmondo cut quite a figure in those days. He had an amazing film presence and it is easy to see why he was a favorite of many filmmakers. Adding luster to the film is the gorgeous Claudia Cardinale at the height of her youth and beauty. She plays Venus the woman that follow Cartouche through all his adventures. A young Jean Rochefort is another welcome addition to the cast that also included Jess Hahn, Marcel Dalio, {hilippe Lemaire and Odile Versois.

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