Tonight, the Cinéma de la Plage will screen the iconic comedy by director Gérard Oury: Delusions of Grandeur (La Folie des Grandeurs). This is a golden opportunity to see legendary actors Louis de Funès, Yves Montand and Alice Sapritch in a performance that is both brilliant and hilarious. A frenetic pace and quips of dialogue that have become cult phrases, with an original soundtrack by Michel Polnareff - pure gold on the screen at Cinéma de la Plage!
Still from the film Delusions of Grandeur © RR
"Poor people were created to be very poor and rich people to be very rich!" During the Renaissance in Spain, Don Salluste is a minor minister in the royal court. He has all the defects: cupidity, selfishness and a tyrannical bent. As the merciless tax collector for the King, he finds himself disgraced, accused of high treason, and exiled to the Barbary Coast. To avenge himself, he undertakes a scheme to put the Queen in a compromising situation with his valet Blase, who is already very much in love, and whom he introduces as his cousin. But the poor valet soon finds himself encumbered with an eager but unattractive duenna who is madly in love with him, Doña Juana…
Released in 1971, Delusions of Grandeur sets itself apart from most of the comedies written and directed by Gérard Oury. Of course we find Louis De Funès, the ineffable manipulator we all love to hate. But this is also one of the rare comic roles for actor Yves Montand, who gives a masterful performance as Blase, an extremely naive and sentimental valet. The film is a very free adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel, Ruy Blas, a much more dramatic work than the film. Gérard Oury shot Delusions of Grandeur at the peak of his career. Between 1964 and 1973, the Oury/De Funès duo made four comedies together that were all very successful, including The Sucker (Le Corniaud) and Don't Look Now, We're Being Shot At (La Grande Vadrouille). Delusions of Grandeur reveals the complicity between the actors, who come across as free and enthusiastic, and seem to be having fun. This happy crew managed to treat a literary masterpiece with a light touch, without stripping it of its original message, which is an explicit criticism of people in power and their ambitions.
Wednesday 21 May / Cinéma de la plage / 9:30 p.m.
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