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Phillipe de Broca's "King of Hearts" (1966)


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I've recently had the pleasure to discover this wonderful 1966 movie by Phillipe de Broca, starring Alan Bates and Genevi?ve Bujold.

 

King of Hearts is probably not for everyone, but if one appreciates absurdist humor and some very off-center sensibilities, it's possible one will find much to appreciate here, and a wonderful anti-war message is the icing on the cake.

 

The mostly French-language film really has to be seen to be believed, I don't think words can truly do it justice. I was also blown away by how lovely Bujold looks here - I'm mostly familiar with the movies she made much later in her career - and had her name not been in the credits, I'm not sure I would have recognized her here.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Holly, I'm so glad you had a chance to discover KING OF HEARTS, it's one of my very favorite French films.

 

I first saw it the early 1970's. It had become a huge hit on the college film circuit and the film society at Syracuse University scheduled it so many times that the distributor sent them their own print. I wasn't a student, but dated one who took me to see it. I guess I must have seen it at least 20 times since and find it just as fresh each time.

 

You're right, it may not appeal to everyone's tastes, but I think many more people love it than don't.

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> {quote:title=markfp2 wrote:}{quote}

> You're right, it may not appeal to everyone's tastes, but I think many more people love it than don't.

 

Well, for me it's the kind of film that just about hits the bull's eye, because it's so offbeat and takes full advantage (imho) of the cinematic medium, there are so many weird and bizarre and wonderful sights there, that you won't see anywhere else...

 

I'd like to know more about De Broca someday. I'm surprised you don't hear his name more often when they talk about foreign-language movies.

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I've never seen this film on modern TV. Has TCM or IMC or anyone else ever shown it? It'd be a shame if today's young viewers never got a chance to see it.

 

Because the kind of "revival house" movie theaters that showed classic films and cult films are all gone, vanished when the home VCR became common and people didn't have to go out to see the great films. Of course it's great that you can see almost any film at home, but I have to say I miss those theaters. The theater where I first saw "King of Hearts" was a film geek's paradise: Incredibly interesting films to see, the bathroom graffiti consisted of long philosophical debates with entries several paragraphs long, and they let you bring cocktails from the bar into the theater. Growing up in a college town had its advantages.

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> {quote:title=Tampopo wrote:}{quote} The theater where I first saw "King of Hearts" was a film geek's paradise

 

I know what you're talking about. I grew up in a college town and we had one like that too. It's such a shame that most of those are long gone. Seeing films like KING OF HEARTS in theaters like that added to the whole movie going experience. The same can't be said for 20-screen multiplexes.

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