- Monsieur Beaucaire (1924 film)
Monsieur Beaucaire Directed by Sidney Olcott Produced by Sidney Olcott Written by Forrest Halsey
Booth Tarkington (novel and play)
Evelyn Greenleaf Sutherland (play)
Starring Rudolph Valentino
Music by In theatre Cinematography Harry Fischbeck Editing by Patricia Rooney Distributed by Paramount Pictures Release date(s) August 11, 1924 Running time 106 minutes Country United States Language silent film
Monsieur Beaucaire is a 1924 silent film drama based on the Booth Tarkington novel of the same name. Filmed at Paramount Studios in New York City, it was produced and directed by Sidney Olcott and starred Rudolph Valentino.
The Duke of Chartres is in love with Princess Henriette, but she seemingly wants nothing to do with him. Eventually he grows tired of her insults and flees to England when Louis XV insists that the two marry. He goes undercover as Monsieur Beaucaire, the barber of the French Ambassador, and finds that he enjoys the freedom of a commoner’s life. After catching the Duke of Winterset cheating at cards, he forces him to introduce him as a nobleman to Lady Mary, with whom he has become infatuated. When Lady Mary is led to believe that the Duke of Chartres is merely a barber she loses interest in him. She eventually learns that he is a nobleman after all and tries to win him back, but the Duke of Chartres opts to return to France and Princess Henriette who now returns his affection.
- Rudolph Valentino as Duke de Chartres/Beaucaire
- Bebe Daniels as Princess Henriette
- Lois Wilson as Queen Marie of France
- Doris Kenyon as Lady Mary
- Lowell Sherman as King Louis XV of France
- Paulette Duval as Madame de Pompadour
- John Davidson as Cardinal Richelieu
Monsieur Beaucaire was part of a series of box office and critical disappointments that plagued Valentino mid-career. Although the film did fairly well in big cities, it flopped in smaller locales, and could not exceed the expensive budget Olcott put into the film's production. Many viewers and critics, perhaps expecting the more virile Valentino of his earlier films, felt that his onscreen persona with its heavy makeup, frilled attire and arch mannerisms (particularly in the first half) was overly feminized in Monsieur Beaucaire: a somewhat unfair accusation considering that much of the film satirizes the excesses of the court of Louis XV. Much of the blame for the film's alleged shortcomings was assigned to Valentino's wife Natacha Rambova who was felt by many of Valentino's colleagues to have had an undue influence on the costumes, set and direction of the film. The Stan Laurel parody Monsieur Don't Care (1924) reflected the general public attitude towards Monsieur Beaucaire.
Other film version
The novel Monsieur Beaucaire was adapted into a musical film, Monte Carlo, in 1930 and filmed again in 1946 as a comedy, also called Monsieur Beaucaire. The latter was directed by George Marshall and starred Bob Hope and Joan Caulfield.
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