King of Hearts

King of Hearts

Director: Philippe de Broca Cast: Alan Bates, Geneviève Bujold, Jean-Claude Brialy

VHS (Wide Screen)

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Overview

The French/Italian/British King of Hearts (Le Roi de Coeur) takes place during World War I, but it might as well have been the Vietnamese conflict so far as its youthful "core" audience was concerned. Overacting outrageously, Adolfo Celi plays British colonel Alexander MacBibenbrook, who orders mild-mannered Scotsman Pvt. Charles Plumpick (Alan Bates) to undertake a life-or-death mission in a tiny French village. While evacuating the town, the Germans have left behind a time bomb that will explode at midnight; Plumpick must defuse that bomb. Upon his arrival in town, Plumpick discovers that it is far from deserted. A group of inmates from the local insane asylum, left behind during the evacuation, have claimed the village for their own. Knocked unconscious, Plumpick awakens to learn that he has been crowned "King of Hearts" by the gentle lunatics. None of the inmates pay any heed to Plumpick's warnings about impending doom, and when he attempts to lead them out of town, they are terrified at the prospect and scurry back to the "safety" of the village. Plumpick is finally able to render the bomb useless, whereupon the grateful inmates decide to stage a three-year celebration. When Plumpick tries to leave, he is kidnapped by the loonies at the behest of beautiful inmate Coquelicot (Geneviève Bujold), who has fallen in love with him. Bound and gagged, Plumpick watches helplessly as the Germans and the British troops kill each other off in comic-opera fashion. Finally set free, Plumpick weighs the horrible insanity of war against the more benign brand of lunacy represented by the inmates. The final image -- of a nude Plumpick carrying a birdcage, knocking on the doors of the asylum, and demanding that he be "accepted" -- was reproduced for the print ads of King of Hearts, effectively giving away the ending. An essential "date" film of the 1970s, King of Hearts was often released to campus movie houses in tandem with a pair of cult-favorite short subjects, the animated Bambi Meets Godzilla and Lenny Bruce's Thank You Masked Man.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/03/2000
UPC: 0027616156235
Original Release: 1966
Rating: NR
Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Presentation: [Wide Screen]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alan Bates Pvt. Charles Plumpick
Geneviève Bujold Coquelicot
Jean-Claude Brialy The Duke--Le Duc de Trefle
Julien Guiomar Bishop Daisy--Monseigneur Marguerite
Pierre Brasseur Gen. Geranium
Micheline Presle Mme. Eglantine
Michel Serrault Hairdresser
Françoise Christophe The Duchess
Pier Paolo Capponi Actor
Jacques Balutin Mac Fish
Daniel Boulanger Col. Helmut Von Krack
Adolfo Celi Col. Alexander MacBibenbrook
Marc Dudicourt Lt. Hamburger
Palau Alberic

Technical Credits
Philippe de Broca Director,Producer
Daniel Boulanger Screenwriter
Robert Christides Set Decoration/Design
Francois de Lamothe Art Director
Georges Delerue Score Composer
Jacques Fonteray Costumes/Costume Designer
Francoise Javet Editor
Pierre Lhomme Cinematographer

Customer Reviews

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King Of Hearts 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Fishers_Aunt_D More than 1 year ago
My favorite movie ever! Truly makes you think outside the box about who is really sane and the futility of war. Very funny, thoughtful, life affirming film. Alan Bates has never been better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a timeless movie pertinent to any time of war or peace. It puts forth a theme that is prominent throughout literature, that those waging war are the insane, and those who are peaceful, simple, and considered the "crazy" ones, have the better grip on life. This movie achieves this through a light comedy theme, and rich symbolism. Whenever I need a quick pick me up, this is top on my list.