Monsieur Beaucaire

Overview

Monsieur Beaucaire, Booth Tarkington's novel about an 18th-century French barber who poses as a swashbuckling aristocrat, was the surprising source for this Grade-A Bob Hope comedy. While in the original novel the tonsorial hero pretended to be someone he wasn't by choice, in this 1946 film Hope is coerced into posturing as a nobleman on the threat of death. It's "out of the frying pan" time here, since Hope will be a target for execution the moment he weds a Spanish princess in place of genuine noble Patric ...
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Overview

Monsieur Beaucaire, Booth Tarkington's novel about an 18th-century French barber who poses as a swashbuckling aristocrat, was the surprising source for this Grade-A Bob Hope comedy. While in the original novel the tonsorial hero pretended to be someone he wasn't by choice, in this 1946 film Hope is coerced into posturing as a nobleman on the threat of death. It's "out of the frying pan" time here, since Hope will be a target for execution the moment he weds a Spanish princess in place of genuine noble Patric Knowles. Bob's actions will prevent a war between Spain and France, but it's likely he won't be around to celebrate the Peace. Hiding his cowardice by cracking wise at every opportunity, Hope manages to save both the day and himself; he even rescues Joseph Schildkraut, the film's nominal villain, from the guillotine. The female contingent is represented by Joan Caulfield as Bob's covetous girl friend, Marjorie Reynolds as a princess, and Hillary Brooke as a haughty schemer who is given her just desserts in an early slapstick set-piece. Woody Allen has long expressed his affection for Monsieur Beaucaire, an affection made doubly obvious in "homage" fashion by Allen's 1975 costume comedy Love and Death.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Most Bob Hope vehicles are pretty much cut from the same pattern, so what makes one better or worse than the other tends to be the cloth. In that respect, Monsieur Beaucaire is definitely one of Hope's better outings. Not so much an adaptation of the Booth Tarkington original as a free-for-all based upon Valentino's earlier film version, Beaucaire is a very pleasant and engaging little frolic. Putting Hope in a period piece is generally a good idea, as it adds to the comedian's gift for being a fish out of water -- and compounding that by setting the film in France just adds to the fun. Writers Melvin Frank and Norman Panama have come up with a bounty of gags both physical and verbal; there's no humor that's on a Shavian level, but it all fits in well with both the scenario and the comic's style, and George Marshall has directed with energy and verve. All in all, this is a fast and funny, if totally inconsequential, little film. It won't win any prizes, but it's solid entertainment.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/8/2002
  • UPC: 096898152433
  • Original Release: 1946
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bob Hope M. Beaucaire
Joan Caulfield Mimi
Patric Knowles Duc de Chandre
Cecil Kellaway Count D'Armand
Marjorie Reynolds Princess Maria of Spain
Joseph Schildkraut Don Francisco
Reginald Owen Louis XV
Constance Collier The Queen
Hillary Brooke Mme. Pompadour
Fortunio Bonanova Don Carlos
Douglas Dumbrille George Washington
Mary Nash The Duenna
Leonid Kinskey Rene
Howard Freeman King Philip of Spain
Jean de Briac Minister of Finance
Eric Alden Swordsman
Nina Borget Wife
Anthony Caruso Masked horseman
Lane Chandler Officer
Charles Coleman Major Domo
Catherine Craig Duchess
Jean del Val Minister of War
Helen Freeman Queen of Spain
Alan Hale Jr. Courier
Sherry Hall Sentry
Brandon Hurst Marquis
Mona Maris Marquisa
John Maxwell Courier
Jack Mulhall Guard
John Mylong Minister of State
Noreen Nash Baroness
Manuel Paris Spanish Guard
Tony Paton Waiter
Nino Pipitone Lackey
Hugh Prosser Courtier
Buddy Roosevelt Spanish guard
Robert "Buddy" Shaw Husband
George Sorel Duke
Philip Van Zandt Guard
Dorothy Vernon Servant
Technical Credits
George Marshall Director
Billy Daniels Choreography
Mary Kay Dodson Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Emmett Dolan Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Hans Dreier Art Director
Josephine Earl Choreography
Farciot Edouart Special Effects
Melvin Frank Screenwriter
Earl Hedrick Art Director
Gordon Jennigns Special Effects
Paul Jones Producer
Lionel Lindon Cinematographer
Norman Panama Screenwriter
Arthur P. Schmidt Editor
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