'What is the name of this hill?' asks Louis XIII, in search of a likely place to build a palace. And so begin the Versailles chronicles, in which several generations of royalty move through the majestic gardens and apartments, until the Revolution puts a stop to all that. Guitry often found his subject matter in French history, and although the exuberant intelligence of his earlier work had faded, the film's blend of low key wit and patriotic ardour ensured enormous commercial success. Standouts in a glittering cast are Claudette Colbert as the over-reaching Madame de Montespan, Guitry himself, magnificently weary as Louis XIV, Gérard Philipe flashing fire as the historical D'Artagnan, and Orson Welles in an eccentric turn as Benjamin Franklin.
Si Versailles m'était conté…
Cast and crew