That Night in Varennes

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Featuring such notables as Tom Paine (Keitel), the ageing Casanova (Mastroianni), the randy writer Restif de la Bretonne (Barrault), and an Austrian countess (Schygulla), this is a picaresque story of the coach and party that followed hard on the one which tried to transport Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette to safety in 1791. Thus is history viewed not through the eyes of its main participants, but through the appetites, passions and prejudices of its commentators and bit players. The result is like Tom Jones crossed with Stagecoach, with the addition of Sergio Amidei and Scola's wise and witty dialogue, some sumptuous painterly landscapes, and a subtle feeling for the period far removed from the clichés of British imagining. There's a real sense both of history in the making and of life in the living: a warm, bravura work of lasting majesty.

Release details

Duration: 165 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ettore Scola
Screenwriter: Sergio Amidei, Ettore Scola
Cast: Jean-Louis Barrault
Marcello Mastroianni
Hanna Schygulla
Harvey Keitel
Jean-Claude Brialy
Daniel Gélin
Andrea Ferreol
Michel Vitold
Laura Betti
Jean-Louis Trintignant
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