Monsieur Beaucaire (1924)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Period Film  |   Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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The still photographs of this costume picture, showing Rudolph Valentino wearing foppish 18th century finery, are actually misleading when it comes to Monsieur Beaucaire's actual content. For much of the film, Valentino actually views his wardrobe -- and his matinee idol persona -- with sly humor. This film may have been based on a popular story by Booth Tarkington, but it belongs to Valentino all the way through, and his star quality dominates an impressive cast, which includes the likes of Bebe Daniels, Doris Kenyon, and Lois Wilson, none of them slouches in the star department. Valentino is the Duke of Chartres who can no longer stand the snipes thrown his way by Princess Henriette (Daniels). When King Louis IV (Lowell Sherman) commands that he marry her, the duke runs away. He accompanies the French Ambassador to England, disguised as his barber under the name Monsieur Beaucaire. In Bath, he becomes entranced by Lady Mary (Kenyon). He forces the Duke of Winterset (Ian MacLaren) to introduce him to her as a nobleman, but Winterset exposes him as a barber and Lady Mary snubs him. The French Ambassador arrives and reveals that Beaucaire really is a nobleman, but by then, he is no longer interested in Lady Mary. Instead, he returns to France and to Princess Henriette. Valentino's wife, Natacha Rambova, was responsible for both the art direction and set design of this picture.

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Keywords

aristocracy, espionage, royalty