Set in 18th-century South America, The Golden Coach (Le Carrosse D'Or) stars Anna Magnani as an earthy Commedia Del Arte performer. Magnani is lusted after by diplomat Duncan Lamont, who leaves both his job and his mistress to pursue the sexy actress. Also vying for Magnani's favors are a bullfighter and a nobleman. Magnani tries to avert bloodshed by giving away the Golden Coach that had been bestowed upon her by the expansive Lamont. When director Jean Renoir was asked if he intended The Golden Coach to be Pirandellian, what with its linking of reality and theatricality, Renoir responded that his intention was to establish that "life is life and the stage is the stage." Maybe so, but the film's brilliant Technicolor and superb performances easily transcend that mundane entity known as Real Life.
by Hal Erickson synopsis