Le Mariage de Figaro (1989)

Run Time - 171 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Clarke Fountain

Before was made into the famous Mozart opera, Le Mariage de Figaro was an incredibly famous French comedy and political satire by Beaumarchais (1732-1799). Beaumarchais was at least as interesting a character as any in his plays; among other things, he was a litigious watchmaker, a playwright, and spy who was also one of the fundraisers for the American Revolution. Even though this otherwise completely silly and very popular story was written by a man who was (at the time) spying for the monarchy, it was also considered seditious, and Louis XVI tried (unsuccessfully) to have it banned. So much for the powers of an absolute monarch. This filmed production of the play is most notable for having been financed by ticket subscriptions. The familiar story concerns the trials and tribulations of the duplicitious Count Almaviva (Claude Giraud), as he tries to have his cake (marriage to the lovely Suzanne, played here by Fanny Cottencon) and eat it, too, by avoiding a contracted marriage to Marceline (Line Renaud), to whom he owes a lot of money. The figures in the story scheme and plot for and against one another in the most vigorous manner possible, and they eventually discover some unlikely truths.