Madame Du Barry (1934)

Genres - Comedy Drama, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Biopic [feature], Sophisticated Comedy  |   Release Date - Oct 13, 1934 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 79 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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According to popular wisdom, the woman who caused the fall of Bourbon France was little more than a tramp and a trollop but Dolores Del Rio plays her more like a cunning sophisticate who knew that the way to the monarch's heart was to treat him as she would any man: with insolence. In reality, it was more the American Revolution that brought down the stilted French monarchy and Jeanne Du Barry was merely one of many royal mistresses who made life at Versailles at little less dull. But if Del Rio's countess is slightly inaccurate, historically speaking, Reginald Owen's Louis IV comes across as a ludicrous fop and Maynard Holmes's pouting, childlike Louis IXV couldn't possibly have committed the near heroic acts that the historical individual factually performed near the end of his troubled reign. But the main contributor to the overall silliness of Madame Du Barry is Warner Bros., who made the mistake of treating a soapy screenplay with too much reverence. As a consequence, Hollywood's glamorous portrait of Du Barry suffers greatly in comparison to Ernst Lubitsch's ironic version from 1919.