Reel Classics

Monsieur Beaucaire (1946) - Blu-ray Review

Monsieur Beaucaire

“Talk to me later. I’m killing myself.”

With a noose hanging around his neck, dramatically (and quite insincerely) calling out the name of the gorgeous chambermaid he is in love with, this is probably one of the most brilliantly understated ways of introducing Bob Hope’s title character in Monsieur Beaucaire. And after his darkly funny introduction, of course, the film absolutely just takes off. In this extravagant, quick-witted, face-passed dark comedy, Hope, with a wonderful supporting cast, show off their comedic chops to an expert level. It is not as noteworthy as his famous “Road To” movies, but Monsieur Beaucaire is just an absolute delight and it arrives with a new 2K transfer thanks to Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

"extravagant, quick-witted, face-passed dark comedy"


The barber of King Louis XV (yes, you read that right), Monsieur Beaucaire (Hope) is in love with the beautiful chambermaid, Mimi (Joan Caulfield), but all is not well in their romance when Mimi goes from being a downstairs maid to King Louis’s upstairs maid. In trying to stop her from falling for the King’s charms, Beaucaire gets himself tangled up in the complications of the political marriage between the Duc de Chandre (Patric Knowles) and the Princess Maria of Spain (Marjorie Reynolds) whilst trying to escape the guillotine of King Louis. But posing as the Duc Le Chandre can only get Beaucaire so far, and those around him will start the suffer the consequences of their ridiculous “plan.” Monsieur Beaucaire

Let’s see: There is…Beaucaire imitating the king in the royal robes. There’s Mimi getting a face full of shaving cream during a wonderfully choreographed bit of trying to hide her and the Duc le Chandre from the king. Ah and yes, of course, there is the ending of Beaucaire finally getting his dream of owning a four-chair barber shop in the American colonies with…let’s just say a VERY special customer. The hallmark of this film is absolutely its unrelenting ridiculousness. The quick-witted dialogue never grows tired on the audience, and there is just the right amount of slapstick woven throughout the film. Though the director is not a household name, George Marshall does wonderfully showcase his eye for comedic direction, and it is a shame that this picture has not received more attention. 

As the less-than-charming, but undoubtedly hilarious barber, Bob Hope is wonderful in this film. Through Beaucaire’s silly antics, the film wraps up to be a short and sweet, outrageous comedy. And thanks to Kino Lorber and Universal, you can now enjoy this charming period-piece with a brand-new 4K restoration making it worthy of a REEL CLASSIC.

4/5 stars

 

Monsieur Beaucaire

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Kino Lorber
Available on Blu-ray
- February 1, 2022
Screen Formats: 1.37:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The French court will never be the same when Bob Hope gets through with it! A barber in the court of King Louis XV, Monsieur Beaucaire (Hope, My Favorite Brunette), falls in love with a beautiful maid (Joan Caulfield, Larceny). When the king has had enough of the inept barber’s shenanigans, Beaucaire is led to the guillotine where he is about to lose his head! Luckily for him, the Duc de Chandre (Patric Knowles, The Bride Wore Boots) rescues Beaucaire from his inevitable fate, transporting him to the Spanish court. However, when he later poses as a nobleman, it seems he may have pushed his luck a little too far. Featuring lavish costumes and sets, this classic comedy directed by Hollywood great George Marshall (The Ghost Breakers) showcases Bob Hope at his finest. Melvin Frank (My Favorite Blonde) and Norman Panama (The Court Jester) adapted the screenplay from Booth Tarkington’s (The Magnificent Ambersons) novel, with Marjorie Reynolds (Holiday Inn), Cecil Kellaway (Unconquered), Joseph Schildkraut (The Shop Around the Corner), Reginald Owen (The Good Fairy), Constance Collier (Rope) and Hillary Brooke (Road to Utopia) rounding out the wonderful cast.

Video

Presented in a 1.37:1 aspect ratio with its new 2K restoration, the definition of the film has certainly improved. However, from the moment the picture starts, there is a countless number of specks, dirt, and lines that run throughout the whole picture. It is not so distracting that one cannot easily forget about it as the film goes on, but there probably could have been a little more done to clean up the film cells.

Audio

Everything in the 2.0 monaural soundtrack comes in clean and clear. From Hope’s quick quips to the small musical numbers, everything sounds really good.

Supplements:

Commentary:

Special Features:

Well, if you are a fan of Bob Hope movies and you want to see a bunch of trailers…then, I guess this is for you. 

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  3/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 1/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3/5 stars


Film Details

Monsieur Beaucaire

MPAA Rating: PG-13 on appeal for crude sexual content and language.
Runtime:
93 mins
Director
: George Marshall
Writer:
Melvin Frank; Norman Panama
Cast:
Bob Hope; Joan Caulfield; Patric Knowles
Genre
: Comedy
Tagline:
THE GENIUS OF COMEDY AT HIS SLAP-HAPPY BEST!
Memorable Movie Quote: "But like a man, not like a salami!"
Theatrical Distributor:
Universal
Official Site:
Release Date:
Deptember 4, 1946
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
February 1, 2022.
Synopsis: Monsieur Beaucaire (Bob Hope) is the barber to France's King Louis XV -- that is, until the royal hairstylist takes up with chambermaid Mimi (Joan Caulfield) and is subsequently banished from the kingdom. Forced to assume someone else's identity, Beaucaire quickly gets wrapped up in an outrageous web of political intrigue, involving an impending war between France and Spain, an assassination plot and his own potential marriage to the Princess of Spain.

Art

Monsieur Beaucaire

 

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