The Golden Coach (Le Carrosse d’or) is a ravishing eighteenth-century comic fantasy about a viceroy who receives an exquisite golden coach, and gives it to the tempestuous star of a touring commedia dell’arte company. Master director Jean Renoir’s sumptuous tribute to the theatre, presented here in the English version he favored, is set to the music of Antonio Vivaldi and built around vivacious and volatile star Anna Magnani. —The Criterion Collection
The son of the painter Auguste Renoir, Jean Renoir became one of France’s most important and respected filmmakers during the middle of the 20th century. A Philosophy and Math student, Renoir became a cavalryman, but was invalided out of the army before World War I. Later, he married a model and aspiring actress, and, following the death of his father and the acquisition of an inheritance, set up his own production company to produce movies for his wife. Renoir learned from these early experiences of financing movies and watching other films, and became a director in 1924. With the advent of sound, Renoir’s career was quickly made with a series of profitable films, including La Chienne (1931), a savage and dark drama about a man’s self-destruction, which was later remade by Fritz Lang as Scarlet Street. Renoir’s subsequent films, including The Lower Depths (1936) and Grand Illusion (1937), were among the finest made in France before the war, and were well acknowledged at the time of… read more
A complex masterpiece, masquerading as a light and comic period piece. Truffaut nails it when he called it "The noblest and most refined film ever made...a film about theatre in the theatre". I wish that "The Golden Coach" and Renoir's "The River" were as known as some of his earlier films, both are incredibly beautiful works of art.
"I have destroyed everything in my life." One might think of Jaques', "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players," but it's true literary progenitor is Myshkin's, "I believe the world will be saved by beauty." But Christianity is merely the excuse, the confusion that life makes inescapable is the truest form of beauty; Magnani its sole representative in the cinema.
An absolutely phenomenal film. How it doesn't receive the attention or recognition it deserves completely eludes me.
A look at the early work of one of the great designers of the Golden Age of Polish movie posters.