Start the Revolution Without Me

Watch Start the Revolution Without Me

"Gene Wilder... wilder than ever!"
  • M
  • 1970
  • 1 hr 30 min
  • 6.4  (3,091)

Start the Revolution Without Me is a 1970 historical comedy film directed by Bud Yorkin and starring Gene Wilder, Donald Sutherland, and Hugh Griffith. The movie is set in 18th century France and revolves around two sets of identical twins who were accidentally switched at birth during a riot in a soup kitchen. One set of twins, Charles and Claude, were born into a wealthy aristocratic family, while the other, Pierre and Philippe, were born into a poor peasant family.

The film begins with a brief discussion of the political landscape of France in the late 18th century, highlighting the socio-economic disparities and the impending revolution. It then introduces the viewer to the wealthy De Sisi family, who are preparing for a grand ball. However, their plans are interrupted when the peasant twins, Pierre and Philippe, attempt to steal food from their kitchen. In the ensuing confusion, the two sets of twins are mixed up, leading to Charles and Claude being mistaken for peasants, and Pierre and Philippe being mistaken for aristocrats.

The film then follows the two sets of twins as they navigate their new environments, all while unwittingly getting involved in the events leading up to the French Revolution. Charles and Claude, who are now posing as peasants, are initially confused and disoriented by their new surroundings. However, they soon come to appreciate the simple joys of peasant life, such as haggling over prices and working in the fields. They also begin to develop a newfound sense of empathy for the poor and oppressed, which leads them to become involved in the revolutionary movement.

Meanwhile, Pierre and Philippe, who are now posing as aristocrats, struggle to fit into their new high society lifestyle. They are constantly ridiculed and belittled by their peers, who view them as uncultured and uncouth. However, they are eventually able to use their wit and charm to win over the hearts and minds of the aristocracy, which allows them to become influential players in the revolution themselves.

As the film progresses, the two sets of twins unwittingly find themselves on opposite sides of the revolution, with Charles and Claude fighting for the rights of the poor, and Pierre and Philippe fighting to maintain the power and privilege of the aristocracy. Along the way, they each encounter a variety of historical figures, including Robespierre, King Louis XVI, and Marie Antoinette.

The film's humor is largely rooted in the absurdity of the situations the characters find themselves in, as well as the witty banter and wordplay between them. Gene Wilder and Donald Sutherland deliver standout performances, effortlessly switching between the roles of the sophisticated aristocrats and the bumbling peasants.

Overall, Start the Revolution Without Me is a lighthearted and entertaining take on a very serious period in history. While it may not be the most historically accurate film, it offers a refreshing and playful perspective on the French Revolution and the events leading up to it.

Start the Revolution Without Me is a 1970 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4.

Start the Revolution Without Me
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 30 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (3,091)