The Pearls of the Crown

Watch The Pearls of the Crown

  • 1937
  • 1 hr 45 min
  • 6.9  (629)

The Pearls of the Crown is a French comedy-drama film directed by Sacha Guitry and released in 1937. The film is notable for its extravagant production values, witty dialogue, and impressive historical detail. It tells the story of seven pearls that have belonged to different rulers throughout history and were scattered across the globe. The viewer is taken on a journey through time and space to follow the pearls' journey as they pass through the hands of historical figures such as Christopher Columbus, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and Napoleon Bonaparte.

The Pearls of the Crown is a clever mix of historical drama, comedy, and adventure. The film is structured as a series of vignettes, each one focusing on a different historical period and a different owner of the pearls. The story is narrated by Guitry himself, who introduces each episode with charming wit and self-deprecating humor.

The first episode takes us to the court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, where Christopher Columbus (played by Guitry) is desperately trying to convince the monarchs to fund his expedition to discover the New World. Columbus is approached by a mysterious woman who offers to give him a pearl in exchange for safe passage to the Americas. The pearl, she explains, is one of seven that were part of a necklace commissioned by Cleopatra herself.

From there, the pearls travel through time and space, bouncing from one owner to another. We see Henry VIII (played by Lyn Harding) receiving a pearl from Anne Boleyn, who is later beheaded for treason. Elizabeth I (also played by Guitry) receives a pearl as a gift from a visiting ambassador, only to discover that it was stolen from one of her own subjects. Napoleon Bonaparte (played by Guitry's son, Lucien) takes possession of the pearls after conquering Egypt, only to lose them in battle.

Throughout the film, Guitry uses the pearls as a way to explore different historical periods and characters. We see Columbus at the height of his ambition, Henry VIII at the height of his power, and Napoleon at the height of his military conquests. Guitry's playful approach to history is evident in his affectionate portrayal of these figures, all of whom are shown to be flawed but ultimately human.

The Pearls of the Crown also features an all-star cast, including Jacqueline Delubac as the mysterious woman who sets the story in motion. Delubac brings a sense of mystery and intrigue to her role, playing the character with just the right amount of seduction and mystery. The film also features cameos from a number of famous actors and directors, including Marcel Pagnol and Pierre Brasseur.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of The Pearls of the Crown is its lavish production values. Guitry spared no expense in creating an opulent, visually stunning film that captures the grandeur and beauty of the historical periods it portrays. The film features sumptuous costumes, elaborate sets, and exquisite cinematography that showcases every detail of the spectacular locations.

In conclusion, The Pearls of the Crown is a witty, charming, and visually stunning film that offers a unique look at history through the lens of seven precious pearls. Guitry's playful approach to historical figures and events makes the film an entertaining romp through time and space, while the lavish production values and all-star cast add to its overall charm. The Pearls of the Crown remains a beloved classic of French cinema, and its enduring popularity is a testament to its timeless appeal.

The Pearls of the Crown
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 45 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (629)