The Voyage of Captain Fracassa (1990) Script

THE VOYAGE OF CAPTAIN FRACASSA


It isn't drinkable.

That water is contaminated.

It's for compresses.

Is someone sick?

I need to know what he or she in that caravan is suffering from.

He.

If he has a contagious disease of an epidemic nature I shall be forced to burn your camp, kill your livestock and quarantine you all.

I am the Royal Health Inspector in matters of infectious diseases.

My department handles problems of pestilence and malodor.

I inspect villages, chateaux, inns, post houses...

I visit cesspools, sewerages, wells, pits, urinals, latrines, waste outlets, spittoons, stagnant water...

In fact refuse of every kind.

Sir, what you see is the remains of a glorious Traveling Company of Scenic Arts.

All of us, plus the young man our leading lady is taking care of.

He has no contagious disease, rather a sword wound and a serious chill of the lungs.

I confess such things are beyond my remit.


Why won't you tell me?

How was he hurt?

To talk is... to share with others.

That's one benefit.

I met him a year ago.

I beg your pardon?

I met him a year ago.

I want to share with others.

It was round about that time.

We were traveling with our troupe, across the region of Gascony.

We became lost one night and couldn't see a thing in the thunder, lightning, rain, north wind, south wind, west wind...

What else? The east.

That's right, the east wind too. Anyway, everywhere.

What's going on?

Out, everyone! We have to push.

A chateau!

I said there'd be a manor round here somewhere.

Everybody out.

Hurry!

Here, take this!

Give me a hand.

Wait, easy does it...

Wait! Wait!

If the lords of the manor see us in this state they'll think poorly of us and won't invite us to their table.

Let's get ready.

Pietro?

Someone's knocking.

Who can it be?


Excuse us, noble gentleman.

We are the Traveling Company of Scenic Arts, Melopemene and Thalia, bound for Paris.

We seek sanctuary for the night.


Forgive us for invading your fortress at such a late hour, Lord of the Manor.

He isn't the lord of the manor.

Unfortunately, dear guests, the recent bad weather has caused serious damage to the frescos in the guest rooms, which are being restored.

As for the kitchens, I regret to report that it's some hours since they stopped serving.

Be that as it may, the lords of Sigognac never shirk their duty to be hospitable.

Not even to thespians such as yourselves.

Do come in and sit down.

His lordship Jean-Luc Henri Camille, Baron of Sigognac!

Serafina Poisson, at your service.

His Lordship!

The devil with you! Fool!

Lunatic! Imbecile!

You wet rag! Simpleton!

"His Lordship, Jean-Luc Camille, Baron..."

Baron of what? With these clothes, this cap!

And no hair because of the lice!

The shame of it!

Why didn't you just shut up, you old fool?

Couldn't you have said I was a simple servant, like you?

I ought to teach you a good lesson.

I feel like breaking your back!

I'll give you a good thrashing! Where's my stick?

I used it on the fire.

There's nothing in this house. The shame of it!

Right, to bed.

To bed!

Forgive me, Pietro.

It's nothing.

Now sleep... and dream.

Of what? I know only your face. I don't want to dream of that.

Quite right.

Then try to dream of Miss Serafina Poisson's.

Her face seems rather graceful.

Yes, very graceful.

And it was very graceful the way she curtsied and looked at you.

She looked at me? I didn't notice.

Anyway, that doesn't interest me.

Not in the slightest.

Did she look at me?

She looked at you, yes.

How she looked at you!

Looked at me askance, you mean! Good night.

What's that?

Woodworm.

The only ones in this house with anything to eat.

Go to sleep!

Is someone there?

Don't get up, don't be afraid.

I just wanted to say a prayer to you.

You've probably noticed that misery and solitude prevail in this castle.

We have nothing. Nothing!

The shy young man you met had an imprudent forefather who squandered on war and vice the entire family fortune.

But he had the merit of saving the life of Henri IV, father of the present Louis XIII, during the Siege of Paris.

He thus received as reward from King Henri... this royal sword.

When my young master goes to Court...

King Louis will embrace as a brother the son of his father's savior.

He will restore to him all his goods and property along with his pride and dignity which, as you have seen, have deserted him.

Sadly his dull youth is wasting away here.

If he remains, his future will be brief.

If memory serves, you are going to Paris.

So, I implore you... Take him with you!

No, do not answer now. Take time to reflect upon it.

I'll let you sleep. Tomorrow I'll warm some water for you.

Think about it.

Good night.

With us? To Paris?

And put him where? We don't have enough room.

Even if we did, what use would he be?

As the old man said, if the King receives him like a brother, the young chap will be able to fix it so that we can perform at Court, in the Royal Theater. At least!

Surely! Undoubtedly!

My red parasol...

What a mess!

Look at you. Seven of us, you'd think there were fifty.

Eight of us.

Leandre doesn't count.

It's barely daylight. Everything is drenched.

His Lordship, Jean-Luc...

Good morning, Baron. His Lordship does us a great honor in joining us on our journey to Paris.

Thank you very much.

Good morning, Baron.

Mind his luggage.

This is the Baron's luggage?

The King's sword! I know.

See how handsome my master is.

Maybe.

My friend, look out for him, as would a father for his son, a valet for his master.

He knows nothing of life, nothing of women, he has never...

And why must I look over him?

Because... like me, you're the last wheel of the carriage.

Or because being the ugliest in the company...

Ugliest of the company? I'm not looking out for anyone.

Or perhaps because I give you this.

I don't want it.

All of it. A hundred gold crowns, put aside during the good times, when I was paid.

A hundred crowns?

Yes. You know, my friend...

That's me!

All yours now.

The money?

No, the Baron. Of course.

I sell him to you, only I'm the one paying.

On condition he never finds out about our arrangement.

He'd feel humiliated. He's very sensitive.

So not a word!

My lips are sealed. Nothing!

Everyone ready? Then let's go.


"Love him

"as I have loved him," said the old man, handing me a big bag of clinking coins.

He was weeping because he was saying goodbye to his master.

And the clinking coins.

And never again would his young master see his beautiful chateau.


You're a little sad.

I was too when I left Italy.

Wept buckets of tears I did.

I set off like a poor emigrant.

But you're going to see the King. There's no comparison.


Show some decency, young ladies!

Does he collect stones?

No, he wants to sweat more to lose weight because the thinner he is, the more he makes people laugh.

When he plays a hanged man, dangling from a rope, audiences wet themselves with laughter!

He looks like a hangman's rope!

Young man!

When people laugh at me, I'm happy.

I unsheathe my cardboard sword but only when I am on stage.

Off stage, I unsheathe my sword of steel!

Calm down, Matamore...

But since your young age leads you to confuse truth with falsehood, this time, regard my true ire to be false, just as I regard as true your false good manners.

What was that? Nothing. He's joking, Baron.

You insult me?

Apologize!

Baron, it's nothing.

Mr. Matamore must apologize to me!

It's nothing, he'll apologize.

He had a dig at me. He shouldn't.

I couldn't agree more.

It's in his nature to do such things.

He's not being mean. He'll apologize.

If I had to criticize someone, it would definitely be you.

Me?

If I must be your obedient servant, then you have to be a master I can respect.

Who, sir, said you are my servant?

You were given to me to...!

What... why do you always call me "sir"?

Stop calling me that! I'm just an ordinary lad.

"Do this, do that, help me onto my horse..."

Help me onto my horse, sol can show you!

Now pay attention. First, the proud look.

Head up, back straight, shoulders square.

You're always slumped, like this.

I noticed you're not such a good horseman. No matter.

Upright! Not, "I'm dismounting, Matamore."

Like this. "Mr. Matamore!

"With all your chatter you're nothing but a charlatan

"and I've no time for it, I'm expected in Paris!"

There you go, it isn't so hard.

Now you get on.

With a servant like me, you'll be the envy of all.

What do I get in return? Food, lodgings, drink, clothes?

From me? I'm poorer than you.

The rich never become poor. You fell out with money, temporarily My parents did.

They did it for you. But it'll work out.

Baron, you shall be my boss in my old age.

Shake on it!

And he offers his hand! To his valet!

You just don't get it, do you?

When he speaks, he addresses me as "sir".

Then he offers me his hand.

I'm valet to a master who doesn't khow how to be one.

Upright, I said, not all slumped!

Chin up, look straight ahead! Honestly!

That old servant taught you nothing. The beast!

His wage was daylight robbery.

When he got one.

Very funny. I should laugh but I'm annoyed now.

Understandably!

Anyway, on that first day, we traveled all day.

That night we stopped to sleep.

-In an inn? -Inn?

An inn on wheels! We sleep in the caravan.

There were eight of us, packed in tight, like a slave ship.

To spare the Baron all that crowding, I prepared a nice bed for him up on the roof.

Baron?

Are you alright?

Do you need anything?

Have this, it'll warm you up.

Are you cold, Baron?

I'm OK.

If you need anything, you know what to do.

What?

Just give a little knock, like this... and someone will open up for you.

If you want me to open, give two knocks...

Good night, sir.

Good night, miss.


Ladies and gentlemen!

Roll up, roll up!

Here is Polichinelle, messieurs and demoiselles!

For Paris we're bound but first stop on our round before we go on our way is to perform here today.

Good people and fine, casting pearls before swine!

Drama and passion, hard to bear, to drive you beneath your chair.

Love, duels and peripeteia and all kinds of paraphernalia will have you crying out your eyes...

Out of my way, small fry!

And if it's money you lack, we'll settle for a snack.

Some meat would be neat, a bun might be fun.

Potatoes, nuts...

Cheese or cold cuts!

If you don't come tonight, woe betide!

Food or drink... Well, at least we tried...

Very good, Mr. Matamore. Bravo.


Sound of trumpets!

Fracas of weapons! Signs of death!

Here comes Captain Matamore!

Beheading, dismembering, and wounding!

A horse? Halt!

Who challenges me to combat?

He's good.

Death to you!

To what do we owe this ill-mannered racket?

You, here?

Ah, 'tis the fearsome Captain Matamore!

In Naples you dishonored a lady who to me was betrothed.

But perhaps you did not know.

I knew full well that she was your betrothed, my dear Captain.

We did not do battle then, back in Naples, but it can be arranged here, in Seville!

It's not the same. Two very different cities!

Unsheathe your sword and fight!

Take that and fall at my feet!

How was 1? Very good, Uncle.

Thanks for the compliment.

Other adventures await me.

Master!

Turkey broth, pork livers, cream cakes...

Wine from...

What's that? My God, it's death!

Don Juan! It speaks, it speaks!

Your hand.

Where are we going?

Your hand!

Don't give it to him!

Silence!

Don't give it to him!

The hand!

No, Master, no!

I'm burning! Burning!

I'm consumed by flames!

Flames!

Master! Master!

Spare his life, his father wishes it!

Let me go!

Your son must pay!

In that case, I do not wish to see it!

Descend into Hell!

Master!


How weary I am!

In Paris it will be quite different.

The streets, the people, the Court!

The King will make my master celebrated and wealthy.

I will no longer be a servant of the stage but a valet.

And I'll have five meals a day, five caps, five pairs of shoes, five shirts, five pants...

I'll stay in the kitchen all day. And all night!

Pots, casseroles, pans... Nothing will be too much!

What to roast the haunch in, cook the kidneys, brown the goat...?

I must cut out the part about the "flatulent cow".

All that farting before a King?

You must be joking! No, no, it has to go.

And that "skewering the silly goose between the thighs..."

Kings recognize art.

They aren't taken in by lovely fillies.

I will once again play the leading lady.

O my youth, return to me!

Ten more kilos to lose before Paris.

The King will burst his sides laughing and name me "Knight of the Comic Arts".

Isabella will have my pension!

No trivial farces for the King.

In "Jerusalem Delivered", my Tancred will be backed by Court musicians.

"Beneath the exterior lies a beautiful woman.

"She seems to sleep."

All the noble ladies will be at his feet.

He won't even look at me.

Barons, dukes, princes...

"Gentlemen, gentlemen please!"

I've had suitors pledging their eternal love, then disappearing in the morning.

An actress is for one night, not for life.

Anyway, once abandoned, she can but act out her sorrow.


An actress's most important quality is distinction.

Most of them just flash their thighs.

Those who can get away with it!

Let's see you in this.

Now what's wrong with you?

You've a long face!

I'm hungry.

But we ate yesterday.


Oh, Baron!

You're very skilled.

You need to be, to ask for alms.

As a girl, I worked with my father.

He'd sell his miracle cure while I did twirls.

Baron...

I have a confession to make.

I've been lying to you from the start.

Even the other night.

"Knock twice." Do you remember?

When I heard you were going to Court to become wealthy...

I began playacting.

I was flirtatious and fluttered my eyelashes at you.

But now...

And Blasius played Tyrant.

Our "Three Captains" intrigue was a huge success.

In Avignon, though, we were refused permission to perform it.

But I've already told you this.

Blasius and Rodomont went to protest.

Rodomont was being played by Mr. Bellombre... A fine actor, for sure.

Hardly of your status, though, Mr. Matamore.

When you're an actress, the devices you use to please men and show them you're in love...

You sometimes resort to them off-stage.

And you realize...

What I mean is...

What you thought were lies...

turn out to be sincere.

Stop, let me get on the seat.

It's no picnic following Mr. Matamore.

Why?

I won't allow you to suffer. Smile, immediately!

An actress must suffer and laugh only on stage.

Life with its little desires must serve as a rehearsal for the acting out of passions that we must produce for audiences.

Now say your lines.

What do I say?

Something that interrupts me before I've finished.

Loves, adventures... you'll have a thousand of them on stage.

A thousand times you will laugh, a thousand times you will cry, a thousand times you will be reborn.

A thousand times you will pretend to eat.

This is serious!

And I wasn't?

You like that rapscallion too?

I like only you!

Stop it, Zerbi!

Turkey broth, pork livers... What's that? Death!

Don Juan... your hand!

Your hand!


And thus that night, in an abandoned barn, in the warmth of the straw and of Serafina... my little chicken did become a cockerel.

Cheer up, do not grieve so.

Please, traveler.

He's going to die, I know it.

There's only one hope.

Which is?

I'm always wrong.

When I sense something is going to happen, the opposite always occurs.

Then he won't die.

Only this time I fear I am right.

He was going to grow old a wealthy man, in Paris, but instead... he's going to die young in a caravan.

He was so happy, he'd become...

He'd even lost his... unpleasant side, let's say.

At first, he was...

Then he became a boy who was always shouting, singing, laughing... ready for anything!

Always galloping off all of a sudden.

He became... a wonderful lad!

Hey, Serafina!

Another mushroom for you.

Thank you.

What's the matter? He's young, he wants fun.

Let him be!


Resistance is useless!

One false move and my bloodthirsty band will unleash a hail of bullets!

You... Esteban, Pedro, Pablo, Carlos, Antonio, Matasierpes...

On my signal, fire!

In the caravan... clothes, money, give me everything!

I'll count up to three. One...

Two...

No, Baron, be careful!

Quick, kid!

Pulcinella, where are you going? Stay out of it!

Don't, there's too many of them!

Look out!

Kid, help me!

I will, Agostino!

Stop!

Blood!

These aren't brigands, they're scarecrows!

What else to do? Everyday life is hard and meager.

Booty is scarce.

Not enough to share with a gang.

The people are poor and starving. Who can we steal from?

Why not steal from the rich ones?

The rich are well protected and armed.

You trying robbing them. Me?

You didn't need to slap her. She's a little girl.

A little girl?

There, there, little one.

If you cry, no one will think you're a bandit.

This is my fiancée-to-be.

That's lovely. Have it, it's yours.

What do you say to the lady?

I promise I'll never Kill her.

That's nice of you.

Happy? It's very nice.

He's had a bad day, Mr. Matamore destroyed all his stuffed dolls.

All's well that ends well.

Let's all give something to our poor fellow travelers.

So Agostino has had a bad day.

A knife, good.

Give my flick knife to Agostino?

And you, Leandre?

Home begins with charity.

Serafina has given something. You, Mr. Matamore?


Pulcinella! Pulcinella!

Well, then? Give me a moment!

So, famine and cold were our inseparable traveling companions.

And the Baron's arrival introduced new tensions into our caravan.

What sort of tensions?

Of the jealous kind. Emotional rivalry.

So much so that one time Matamore squabbled with his dear Isabelle.

It's true, they'd locked themselves in the caravan.

Matamore was furious.

How Isabella wept!

You imagined it. Imagined?

Calling out his name in your dreams?

Eyes welling up when you look at him?

Getting sad when he looks at her?

It's not true!

Everyone's noticed!

Even the oxen and his horse!

The shame! I want to kill myself.

No, my love, don't say that.

Calm down, please!

Don't break my heart, my sweet, don't make me suffer.

No... Oh no, Uncle.

Even if I die I'm fine.

You mustn't worry for me.

How can I not? You use any excuse to suffer.

Excuse?

Excuse? What is my life?

Exhaustion, fatigue, and hunger. I'm hungry, I'm hungry!

Mr. Matamore is quite happy fasting! Well, I'm not!

I'll fetch you something to eat.

I won't eat it, I want to die.

Repeat that, you can say it better.

I will not eat, I want to die.

But why? Why?

You're going to be an actress!

I'll kill myself.

No, don't say that.

I beg you, calm down. You'll see, everything will be fine.

I'm going to do something.

I'll speak to this young lad myself.

You'll see, he'll be flattered to find out that my sweet one harbors such a passion for him.

I refuse to suffer for your senility.

I won't have you shame me!

Mind your own business!

I'm sick of being the "sweet one"", the "little girl" of the company!

Mr. Matamore, I want no more of your caresses or your lecherous, senile kisses, either in real life or in your farces that no one laughs at!


What are these things? They're cold!

Snow!

That's snow? It's horrible!

No, it's nice.

Maybe to you northern Frenchmen. Not to me, though.

Better make tracks.

A storm's brewing. Into the caravan, quick!

Put everything away.

Don't forget anything!

Cover the animals!

Zerbina, that shoe... there!

I definitely don't like it.

Baron, let me do that!


Uncle!

Matamore!

Matamore, answer!

Matamore, it's me, your troupe's director!

Uncle!

There!


Go to her.

Me?

Why me?

Is it possible you haven't noticed?

She loves you.

Isabella?

But I don't... I...

That's not true.

You always love those who love you.

I don't love anybody because nobody loves me.

I don't love you?

Yes... but only because I told you I loved you.

There's only person here who doesn't love you.

And that's you.

Go to her. She's completely alone now.

And you won't be alone?

Don't worry about me, Baron. I'm never alone for long.


It's my fault.

Your fault?

He thought I loved you.

Then... you don't.

He didn't know that I didn't want you.

You're a Baron, you're going to Court.

And now that he's gone...

my love is here.

You love Leandre?

Yes, I do.

I love Serafina, Madame Leonarda, Zerbina, Pulcinella and the Tyrant.

All of them.

Except me.

You're neither mad nor unhappy.

Unhappy?

Theater makes everyone happy, except those who do it.


Inside the caravan there was much sadness because poor Matamore was no longer with us.

But fortunately, we were hungry.

Fortunately?

Yes, because when you're hungry, you feel pain less.

Now I see why the poor are happier than the rich.

That's for the rich to say.

Anyway, half starved to death, we reached an inn: the Blue Sun & Sleeping Cockerel.

The owner was an old friend of the Tyrant, so she let us eat on credit.


Don't encroach on your neighbor, dash it!


The Marquis, looking younger than ever. We've missed you.

You'll see me more often. I'm wondering if hunting...

Please accept the gratitude of our Traveling Company of Scenic Arts, which is on its way to Paris.

I founded it and am its impresario and leading player.

Of all your countless merits, not least of your virtues is that of having found and welcomed into your cheerful, traveling caravan three goddesses such as these, capable of bringing Paris itself to a halt.

Four goddesses!

I had not looked up to see Juno, the goddess queen who sits at the apex of Olympus...

Master, that's not for you to do.

I apologize humbly for the fright that my dogs, excited by the hunt, caused you ladies.

Although fear written across the face of a beautiful woman is an often not unpleasant adornment that enhances grace and fragility.

If it pleases you, I can do it again.

Slut!

Comic instinct is not the prerogative of women.

Perhaps because they dread casting aside beauty for comic effect. Yet you are the exception.

And which parts do you like to play?

Pulcinella said it.

The crafty accomplice of her mistress who ensures that love triumphs.

Very interesting!

If your schedule permits, you might perform at my chateau for my guests.

It is but four leagues from here.

Well... that sounds feasible...

What do you all say? I think we can do it.

We are at his Lordship's service.

I'm delighted! I'll be able to admire you in one of your capers.

In our new show

"The Trickster of Seville"

Don Juan develops a fiery passion for me.

And who can blame him?

Idiot! Silly goose!

Bird brain!

Why on earth did you mention "The Trickster of Seville"?

Without poor Matamore, who will play the rival?

Who will do the Captain's saber-rattling?

We'll have to bow out.

It just came out, I wasn't thinking.

We can do The Indiscreet Confidante or Ring of Oblivion, Cardenius's Lovers...

No, no, as he left he said:

"Tomorrow we shall applaud your Don Juan."

Why don't I play Matamore's part?

So I must battle you.

Are you tall and thin? Can you handle a sword?

Yes, let's not be sacrilegious.

Now we'll sleep.

At dawn we'll press on to Paris, having cocked a shook at fifty gold louts.

Fifty louts!

And me!

I'm tall...

I'm thin and I can handle the sword.

You? Are you quite mad?

Not, but I'll become mad! With no acting experience, I'll be insulted by the audience and I'll be unhappy.

Master! Now that's quite enough.

He's not feeling well. He's eaten and he isn't used to it.

So obviously...

What's this "I'm tall, I'm thin..." Be quiet, boss!

You want to be a traveling performer like us?

A Romany, like our troupe? No, Baron.

Go to Paris, or it's farewell King, and farewell to me.

Never mind all this...

I'm talking, look at me!

This is important, what are you looking at?

You, Isabella, always fluttering your eyelashes!

Just leave him alone. I talk but he looks at her.

That's it, I've lost my master.

An actor, why not? Excellent!

Fine, so now the Baron's an actor!

Altogether now. "Be an actor!"

Blow, raging wind!

Howl your fury till your cheeks explode!

This is not for me, I'm not of the North!

"The invincible force and the fearsome sight...

"of my infallible sword..."

Use the script as a guide. You can improvise.

"I am ready to cut off...

"the heads of...

"One hundred and fifty barbarians of the Turkestan army."

"One hundred and fifty..."

I'll never manage. No, of course I will!

"Sound of trumpets..."

Zerbina, the canvas!

Come on, push!

My dear Duke. Marquis, how are you?

We were expecting you.

Well, here I am.

Marquis Nicolo.

Always a pleasure to see you.

If these are your pleasures, I don't envy you.

Always the soup tureen. It's improper.

As with all good things.

Marquise, let me kiss your hand.

Your sister's beauty never wanes.

Gone is the time when your lies could affect me.

Why did you call the Duke a liar?

I know why, and so does he.

Sit down, please.

May we begin?

Let us begin!


I can't do it, I can't do it!

Of course you can't, Baron.

Let's cut the part of Matamore. Who'll notice?

Sacrilege!

Our Baron is expected in Paris. Must we use him like this?

Drink this.

It's brandy.

Brandy! Baron, that's enough! A little more...

Don't drink it. Enough, Baron!

What is that object?

An optical instrument, the better to see. From Pisa.

Interesting.


What am I to do?

Now you ask me what to do! Wait a moment...

Here, you'll be better off in this. As if in a cupboard.

Any nobleman meeting you tomorrow won't recognize you.

I cannot breathe.

Breathe through your mouth, not your nose.

I can't speak!

Is it the mask? No, fear.

Fear, of course. I told you, forget it.

We'll manage, it isn't too late.

Now it is.

Bravo, Miss Zerbina!

Bravo!

Well, you wanted to do it, SO ON you go.

Incomparable! Thank you.

Quick!

I'm ashamed.

Do it, for me.

Will it be enough to make myself loved?

You already are. Now go!

They're so very graceful. And fine singers.

I can't do it. Go, go... on stage!

I was pushed!

My lines!

"Sound of trumpets! Fracas of guns! Signs of death!"

Signs of trumpets! Sound of guns!

Fracas of death! Here are the companions...

...of Captain... He's forgotten.

Matamore! Stop the fracas!

...of Captain Fracassa!

First among the... first warriors of the greatest renown...

With one blow from my infallible sword, I cut off the heads of a hundred... no...

Of fifty...

No. "A hundred and fifty barbarians of the Turkestan army."

"Of the Turkestan army."

Barbarians of the Kurdish navy!

To death!

To death!

To death! To death!

I am afraid of nobody!

Go on, Leandre!

Get on, keep it going!

To what do we owe this ill-mannered racket?

Ah, I see you have recognized me.

And now you will accuse me of dishonoring your betrothed.

Yes, exactly!

Then I am ready to give you satisfaction.

Fight!

Then you will say...

And will I say...?

"I shall fight in retreat."

Exactly! How does he know everything I'm going to say?

Fight, coward!

Unsheathe your sword!

I already have done.

Captain Mata... Captain Fracassa, I demand to cross swords with you.

Go ahead, I'll be your second!

He can improvise! Like all shy people.

And you didn't want him. He's good!

Yes, just as I feared.

Defend yourself, coward! Defend yourself!

Other adventures await me.

I am seized with a desire to conquer Thisbe!

I shall give she who saved me a zest for life.

Curtain!


It's beautiful! Was it built for your own personal use?

You may perform in this theater every night if you so please.

And I will be your sole spectator.

Would you like to see my chateau?

The kitchens too? Why not?

I have to recite my own part while watching the playacting of all the others.

Every ship needs its captain.

The young can look old and the old young and seductive.

Congratulations, etcetera.

Thank you, etcetera.

I dislike speaking in metaphors.

I never refer to home life as a "warm loaf of bread", or honor as a "priceless vase", or a shapely rump as a "beautiful guitar". I like clarity.

Well, in a way, I understand you.

On stage you are beautiful with dubious morals.

In real life you are just as beautiful.

But are your morals equally as dubious?

My, just listen to you.

I can put up with anything.

Would it tempt you to remain here for the rest of your life?

In return you would have a title.

For what it's worth.

Food and lodgings...

That said if you only last a year, I'll allow you 500 gold ecus.

One month, 100 ecus.

One week, 20.

One night only, 5.

Let's say 67

My, just listen to you.

As you already said.

Then let me put it another way.

You like clarity... I don't.

I adore metaphor.

I like my home life with the "milk of human kindness".

I mean... I like my bread buttered.

Let's get to the point.

I'm getting there.

Stick your ecus up your guitar!

And thus ended a love that could have been forever.

My Lady.

My Lord.


How long have you been there?

My God, the shame!

You've nothing to be ashamed of, I assure you.

Get out!

You've no place here.

How can you judge me, without knowing me better?

I wish to neither judge you nor know you.

If you don't leave immediately I'll call for help.

But what are you afraid of?

Not my strength.

I won't use it on you.

Perhaps you fear your weakness?

Do I have any hope?

None.

Your conduct... is shameful.

You astonish me.

A duke...

Yes, a duke... thunderstruck... with bedazzlement before you.

But still a duke.

You've been warned.

Here goes...

Help! Help!

Sir, I demand satisfaction!

Good Lord, what's going on?

What's all this? What happened, my friend?

I don't know. I believe this stripling, although in the wrong, seeks satisfaction.

Perhaps he will have it.

No, Excellentissime! You wish to fight this kid?

I hear you're the premier swordsman in France.

He's unworthy of you. A simple actor.

You didn't recognize him without the mask.

He was on stage, being kicked! Anyway, it's over now.

Yes, perhaps you are right.

I'll let my men attend to him.

Or perhaps not.

Let's pretend this farce ended with the comical anger of a vile dandy.

Take him away.

I am Jean-Luc Henri Camille, Baron of Sigognac.

My family is at least two centuries older than the Vallombrosas, only recently titled.

As for your ancestors, Duke, the Sigognacs always had precedence.


Bravo! Did you see his face when he realized who you were?

He soon cleared off!

Boss, you're a baron... and must act like one.

And you're a valet, and valets don't intervene!

They don't dare!

You're beautiful, Baron.

I love it when you treat me badly!

Bravo! Now you're a real boss.

Angry, authoritarian and stupid, like all bosses!

All's well that ends well. Now for dinner!


"To the chateau? To do what?" "Be the Marquise," he said.

"Don't be angry," I said, "but I'm leaving with them."

He insisted. "Sleep on it."

"Give me your answer tomorrow morning."

But you're the one I love.

Did you see how good the boar's head pâté was?

And the pistachio soup. But the kitchens here are good.

I want to be with you, to go to Paris with you.

Honestly... wouldn't it bother you if I stayed here with him?

It would bother me a little, yes. I feel a bit...

Tomorrow I might feel different.

Don't be angry with me, you know what I'm like.

I change my mind, I can't be trusted in matters like this.

I'm only happy with you, Pulcinella.

Happy...

Maybe you'll be happy.

Here you might be unhappy but... at least you'll be comfortable.

Is it better to be happy or comfortable?

It's better to be comfortable.

When you're comfortable... it can last a lifetime, whereas happiness...

We all know what it's like.

And yet...

And yet?

I want to live with you!

Zerbina.

Stop it, Zerbina.

Zerbina, you and I were born subjects.

We have to bow down.

When will you have another chance to play the marquise?

To have a mistress's room, a mistress's bed?

With mattresses.

A silent woolen mattress. Stop, Zerbina!

Real furs in winter, nice, fresh clothes in summer...

Nightgowns of silk...

Not like this one... of scratchy cloth.

He'll treat you well, he's a good man.

Very good.

And he's not so ugly. On the contrary.

No, not ugly at all. You'll be fine.

Just fine.

And I'll visit you whenever I'm round here.

And me...

I'll always lay on a grand meal.

And so you gave up the love of Zerbina... for love?

Love?

Who said anything about...?

For your information, I've never loved anything or anybody.

I love pizza with figs on it, and even then...

How is he?

Anyone been seen coming yet? No one.

You're still hoping? Meanwhile the kid just gets worse.

No, thank you.

Who are you expecting?

A doctor is meant to be coming. A really good one.

A specialist in wounds from duels.

Duel, what duel?

Didn't you tell me that the Duke refused the Baron's challenge and calmly left Isabella's room?

Well, he... And no one talks to me that way, OK?

You seemed to be saying... If 1| want to speak, I'll speak.

On leaving the Marquis de Gruyere's chateau in the morning, Sigognac was nowhere to be found. Same for Isabella.

What happened? What happened?

Well, what happened was... at dawn, Isabella... woke up with a sudden start.

Because she suddenly remembered something from an old farce by her uncle Matamore.

When he had to fight a duel with a nobleman without people noticing, he doffed his hat with his left hand.

Why the left hand, not the right?

Gentlemen's codes. Anyway, no matter...

It must be a Spanish tradition.

Yes, if you say so.

I don't know but it's a stupid tradition.

It has cost the life of many a gentleman who had the misfortune to be left-handed. Anyway...

But that's not the issue.

Isabella is the issue for us.

At dawn... she remembered that the Duke de Vallombrosa had greeted the Baron de Sigognac by doffing his hat with his left hand.

She gasped!


If you prove your intelligence, despite your nobility, and beg my pardon, I will spare your life.

No, this duel is not over!


So"?

Do what you must.

No! Stop!

What are you doing here? This is no place for you.

Show him some mercy.

I have, several times. For me, the duel is over.

Not for me!

See? I have to run him through or this farce will never end!

Give up, for me! Never! Go!

You, give up!

Me? And for what reason?

You're stronger.

The strong ceding to the weak? That would be a first!

You would have my gratitude!

Gratitude is a plant that bears no fruit.

What if I stayed with you?

Be quiet!

You'd only be doing it to save his life.

His, yes, but ours too.

If one of us was dead, what would the other do?

Do what you have to! Finish the duel!

I will come with you.

Finish this duel!

Isabella!


Duke, if you're a man, come back.

You're a coward, Duke!

I'll stop you... I'll stop you!

He remained there for hours in the downpour.

By the time I found him, the Baron had already lost a demijohn of blood.


It was only for a moment, but I thought it.

When Pulcinella came back with you, wounded and wailing, "Serves him right," I thought.

"That'll teach him to chase after that silly goose."

Ah, young man whom I loved so.

The pain you've caused me.

You wanted to make Serafina suffer too.

"Delayed revenge for her," you thought... with the cruelty of youth.

Perhaps I'm the perfidious one.

Instead of sympathizing with your plight, I only sympathized with my own.

What does she have that I don't?

Perhaps it's just that you don't know her well.

Serafina, as everyone knows... is apt to laugh all night and weep all day.

But what about Isabella?

Is she really so naive?

Does she not have two faces, like the rest of us?

In real life is she not as she is as an actress?

I'm always whining, I even bore myself.

That's because I'm so afraid.

Only fifteen years hence I'll be fifty.

Dawn already.

And everything begins to end again.

Very cheerful!

How is he?

Stable.

Like you.

Serafina, a lifetime ago, I heard you say you were old.

You heard me? I was delirious with hunger.

Hunger! It always gets the blame.

Complaints, meanness, crime...

Who's to blame? Poor hunger!

What if it's true? True?

It would be true if those who aren't hungry behaved well.

Sadly it isn't the case.

Hey, don't be like that.

Poor young thing.

People often say to me "poor thing"".

Never "young", though.

Oh, you spout nonsense, Serafina!?

You always weigh what people say, what people do.

Just let it ride!

Who's that mumbling?

It's us, Mr. Tyrant. We're rehearsing.

Do it outside.

They already are outside.

Inside, then. And get some sleep!

Will he make it?

It might have been better if he'd never met us.

Better for him, and for us.

Pulcinella, is that your hand?

You know you're very cute.

You too.

Now it's your hand too. Oh, sorry.

No, carry on. Where does it say we always have to suffer?

Suffer?

It's different for men. The years aren't so hard on you.

When you're young...

Pulcinella... Pulcinella!

You young actors are so static. You don't project yourselves.

With all due respect, you're exaggerating.

Am I? With just one wave of my hand...

See? You overdo the hand movements.

To work! You overdo the hands.

Resistance is useless!

Here we go again.

One false move and my bloodthirsty band will unleash a hail of bullets!

Agostino!

The same ones again? I told you.

Where is the beautiful lady?

In the caravan.

What are you cooking? Boiled grass.

Good!

Pobrecito!

What's wrong?

A beautiful lady like you, crying?

Listen...

Do you want your necklace back?

Do you?

But...

Are you sure?

On the word of The Implacable One.

He can even cure skeletons.

The greatest sawbones alive. He has wells of science.

I could fetch him, it isn't far. Five or six hours there and back.

Then go!

Yes...

Only...

Only what?

The money... unless he gets muchisima money, the sawbones doesn't move.

How much is muchisima?

Why?

I need to know.

100 or 200 ecus... that's his price.

While schemers and the favored wear cloths of gold, artists have coats with holes, but through those holes may be glimpsed virtue and honor.

What did he say?

He said we haven't got a bean.

I'll be right back.

He says he knows a doctor who can cure anything.

Alright, I admit, let's suppose...

Would you... give money to these people?

If I had any I would.

Of course, so would I, but they'd have to be good people.

But them... I'd give them money only he's a bandit and she's a girl bandit.

You know what he calls himself? The Implacable One.

Would you trust your money with a man called The Implacable One?

I'd do it anyway.


I have a hundred gold ecus here.

A hundred gold ecus?

Give it to him, because I cannot.

His servant gave it to me.

"Lead the Baron," he said...

"to a better life".

Looks like I did a fine job.

100 gold ecus.

I'll do my best... Kid!

Take the horse.

That one? No, thanks!

So, did he take it?

What a question. 100 ecus, of course he did!

By way of thanks, Serafina gave me a kiss.

What about the bandit?

The bandit? Five hours he said and it's been three days.

Have you seen any sawbones? Any men of science?

Any bandits and girl bandits with muchisima money?

No. Me neither.

Now you've heard the whole tale, all that's happened this past year until this morning when we met.

Pulcinella!

Look who's coming!

The great sawbones!


Well, your Excellency?

What's the diagnosis? It's sort of my line.

The night must pass.

Hey, Implacable One, Did you give him all the ecus?

Every last one of them. Word of honor.

Well, I'll get going.

At this hour?

I prefer to.

The roads seem cleaner at night.

You wouldn't rather wait and see whether he recovers?

No, thank you.

I'm sure that this unfortunate man will soon be back on his feet.

You really are very kind.

Do you have family?

No. In my job I must travel.

Yes, same in ours.

If I had my time again, who knows?

Perhaps I would choose yours.

For all the good it would do you!

Farewell, Pulcinella. Farewell.

Always keep your oxen clean.

Don't worry.

Use a fine-tooth comb.

Bury the excrement!

Yes, yes. Farewell.

And boil up your socks at least once a week!

That's all we need.

Lucky charms...

Lucky charms...

For having committed with his gang of bandits, all of them fugitives of justice, numerous thefts, attacks, assaults and ambushes at various times in various places, along the highways and byways, to the detriment of the defenseless subjects of King Louis XIII, in accordance with the judgment of the Royal Court of Justice, the accused, Agostino Feera de Collas, known as The Implacable One, is hereby condemned to die before the people here gathered by means of the wheel... until his life expires.

Lucky charms...

The knife... Give me the flick knife.


My love...

He opened his eyes!

Master... My master!

He wishes to speak.

Master!

He wants to say something.

So let's listen, shall we?

He cannot.

Say, "Where am I?"

Where am I?

You're here, Master.

Say "My friends"... Can't you keep quiet?

I want to help! Mind your own business.

My friends...

You're here, Master.

You're turning all pale, as usual.

Don't interrupt!

Leandre...

Mr. Tyrant...

Madame...

Pulcinella...

Serafina.

Matamore is missing.

As well as... Zerbina.

And Isabella is missing.

Idiot, you reminded him!

And Isabella.

In my delirium I was disoriented.

I kept living and re-living my whole life.

And other lives too, scenes of love, death, nightmares...

I want to write! He wants to write...

A great drama!

A comedy!

Wonderful roles for all.

Parchment... ink... and quick quill!

Parchment, sink and quill! Parchment, think and pill!

Parchment, ink and quill!

Title...

I don't remember.

It'll come.

Act One.

Full stop. New line.

Opening scene.

Isabella is prisoner at my castle in Vallerbosa.

Leandre, the lisp...

I-th-abella is pri-th-oner at Vallerbo-tha...

Where she will remain till she surrenders.

Duke!

Love cannot be won by force.

Another love has me by a long chain.

How long? To whom?

Good, Serafina. Good, Leandre.

Now, Mr. Tyrant.

On stage, the old duke, father of the Duke of Vallerbosa.

You enter while I'm in a duel with your son the Duke.

He's safe, thank the Lord.

Unsheathe your sword! I have no weapon, my Lord!

Fight! Yes, I will fight!

Coward!

A duel! Desist!

Father, save me! Who challenges my son?

Father, Duke, meet Captain Fracassa.

Captain Carcass!

No. Fracassa.

But Carcass is funnier.

But you're not comical at first.

I'm the director! And I, the author!

I've been acting for 50 years!

Well, it's too long! You must say: FRA-CA-SSA!

The boy has changed!

CAR-CASS!

Oh, forget it, then!

And ill-tempered too.

So be it, then... Captain Fracassa, show me the locket!

Locket?

You know how it works in duels.

In the end we learn that you're the brother of my own son and she's the sister of my own daughter.

So let's see your lockets bearing the effigies of your mothers.

Show your lockets...

Whose face is this?

Who is this child, Miss?

My poor mother, abandoned by the gentleman who dishonored her.

She died in childbirth.

Then you...

Thus began my misfortunes.

A bleak future, unloved... a facility to cry, heavy ankles...

Sorry, that's not in the script!

She's improvising!

Improvising? She's been giving us that for thirty years!

Take it from "abandoned".

Abandoned by the gentleman who dishonored her.

She died in childbirth.

Then you... you...

O God, that gentleman, to his eternal disgrace, is me.

Daughter of my heart!

Father of my heart!!

Lisabella, my sister!

Then you, Duke, are my brother!

My cousin! Grandfather!

My mother! Mama!

My son!

Quicker! My brother!

Son of my heart!

But what a sordid family!

My son!

Here, Act Two ends.

Curtain!

It's me who says "curtain". Then say it.

Isabella! Is it you? Serafina!

Why are you hiding? I don't want to see anybody.

Anybody?

How elegant you are!

May I?

How beautiful!

I'll never have such beautiful hair.

Or be so well dressed.

I came here fearing the worst.

Two days ago, a health inspector came to Vallombrosa.

He said he'd met you.

Ah, yes... a tedious man but very sweet.

He told me Sigognac's life was hanging by a thread.

The Duke told me I must come here to see how he was.

A nice gesture.

How cruel is love!

Love given and not returned, love received and not returned.

And those who don't know who to love.

Act Three: wedding preparations.

Read your lines.

Mr. Tyrant, read.

I can't see in this light.

You read, Madame.

I read the black signs too?

Leandre?

Well, to be perfectly honest...

Let's be clear, Baron. No one here can read.

We always learn lines by heart. Only Matamore could read.

Fetch the sheets. That would be better.

I'll read it. I can read.

You, get some rest.

Go to the spring, there's a surprise for you.

What is it?

It's a surprise!

So Isabella is back?

New suffering. Happy, Serafina?

Fuck off.

A... C... T...

O... O... One.

Three.

End of Act Three.

You've changed.

You are more beautiful.

Our story isn't like you depict it.

Is something missing?

Our suffering.

It's all there, masked in ridicule.

A story without pain isn't funny.

Must we always laugh? We all want to laugh.

We make everyone laugh. Except the Duke.

One must respect a duke.

Is that it?

No, Sigognac.

Then the Duke has no lisp?

He's handsome, strong and generous?

Yes.

To prove it, he allows you to visit the clowns.

You are mad, Sigognac.

I admit it.

But not mad with love.

You now love theater.

While you no longer love it.

I never really loved it.

I loved the one who loved it.

In a patronizing way.

For you, dreams are beautiful only if they come true.

How intelligent these barons are!

Seven.

You have seven rings.

Now listen, Baron Sigognac.

That man refuses to try to kiss me until |1 tell him I love him.

I will never be so noble.

You're such a pig.

Thank you! Only an actor could be a ham.

Slap me.

Why?

Matamore always did it, to stop me crying.


...and child-ren.

Why do you want to cry?

Because we don't love each other anymore.

Yes.

We were sweet.

Duke, I...

You must follow your destiny.

Mine is not to be happy. Follow yours.

I wanted to say... Now the tears.

I didn't want to see them again. That's why I brought you here.

You won't see them again, Francois. They're the last ones.

All... those... present... should... help.


"When Pulcinella, dressed as a priest...

"...was officiating..."

First love always triumphs, Baron. Or was it the second?

You're apt to create a lot of confusion!

We leave immediately! We'll rehearse on the way.

We set off for Paris. Paris awaits us!

Do you know the way?

We know it... yes we do.

The King's been waiting for a year now.

Paris awaits Melopemene and Thalia!

Give me the script, I need to check it.

Baron, forget the text.

Prepare to meet Louis XIII. He'll change your life and mine.

Paris, city of human joy that all roads lead to, springboard for every artist!

Sire, here is the sword that Enrique de Navarra, your august father, gave as recognition to my father after he had saved the life during the Siege of Paris.

Here to pay homage to you too is my sweet wife.

Here to serve you, Majesty.

The prince of Vallerbosa, his father...

And I to... serve you, Sire!

And my faithful servant Pulcinella.

Majestic Majesty, my Lord, Sire!

Sovereign of sovereigns...

Oh, I don't like him!

Sire, before giving to my boss glory, honor and property.

I want to clarify that I am entitled to 5 of everything: five meals per day, five shirts, five pairs of shoes...

Where exactly did your father save the life of mine?

The Siege of Paris. Five meals...

My father? He never took part!

He came after the battle. After?

Be that as it may, this sword did not belong to him.

No, Papa's sword! What is this imposture?

You told us the King would be waiting for us.

Impatiently!

And anxiously!

Sire, were you not waiting for us impatiently and anxiously?

I, for you? By God!

Not on your life!

Sire...

Frankly, I'm flabbergasted.

Then, Pulcinella, it's all made up!

Your valet Pietro told me.

Pietro? Yes!

No! No... Yes!

I have something to tell you.

Good or bad, my Fracassino?

Horrible, my little wife.

Over the years, poor Pietro went soft in the head.

Soft in the head?

He even collected fake ecus he found here and there.

Fake ecus? Among scrap metal.

Fake ecus?

I'm going to faint...

I'm going to faint!

Now I'm fainting.

I want to faint! Let me faint!

I'm fainting!


Subtitles - Kevin Smith for ECLAIR