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Lady Oscar

French filmmaker Jacques Demy has given this international project, delving into French history, an opulent, posey, disarming naivete in keeping with its adaptation from a very popular Japanese comic strip [Rose of Versailles by Riyoko Ikeda], also a stage show in Japan.

With:
Catriona Maccoll Barry Stokes Christina Bohm Jonas Bergstrom Terence Budd Constance Chapman

French filmmaker Jacques Demy has given this international project, delving into French history, an opulent, posey, disarming naivete in keeping with its adaptation from a very popular Japanese comic strip [Rose of Versailles by Riyoko Ikeda], also a stage show in Japan.

The film has a historical charm that recalls the innocence of early Hollywood epics. Story takes place in 19th century France where a girl is brought up like a boy by her noble martinet father fed up with a long line of girls. She becomes the bodyguard of the flighty queen of France, Marie Antoinette, and wears a man’s uniform and is known as Oscar. The girl grew up with the family housekeeper’s son. The latter loves her but she sees him only as a brother. This is to change as France heads for revolution.

The unknown British cast is acceptable. Catriona Maccoll is worth further attention for her lovely limning of Oscar, a woman waiting to burst out of a man’s clothing.

Film has fine art direction, costuming, music and technical qualities. The actual attack on the Bastille is a bit pithy for the reported $4 million outlay. Shooting on actual location in Versailles is an asset.

Lady Oscar

Japan

Production: Kitty Music. Director Jacques Demy; Producer Mataichiro Yamamoto; Screenplay Jacques Demy, Patricia Louisiana Knop; Camera Jean Penzer; Editor Paul Davies; Music Michel Legrand; Art Director Bernard Evein

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1979. Running time: 122 MIN.

With: Catriona Maccoll Barry Stokes Christina Bohm Jonas Bergstrom Terence Budd Constance Chapman

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