Folie des Grandeurs, La (1971, FRA/SPA/ITA/GER) C-103m. ** D: Gérard Oury. Starring Louis de Funès, Yves Montand, Alice Sapritch, Karin Schubert, Alberto de Mendoza, Venantino Venantini, Gabriele Tinti, Paul Préboist, Sal Borgese, Leopoldo Trieste, Frank Brana, Alngel Alvarez, Fernando Bilbao. One of French comedian de Funès' rarest films is a slight disappointment: In this adaptation of a Victor Hugo story he plays a Minister of Finance (later he would be equally greedy as L'AVARE), who gets ousted by his (German) queen in 17th century Spain. He returns with a plan to make his valet Montand (strangely miscast) a count, who the queen should fall in love with. Complicated, not always funny, though de Funès gives a full-blooded performance. Filmed partly on the sets of the Spanish/Italian spaghetti westerns with elements of the western, which makes this costume comedy even stranger. Photographed by Henri Decae. English title: DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR.

© Ron Altman