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The Taking of Power by Louis XIV [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [French] [1966]
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Special Features

  • Taking Power, a multimedia essay by Tag Gallagher, author of The Adventures of Roberto Rossellini
  • Video interview with artistic adviser Jean-Dominique de La Rochefoucauld and script supervisor Michelle Podroznik
  • Video interview with second-unit director Renzo Rossellini, Roberto's son
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Plus: A new essay by critic Colin MacCabe


La Prise du Pouvoir par Louis XIV
Given the opportunity to turn out a Sacha Guitry-style spectacle, director Roberto Rossellini charts his own neorealist course for The Rise of Louis XIV. It's as if a documentary cameraman was let loose in the royal court of the 17th Century Sun King, here played by Jean-Marie Patte. The use of unfamiliar actors in the major roles adds to the film's realism. Though shown to be the product of a decadent lifestyle, Louis is depicted as being trapped by his royalty, forced in spite of himself to be a raconteur and trendsetter. The Rise of Louis XIV was one of several innovative films made for French television by the Italian Rossellini. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

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    Jean-Marie Patte - Louis XIV
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    Raymond Jourdan - Jean Baptiste Colbert
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    Katharina Renn - Queen Mother
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    Silvagni - Cardinal Mazarin
  • Image coming soon
    Pierre Barrat - Nicolas Fouquet
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.