The
 Vincent

PEREZ
Archives

Italy/France

1990

132 minutes

Aka: The Voyage of Captain Fracassa and Le Voyage du Capitaine Fracasse

Synopsis: Captain Fracassa's Journey is set in 18th century France and follows the Traveling Company of Scenic Arts, a group of extremely poor but very ambitious performers who are on their way to Paris. They hope to impress Louis XIII, get employed, and have better lives.

A massive storm, however, forces the performers to take shelter in a crumbling castle. Pietro, the only servant there, introduces them to the owner of the castle, Jean-Luc Henri Camille, Baron of Sigognac (Vincent Perez), who, like his guests, is totally broke. A few hours later, after the Baron of Sigognac falls asleep, Pietro begs the performers to save his master from the solitude and misery of the castle and take him with them to Paris. The Baron of Sigognac, Pietro explains, will help them get employed, because years ago his reckless father had the merit of saving the life of Henri IV, father of Louis XIII, during the Siege of Paris. King Louis XIII will embrace as a brother the son of his father's savior and restore to him all his goods and properties as well as pride and dignity. In the morning, the Traveling Company of Scenic Arts and the Baron of Sigognac leave the castle.

Soon after, Serafina and Isabella fall madly in love with the Baron of Sigognac. The more direct Serafina spends more time with him, but it is Isabella who loves him more. Meanwhile, after Matamore tragically dies, the Baron of Sigognac decides to take his place and become a performer.

Production Notes:

Filming began on February 12, 1990 and lasted sixteen weeks. Production took place at Italy's Cincettia where the largest soundstage in Europe was used. The exteriors in the film were erected in wood, resin and plastic. The trees were twelve feet tall with trunks measuring four feet in diameter.

Blu-ray.com review:  
Based on Théophile Gautier's novel, Captain Fracassa's Journey is an excellent film that blends fantasy and reality in a way that should make it appeal to both children and adults. The film is colorful and very entertaining but at the same time tackling various social issues with a degree of seriousness which other similarly themed period films typically lack.

The film essentially tells two different love stories. In the first, Serafina and Isabella fall in love with the handsome Baron and he is forced to choose one of them. In the second, the Baron falls in love with theater and becomes a different man. There is an interesting twist at the end of the film that brings the two stories together.

The cast is truly excellent. Perez, who in 1990 also appeared in Jean-Paul Rappeneau's "Cyrano de Bergerac" (1990), is terrific as the naive and often clueless Baron. Beart and Muti, both looking gorgeous, are also outstanding, especially during the second half of the film where they undergo important character transformations. Troisi, a truly great Italian actor who most American viewers probably remember from his last film, Michael Radford's charming "Il Postino" (1994), is also excellent as Pulcinella.

Cast:

Vincent Perez................Baron de Sigognac Emmanuelle Beart...........Isabella Massimo
Massimo
Troisi............................Pulcinelli
Ornella Muti.................................Serafina
Lauretta Masiero................Lady Leonarde
Massico Wertmuller......................Leandre
Jean-Francois Perrier.................Matamore
Tosca d' Aquino............................Zerbina

Credits:

Directed by............................Ettore Scola
Screenplay by....................Ettore Scola &
Fulvio Octaviano
Based on the book Le Capitaine Fracasse
by Theophile Gautier
Cinematograhy by..............Luciano Tovoli
Music by..................... Armando Trovajoli

Release date:

Italy on October 31, 1990
France on May 8, 1991

Awards/Nominations:

In 1991 it received the David di Donatello Award for Best Cinematography and Best Production Design. It was also nominated for a Golden Bear Award at the Berlin International Film Festival.

 

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