Home
NEW TODAY
SCRIPT CONTESTS
FREE EVENTS
WATCH MOVIES
NEW MOVIES
FESTIVAL VIDEOS
PICTURES
READ POETRY
MOVIE SCENES
SUBMIT your FILM
POETRY CONTEST
DAILY PODCASTS
WATCH FREE FILMS
THE LAST RITE
2010 MOVIES
ACTORS
ACTRESSES
DIRECTORS
MOVIES by YEAR
FILM FRANCHISES
MOVIE GENRES
NOTES and IDEAS
WATCH VIRAL
GET OUR E-ZINE!
CONTACT US
TOP 100 Sex
FAQ
2011 MOVIES

Subscribe To This Site
XML RSS
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines
 

LES VISITEURS, 1993
Movie Review

SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCREENPLAY
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!
NEW MOVIE REVIEWSNEW MOVIE REVIEWS
Read Today's POSTED REVIEWS
TOP 100TOP 100 LISTS WEBSITE
Best of photos, movies, sex and everything else!
movie trailersMOVIE TRAILERS
SEE the UPCOMING films. Plus reviews!
CLICK and WATCH MOVIES ONLINE!

WATCH today's TOP SHORT FILMS
EXPLORE and WATCH the TOP PAGES on THE NET!!
wildcardWATCH the best of WILDCARD PICTURES!
wildcardWATCH - BEAUTIFUL short film!
wildcardWATCH - NOSTALGIA short film!
wildcardWATCH - EMBEDDED short film!
wildcardWATCH - YARDSALE short film!
wildcardWATCH - THE AUDITION short film!
wildcardWATCH - THE ADDICT short film!
wildcardWATCH - 48 short film!
wildcardWATCH - DIM SUM OF ITS PARTS short film!
wildcardWATCH - START TO FINISH classic 8min. short film!
wildcardLISTEN TO DAILY ENTERTAINMENT PODCASTS!
TOP 100 MOVIESTOP 100 MOVIE PAGES
WATCH and SEE the best of film!
TOP 100 SEXTOP 100 SEX PAGES
WATCH and SEE the best of sex pages online!
NAKED SCENESWATCH the TOP 100 SEX VIDEOS on the NET!
SEE the best of sex online!!
WATCH MOVIESWATCH Today's MOVIES
Best of NEW films on the NET!
TOP 100 MOVIESTOP 100 MOVIES of ALL-TIME
See the best of film!
DIRECTORTOP 100 DIRECTORS of ALL-TIME
SEE THE LIST. Reviews, Photos and Scenes!
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCRIPTS
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!

LES VISITEURS MOVIE POSTER
LES VISITEURS, 1993
Movie Reviews

Directed by Jean-Marie Poiré
Starring Christian Clavier, Jean Reno, Valerie Remercier, Marie-Anne Chazel
Review by Leslie McMurtry



SYNOPSIS:

Godefroy, Count of Montmirail, and his servant Jacquasse, are mistakenly catapulted by a wizard’s spell from the 12th century into the late 20th, with disastrous results. Godefoy and Jacquasse must try to find their way back to the Middle Ages, which is complicated when Godefoy meets his descendent, the wife of a dentist, and Jacquasse his, a loathsome nouveau-riche hotelier.

CLICK HERE and watch 2009 MOVIES FOR FREE!

REVIEW:

Les Visiteurs, or The Visitors in English, is one of my favorite French comedies. It is the complete opposite, however, in tone from my favorite French dramas. The film is incredibly silly and requires a massive suspension of belief, so much so that its imaginative premise can hardly be called science fiction. The film opens in 1103, when we meet our hero, the French knight Godefoy the Hardy (Jean Reno), the Count of Montmirail and devoted retainer of King Louis the Fat. We also meet Jacquasse, (Christian Clavier) Godefoy’s humble vassal. To reward Godefoy for his loyal service, the King grants him leave to collect his lady love Frenegonde (Valerie Remercier) from her father’s castle and marry her, knowing Godefoy’s supreme desire for descendents. On the way to the castle, Godefoy and his knights capture a witch. Unfortunately, the sorceress bewitches Godefoy into shooting Frenegonde’s father with his crossbow. Desperate to make amends and marry Frenegonde, Godefoy employs the wizard Eusabius to send him back in time to prevent the tragedy.

Unfortunately, the potion propels Godefoy and Jacquasse forward in time (circa 1992). Initially dumbfounded by modern technology—knight and vassal attack a postal vehicle as “Satan’s chariot”—Godefoy seeks refuge in his castle’s chapel, while Jacquasse is separated and meets Ginette (Marie-Anne Chazel), a flamboyant street performer/bag lady.

Béatrice (Valerie Remercier), the current Countess of Montmirail, is summoned to her family’s chapel to deal with Godefoy, whom everyone assumes is a lunatic in costume. Godefoy, having seen a calendar, has understood he has been transported to the future, though his violent conduct causes him to be locked up in an asylum. Béatrice, having second thoughts, wonders if Godefoy is her long-lost cousin Hubert and along with her dentist husband Jean-Pierre, she bails Godefoy out. Béatrice feels an immediate connection, not realizing Godefoy is her great-great-great-great-grandfather! Ginette leads Jacquasse to Béatrice’s house, where the knight and vassal reunite.

At the castle, Jacques-Henri Jacquart (Christian Clavier), the owner who has turned it into a hotel, is managing a conference with the bankers Bernay and Bernay. When Bernay suffers a toothache, Jacquart phones for Jean-Pierre’s emergency assistance as Béatrice and her long-suffering husband try to make Godefoy and Jacquasse feel at home. Despite the fact Jacquasse sets Béatrice’s umbrella on fire, causes the toilet to overflow, and pours a 6,000 franc bottle of Chanel in the bath, Béatrice and Jean-Pierre keep the medieval men under control long enough for Jacquart to visit. As Jacquart and Jacquasse are virtually identical, everyone goes on believing they are brothers.

Godefoy’s mission, as he tells Jacquasse, is to get to the castle’s dungeon, concoct Eusabius’ potion and get back to the 12th century. In the meantime they must both pretend that Godefoy is Cousin Hubert. More and more outrageous situations follow, as Jacquasse finds buried treasure and transforms himself and Ginette into tawdry millionaires. Jacquart must manage the Bernay conference which is quickly spiralling out of control as Godefoy has to get to the dungeon despite all obstacles. Any ridiculous situation you could possibly think of when 12th century visitors wreak havoc on the 20th century is explored in this film.

Christian Clavier plays both the stupid and crass but extremely funny and somehow still loveable Jacquasse. He also plays the arrogant, petty Jacquart, distinguishing the two by playing Jacquasse with a stoop and a messy hairdo, trolling in peasants’ duds and covered in the dirt you’d expect of a medieval serf—Jacquart wears blazers of screaming colors and one of the funniest moments of the film is when medieval magic destroys Jacquart’s brand new Range Rover in a blaze of supernatural lightning. However, the viewer should not ignore the fact that Clavier wrote the film along with the director Jean-Marie Poiré. The film certainly plays to his strengths, buffoonery with a touch of class satire. Ginette’s wry commentary on Béatrice as lady of the manor, the fact that the nouveau-riche Jacquart now owns the Montmirail ancestral home (which Godefoy finds detestable), and the contrast between eccentric Béatrice and the long-suffering Jean-Pierre, the “peasant,” bring the hint of subtext to the madcap proceedings.

Clavier does much to bring the film together, especially when playing scenes against himself, but the other leads’ contributions should not be overlooked. Jean Reno is one of France’s most prolific actors and has a string of English-language film credits as well; he usually plays hard-bitten police officers or crooks. To see him in a comic role is a treat for the connoisseur and an amusement for the uninitiated. Valerie Remercier also is very good in her dual roles, as the over-the-top Frenegonde in medieval get-up, and the completely silly Béatrice, who clearly wears the pants in the family. It’s a testament to the actors that scenes between Godefoy and his “youngling” Béatrice contain some amount of tenderness despite the utter lunacy required of them by the plot.

It is impossible to ignore the fact the film is of its time (no pun intended)—its attempts to send up Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves are partially successful (the mock-heroic musical theme for Godefoy is contrasted with a rock soundtrack when he finds himself besieged by train, plane, and automobile). Less successful (and a somewhat baffling addition) are the transformative scenes (when the 12th century visitors go to the 20th century and then back again) and the crass and somewhat unnecessary opening. Still, when Godefoy and Jacquasse approach the mailman’s jeep and destroy it with sword and club, I’m reminded of a similar scene with trolls in New York in NBC’s miniseries The 10th Kingdom.

The humor in The Visitors is not sophisticated. It is outrageous and slapstick. The translators have done a fine job of conveying the humor implied when the medieval characters use Old French vocabulary, adding another layer of amusement. I dare you not to laugh.

SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCREENPLAY
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!
NEW MOVIE REVIEWSNEW MOVIE REVIEWS
Read Today's POSTED REVIEWS
MOVIE KILLSEE 1000s of PICTURES
Best of photos, images and pics
MOVIE YEARMOVIES YEAR BY YEAR
Pages from 1900 to present


Les Visiteurs


footer for Les Visiteurs page