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Taking of power by Louis XIV

Call Number



Full screen version.


French dialogue with optional English subtitles.


Jean-Marie Patte, Raymond Jourdan, Silvagni, Katharina Renn, Dominique Vincent, Pierre Barrat, Fernand Fabre, Françoise Ponty, Joelle Laugeois.

Publication Information

[Irvington, NY] : Criterion Collection, [2009]

Physical Description

1 videodisc (94 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.


Not rated.


Cardinal Mazarin dies in 1661. The young Louis asserts his intention to govern as well as rule. Mazarin's fiscal advisor, Colbert, warns against Fouquet, who wants to be prime minister and is looting the treasury. Fouquet believes Louis will soon tire of exercizing power and overplays his hand. Louis' mistress reports this to the king who arrests Fouquet. Louis and Colbert design a brilliant strategy to keep merchants making money, nobles in debt, the urban poor working and fed, and peasants untaxed. Years later, in a coda, Louis exercises the power of the sun.


Originally produced for television in 1966.

Special features: New, restored digital transfer; "Taking power:" a multimedia essay by Tag Gallagher; "The last utopia:" a documentary about Rossellini's late career; video interview with artistic advisor Jean Dominique de la Rochefoucauld and script supervisor Michelle Podroznik; video interview with Renzo Rossellini; a new essay by critic Colin MacCabe.

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