period: Madame Du Barry

Madame Du Barry

After the death of his mistress, Madame de Pompadour, King Louis XV of France has no plans to fall in love again. But then he becomes madly infatuated with Madame Du Barry (Dolores del Rio).

Established as his mistress she orders him around, enraging the court with her extravagant demands. The Duc de Choiseul, the Prime Minister of France, tries to prevent Du Barry from being formally presented at court, going so far as to have her wig and gown stolen. Not to be outdone Du Barry appears in court in her nightgown and then conspires at Choiseul’s disgrace.

When Marie Antoinette arrives to marry the Dauphin, Louis asks Du Barry to talk to his son about sex. This enrages Marie Antoinette who demands that Du Barry be expelled from court. The trouble upsets Louis so much that he falls ill. Du Barry nurses him through his illness, but is imprisoned in an abbey when he dies and the Dauphin becomes king.

This movie has been described – accurately – as ‘much more a sex farce and comedy of manners than historical epic’. It’s none the worse for that, and far more enjoyable than many pretentious historical movies.

The makeup

I have no makeup credits for this movie.