Europa Cinema > 15:45


Jean Renoir
Introduced by

Caterina D’Amico 


Thursday 29/06/2023


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

A troupe of Italian actors arrive in a South American Spanish colony that is at war with the Indigenous people. As always with Renoir, this is a reflection on human displacement. But here the displacement is experienced to its fullest by the pivotal character of Camille. It is the portrait of an actress who realises that, strangely, the more successful she becomes (on stage), the more unsuccessful she is (off stage) […]. Alongside Limelight, this is certainly the most beautiful  film about the actor’s vocation.

André Téchiné, “Cahiers du cinema”, no. 482, July-August 1994

Le Carrosse d’or is a key film of Renoir’s because it connects the themes of a number of his others, certainly the notion of sincerity in love and in one’s artistic vocation. It is a film constructed like the “box game,” one inside the other, a film about theatre in the theatre. There was unfairness in the way the critics and public received Le Carrosse d’or, which may be Renoir’s masterpiece. In any case, it is the noblest and most refined film ever made. It combines all of the spontaneity and inventiveness of the pre-war Renoir with the rigor of the American Renoir. It is all breeding and politeness, grace and freshness. It is a film of gestures and attitudes. Theater and life are mingled in an action that is suspended between the ground level and the first floor, just as a commedia dell’arte swings back and forth between respect for tradition and improvisation. Anna Magnani is the wonderful star of this elegant film; the color, rhythm, editing, and actors are all worthy of the soundtrack dominated by Vivaldi. Le Carrosse d’or is itself absolutely beautiful, just as beauty itself is the subject of the film. I described Renoir’s other masterpiece, The Rules of the Game, as an open conversation, a film in which we are invited to participate; it is quite a different matter with Le Carrosse d’or, which is closed, a finished work – you look without touching. The film has already a definitive form; it is a perfect object.

François Truffaut, The Films in My Life, Simon and Schuster, New York 1978

Cast and Credits

Sog.: dalla pièce Le Carrosse du Saint-Sacrement (1829) di Prosper Mérimée. Scen.: Jean Renoir, Renzo Avanzo, Giulio Macchi, Jack Kirkland, Ginette Doyel. F.: Claude Renoir. M.: David Hawkins, Mario Serandrei. Scgf.: Mario Chiari. Mus.: Gino Marinuzzi. Int.: Anna Magnani (Camilla), Duncan Lamont (Ferdinand), Odoardo Spadaro (Don Antonio), Riccardo Rioli (Ramon), Paul Campbell (Felipe), Ralph Truman (duca De Castro), Elena Altieri (duchessa De Castro), Georges Higgins (Martinez). Prod.: Francesco Alliata, Ray Ventura per Panaria Film, Hoche Production. DCP. D.: 102’. Col.