February 4, 2014: Start the Revolution Without Me (1970)


Cast and Crew: Bud Yorkin (Director); Donald Sutherland, Gene Wilder, Hugh Griffith, Victor Spinetti, Orson Welles (Narrator)

What It’s About: Two sets of twins (Gene Wilder and Donald Sutherland in double roles) are born one night in eighteenth-century France in a country inn.  Due to an error, they get mixed up.  Years later, in the craziness surrounding the French Revolution, the two sets of mismatched twins encounter one another and hilarity ensues.  Memorable comic lines (“I thought it was a costume ball!”) give the movie the feel of a Mel Brooks offering, while slapstick routines hark back to Bob Hope.  The Wilder-Sutherland matchups (both of them) feel like a strange old uncle of the Schwarzenegger-DeVito farce Twins.

Why Watch it Today?: The film was released on this date in 1970.  Look back to a young Donald Sutherland and weep when Gene Wilder is not beheaded at least twice.  If you are in the mood for it, some scenes in this movie — like a madcap chase involving hooded monks — are very, very funny.  If you are not in the mood for it, you may end up analyzing the film’s historical errors for Wikipedia.

One comment on “February 4, 2014: Start the Revolution Without Me (1970)

  1. […] a more scheming — though still hapless — patriarch than he did as King Louis in Start the Revolution Without Me) both turn in memorably outsized comic supporting roles.  The silent buffoonery of Moustache, as a […]

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