Movie Studio: Olive Films
Street Date: April 25, 2017
Item Number (DPCI): 246-07-2858
Walerian Borowczyk's BLANCHE is a tragic romantic tale set in 13th century France. While visiting the castle of an old landlord (Michel Simon), both the king (Georges Wilson) and his philandering page Bartolomeo (Jacques Perrin) try to seduce the landlord's young, naive wife Blanche (Ligia Branice, the director's wife). The landlord's son Nicolas (Lawrence Trimble), who's secretly in love with Blanche, seeks to defend her honor and stays on the watch by her bedroom door. When the king tries to sneak to Blanche's bedroom at night, covered by his page's cloak, Nicolas wounds him in the hand, being certain that he punishes the page. To save the king's reputation, Bartolomeo cuts his own hand and admits he was trying to get to Blanche's bedroom. The outraged old master wants to punish the page himself, but the king won't let him. The old landlord blindly seeks vengeance, and tragedy follows. Some critics consider BLANCHE the director's masterpiece and a metaphor of imprisonment, as Blanche is compared to a white dove kept in a cage. Others point out that the film's main virtues lie mostly in its beautiful photography and loving attention to period detail.