Your RDA of Irony

La Duchesse de Gidgette

I have been waiting for the French to get even with us.  For years we have been adapting their films into American.  “La Grande Illusion”, the elegaic portrait of French society amidst the chaos of World War I, simply needed some car chases to become “Smokey and the Bandit.”  And Last Year at Marienbad” actually is a little more coherent as “Meatballs.”

Well, I think that the French now have their revanche.  As I was watching “La Princesse de Montpensier”, I felt an increasing familiarity with the story.  Marie thinks school is a drag; she got to be a countess without learning to write.  That really cool Henri loves her the way she is.  Alas,  her parents would rather she dated that drip Francois.  He is a prince and Henri is only a duke.  And there is that nosy Mrs. deMedici who has an opinion about everything. 

Mon Dieu, I was watching a French version of a 1960s Frankie and Annette movie.  There were a few differences.  “La Princesse” takes place in 16th century France rather than on a California beach, and the sport is killing Huguenots instead of surfing.  Of course, being French this version of Annette didn’t wait until marriage.

Let’s transpose the American cast into the French setting.  Annette Funicello is countess Marie, Frankie Avalon is Henri Duc de Guise, Bob Denver is the Prince of Montpensier, Peggy Cass is Catherine de Medici and Paul Lynde is Nostradamus.

And now we can wait for the American remake of the French remake.

  1. wayne rhodes says:

    Great cast!

  2. Cindy Starks says:

    Eugene — Yours is the only blog that consistently makes me laugh out loud! You’re the best. I also love the casting. However, don’t you think Annette Funicello’s name is so musical that she should be a singing, dancing Countess Marie? I know this is the wrong country, but instead of singing “Finiculli, Finiculla…” everyone could sing, “Funicella, Funicelli, Funicello…” And ain’t we got fun!!

    • Eugene Finerman says:

      Merci Cindy.

      Of course, La Duchesse de Gidgette must have musique. We can have Catherine de Medici celebrating St. Bartholomew’s Day with “It’s My Party And You’ll Die If I Want To.”

      What a pity that none of the main characters was named Louis; there was a surfeits of Henrys. However, instead of singing “Louie, Louie”, we could have “Louvre, Louvre.”

      And I do believe that “Along Comes Marie” actually was about this period.

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