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Film / Fanfan la Tulipe (2003)

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Fanfan la Tulipe is a French Swashbuckler comedy film released in 2003, directed by Gérard Krawczyk and written by Jean Cosmos and Luc Besson (who also produced it). It is a remake of 1952's Fanfan la Tulipe.

At the time of the Seven Years' War in France, Fanfan (Vincent Perez) is an unrepentant charmer and unrivaled swordsman. In order to escape a forced marriage to a woman he just seduced, he enlists in the army of King Louis XV (Didier Bourdon).

The film also stars Penélope Cruz as Adeline, Hélène de Fougerolles as Madame de Pompadour, Michel Muller as Tranche-Montagne and Jacques Frantz as Sergent la Franchise.


Fanfan la Tulipe provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Fanfan boasts that he's been trained in fencing by two masters at arms named "Cocardasse and Passepoil". Then, when demonstrating secret fencing tricks to the crazy jealous guys / cuckolds who caught him in the act, he (non-lethally) uses "la botte de Nevers". Vincent Perez played the Duke of Nevers in On Guard (which was also co-written by Jean Cosmos), in which both masters at arms and said secret fencing trick appear (Nevers is training at their fencing hall at the beginning).
  • Adaptational Comic Relief: In the 1952 film, Louis XV is outright villainous and kidnaps Fanfan's Love Interest. Here, he's just a Clueless Boss and Armchair General (and not a villain either).
  • The Cavalier Years: The film is set in the mid-18th century, at the time of the Seven Years' War.
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  • The Charmer: Fanfan is a ladykiller, of course. Practically no woman can resist him, and he's definitely not The Casanova type.
    Fanfan: She didn't know that she was beautiful. I taught her.
  • Master Swordsman: Fanfan's fencing talents are unrivaled.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Adeline la Franchise is French, yet Penelope Cruz kept her Spanish accent when talking.
  • Shotgun Wedding: Fanfan is forced to marry a Farmer's Daughter that he just seduced. He escapes and enlists to avoid getting killed for it.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: A bunch of angry fathers and husbands (of girls/women that Fanfan has seduced) come at him with pitchforks.