The Golden Coach

  • Directed by Jean Renoir
  • France/Italy, 1952, 103 mins., French/Italian

Renoir’s 18th-century comic fantasy is a valentine to the theater and the music of Vivaldi, starring the larger-than-life Anna Magnani. A commedia dell’arte troupe from Italy arrives in an 18th-century Peruvian town where the viceroy, infatuated by the leading actress Camilla, presents her with the fabulous golden coach, a symbol of power that he intended for his mistress. “Light and serious, cynical and exquisite, a blend of color, wit, and Vivaldi…. Anna Magnani tries out a series of love roles in a play within a play within a movie. Magnani with her deep sense of the ridiculous in herself and others, Magnani with her roots in the earth, is the miraculous choice that gives this film its gusto and its piercing beauty.”—Pauline Kael.

Genres: Comedy, Historical

Other Films by Jean Renoir

Rules of the Game

Although it was met with diverse responses when it was released, few films have earned such universal critical acclaim as Renoir’s masterpiece. The “game” is life: Renoir and cinematographer Henri Cartier-Bresson paint a broad canvas, taking as their subject the foibles of bourgeois French society. At a weekend hunting party on the eve of World

The River

Renoir’s film, late in his filmmaking career, sees the master working in color for the first time. The story follows a well-to-do British family living on the banks of the Ganges River. Teenager Harriet (Patricia Walters) and her sisters are brought up in an environment that melds the philosophies of East and West in equal

The Grand Illusion

A humanistic, sensitive masterpiece nearly unparalleled in cinema history, Renoir’s WWI drama concerns the trials and tribulations of a group of French POWs under German imprisonment. Most of the group are working-class, led by Lieutenant Maréchal (an unforgettable Jean Gabin); they scheme and plot—sometimes to the point of revolt—to escape the prison camp, meanwhile reveling