Beaumarchais the Scoundrel is a biopic film based on the life of the French playwright, financier and spy Pierre Beaumarchais, depicting his activities during the American War of Independence and his authorship of the Figaro trilogy of plays.

3.5

Beaumarchais was evidently an extraordinary man. Not only did he write the Barber of Seville and its sequel the Marriage of Figaro, he was also a magistrate, secret agent for Louis XV against England, arms dealer, supporter of the American revolution and womaniser. And as engagingly played by Fabrice Lucchini, this lavish wide screen epic by director Eduardo Molinaro, best known for his La Cage aux Folles movies, Beaumarchais lived life to the full. And one problem in this entertaining, but sometimes frustrating film, is that it assumes in the audiences a knowledge of Beaumarchais's colourful story.

 

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In Cinemas 20 March 1996,

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