7:15 pm | 1966 | Drama/Comedy-drama | 1h 42m | French w/English subtitles

This quirky comedic war film focuses on Scottish soldier Charles Plumpick (Alan Bates), who is sent to a French town on a mission to disarm a bomb left behind by the retreating German army. Plumpick discovers that the area is deserted except for the inmates of the local asylum. The mental patients playfully take over the town and pronounce the soldier their king. While Plumpick is intrigued by the antics of the former inmates, he must stay on task and find the bomb before it detonates. Directed by Philippe de Broca and starring Alan Bates.

“A surrealistic jewel of a comedy which you realize, when you can catch your breath between laughs, has made the case for the sanity of the lunatics and the madness of the war-waging sane.” – Charles Champlin, LA Times

“A timeless and exquisite treatment of profound and compelling issues” – Rick Conrad, IMDB

“A gentle, whimsical anti-war fable” – Craig Butler, All Movie Guide

“In a mad world only the mad are sane.” (Akira Kurosawa)

An odd assortment. A strange deportment. An insane asylum. Fleeing villagers. A war. A bomb. A man who would be king. Reads like today’s headline, but isn’t. Or is it? A gamble, a frolic it is. Or isn’t. Set in wartime France, a newly restored version of ingenious and inventive director Phillipe de Broca’s crowning, surrealistic war satire The King of Hearts, will be shown at the Rosendale Theatre.

The inmates have taken over the asylum. Or haven’t they? With a cast of absolute characters that mimic if not predict or decry today’s bad political actors, the eclectic stars of The King of Hearts include bumbling Private Plumpick, Alan Bates, who AllMovies.com calls “One of the most important British actors of the 60’s”; Italian Renaissance man Adolfo Celi, the striking, Golden Globe Best Actress Genevieve Bujold, and the dashing leading man of the French New Wave films, Jean-Claude Brialy in full regalia and revolt.

Since its debut, King of Hearts has become a worldwide cult favorite and stands out as one of de Broca’s most memorable films. Fifty years after its original release, this satirical look at the absurdities of war is presented in a gorgeous new 4K restoration for modern audiences to discover.