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The volcanic Anna Magnani plays the regal, temperamental star of an eighteenth-century commedia dell'arte troupe in Jean Renoir's luminous meditation on art, life, illusion and reality.
Truffaut proclaimed that this sublime work "may be Renoir's masterpiece. In any case, it is the noblest and most refined film ever made." Recently restored in all its Technicolor glory, The Golden Coach was made in three versions — Italian, French and English — but Renoir disowned the former two. The director said that what he remembered most about the making of the film was Anna Magnani, and it's little wonder: her performance is so outsized and vivacious that the screen can hardly contain her. Magnani plays Camilla, the regal, temperamental star of an eighteenth-century commedia dell'arte troupe, who is courted by three suitors — an actor, a bullfighter, and a viceroy — when she arrives in a small Peruvian town. A profound meditation on art and life, illusion and reality, voted one of the three greatest French films made since the war by Cahiers du Cinéma, The Golden Coach is one of "five or six films in the history of cinema which one wants to review simply by saying, 'It is the most beautiful of films'" (Jean-Luc Godard).