FANFAN LA TULIPE, a French swashbuckling classic from 1952, stars Gerard Philipe as a charming peasant who enlists to avoid an arranged marriage. The adventure begins when Fanfan meets a "fortune teller," Adeline (Gina Lollobrigida), who ensures him that joining the army is the first step in fulfilling his destiny of marrying a princess; soon enough, the young soldier learns that Adeline is just the daughter of an ambitious recruitment officer! Nonetheless, Fanfan fights valiantly and suavely, and falls for the wily young woman along the way.
Description by Image Entertainment / Criterion Collection:
Legendary French star Gerard Philipe swashbuckled his way into film history as the peasant soldier Fanfan in Christian-Jaque's devil-may-care romantic action-comedy. In eighteenth-century France, Fanfan joins King Louis XV's army to avoid a forced marriage to a local lass. And thus begins an adventure that sees Fanfan getting himself out of close scrapes and into tight squeezes with Gina Lollobrigida's impostor fortune teller, Adeline, on his way to fighting in the Seven Years' War. Filled to the brim with dazzling stunts and randy innuendo, Fanfan la Tulipe, which won the best director prize at Cannes and was a smash hit upon its initial release, remains one of France's all-time most beloved films.