King of Hearts Movie Review Summary

Actors: Alan Bates, Genevieve Bujold

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of King of Hearts

This is a movie/parody of WWI set in a small town in France. Three soldiers are sent as an advance to evaluate conditions before the main force is sent. Hearing voices, the lead actor enter a building and finds a hospital floor full of patients. As he is proclaimed the King of Hearts, he realizes the place is an insane asylum and he flees, leaving the gate to the ward unlocked.
Click here to see the rest of this review

Following is a parody of inmates returning to the places and post they once occupied, or identified with. The movie revolves around this corporal (lead actor) attempting to save the townspeople from dying in this explosion of a German-set bomb. As they are all leaving the town, the people he wants to save stop at the edge of town and explain their refusal to leave by asking him where is it safer/crazier, at the asylum or out there, where man is killing man with bombs and bullets. They return to the asylum and the corporal disassembles the bomb and prevents the destruction of the town. In a military encounter before, British and German soldiers met in the center of the village and killed each other off, the futility of fighting wars exalted.

The British eventually take the town and the corporal is returned to the ranks. As the movie ends, you see the corporal walking down this street, shedding his rifle and backpack, then his cassock, shirt and pants, as he approaches the entrance gate to the asylum and goes in stark naked.

The review of this Movie prepared by George Patton

Now a cult favorite, “King of Hearts” will top the list on just about anyone's anti-war movie list! Alan Bates plays a Scottish soldier who walks into a small French town in
World War I and finds, to his amazement, that is has been abandoned, left to the inhabitants of the local insane asylum. Bates' job is to dismantle explosives set by
retreating German forces and the village is soon to be blown to bits. When he arrives, the inmates annoint him the King of Hearts. In a story of the madness of war, it is ironical that the inmates are the most rational of all. Bates falls in love with Genevieve Bujold (who plays a tightrope walker!), further adding to the irony.   Look carefully beyond the subtitles(filmed in French); this is a film that is more than it seems, brilliantly conceived and
executed by Director Philippe de Broca.
The review of this Movie prepared by Bill Hobbs

Toward the end of World War I, Scottish doughboy and explosives expert Charles Plumpick is sent to infiltrate the French town of Marville. Plumpick's mission is to find and deactivate any bombs potentially left activated by the evacuated German army. He finds an odd collection of whimsical but apparently harmless French citizens in charge of the town, and gradually realizes that the inmates of the local insane asylum have slipped out of their facility. Can he find the bomb in time? And after getting to know the local nutcases, how ready will he be to return to his comrades and the war? Alan Bates is sweet as Plumpick, and Genevieve Bujold impossibly pretty and petite as a ballerina-tightrope walker from the asylum in this 1966 French/Italian collaboration.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus

Script Analysis of King of Hearts

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Comedy, primarily    -   Yes Time/era of movie:    -   1900-1920's War impact on civilians/veterans    -   Yes Comedy or Parody about    -   war movies    -   political satire Kind of conflict:    -   war (general)    -   war, WW I

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   infantry soldier Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   British


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   France Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Any profanity?    -   Occasional swearing

Movies with storylines, themes & endings like King of Hearts

King of Hearts Message Board (click here)
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian