Camille 2000


1h 55m 1969

Brief Synopsis

Marguerite, a beautiful woman of affairs, falls for the young and promising Armand, but sacrifices her love for him for the sake of his future and reputation.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Jan 1969
Premiere Information
New York opening: 16 Jul 1969
Production Company
Spear Productions
Distribution Company
Audubon Films, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel La Dame aux camélias by Alexandre Dumas, fils (Paris, 1848).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 55m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

Armand Duval, the son of a wealthy industrialist, arrives in Rome in the company of his worldly cousin Gaston. At a society party, he meets Marguerite Gautier, the beautiful, drug-addicted, openly unfaithful mistress of a wealthy elderly patron. Hopelessly infatuated, Armand ignores Marguerite's notorious reputation and begs her to accept his love. She does, but she continues to have liaisons with other men, including DeVarville, a wealthy young nobleman from whom she accepts money. Shocked by her behavior, Armand now demands absolute fidelity, and Marguerite, steadily weakening from the effect of drugs and tiring of her senseless pleasure-seeking, yields to his wish. To celebrate their reconciliation, the couple travel to a small coastal town in the south of France for an idyllic interlude. Their brief happiness is shattered when Armand's father secretly visits Marguerite and convinces her that she is ruining his son's life. Marguerite stages an argument and coldly announces that she is returning to DeVarville. Filled with despair, Armand retaliates by beginning a flamboyant affair with a boutique model, Olympe, and even makes passionate love to her at an orgiastic party while in the presence of Marguerite. Then, at a subsequent society party, he humiliates Marguerite before the guests by flinging money at her and calling her a whore. Prior to his departure for America, Armand catches a chance remark made by his father and suddenly understands the motives for Marguerite's behavior. By now, however, the drugs have taken their toll and Marguerite is dying of an overdose in a nearby hospital. Armand reaches her in time to reaffirm his love, and Marguerite, begging forgiveness, dies in his arms.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Jan 1969
Premiere Information
New York opening: 16 Jul 1969
Production Company
Spear Productions
Distribution Company
Audubon Films, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel La Dame aux camélias by Alexandre Dumas, fils (Paris, 1848).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 55m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

Camille 2000 - Radley Metzger's CAMILLE 2000 - An Italian Sixties Jet Set Version of the Alexandre Dumas Novel


A decade beyond Federico Fellini's cautionary La dolce vita (1960), American filmmaker Radley Metzger offered a fresh perspective on a slightly older but no more wiser Roma with Camille 2000, an adaptation of the 1848 novel and 1852 stage play The Lady of the Camillias by Alexandre Dumas fils (namesake son of the author of The Three Musketeers) - source also for Giuseppe Verdi's 1853 opera La Traviata. In place of the desperate middle-aged professionals played in the Fellini film by Marcello Mastroianni, Alain Cuny and Walter Stantesso, Metzger and screenwriter Michael DeForrest offer a legion of moneyed twenty-somethings living fast and high in the Eternal City, their excesses funded by cash cadged from family accounts, friends and lovers or won on the stock market or at the baccarat table. Au currant but impermanent, the negative capability of Metzger's latest lost generation is personified in the affair of Armand Duval (Nino Castelnuovo), new to "the city of 7 hills and 77 Hells" and ready for love, and Marguerite Gautier (Danièle Gaubert), a penniless young woman kept afloat by a variety of wealthy lovers who is as stunningly beautiful as she is eminently unattainable.

"You must love me a little less or understand me a little better," Marguerite warns Armand when she has broken his heart the first time. Just as the beguiling but infidelitous Marguerite seems to be pulling a bait-and-switch on the gullible but not unworldly Armand - leading him on and cutting him loose again and again - so Metzger lures in the viewer with the promise of chic eroticism (couples cavort and conjoin in heterosexual and homosexual variations on inflatable couches and beds, their images refracted and multiplied in the reflective surfaces of mirrors and balloons, their infinite multiplicity at once exalting them and diminishing their humanity) only to thwart the expected payoff of voyeurism with a disarmingly passionate and heartbreaking story of doomed love. Winning the heart of the fickle Marguerite by giving her a reason to hope for something beyond immediate gratification, Armand then loses her through the interference of his well-meaning father (Massimo Serato). Convinced that the proof of her love for Armand lies in setting him free, Marguerite resorts to acts of cruelty that echo her first act indifference and push the narrative towards its tragic finish.

Having already shot films in Germany and France, Metzger gets excellent use out of his Roman locations (including the lush Villa Borghese) and a romantic sidebar in Monaco's Port d'Hercule, using Italian cinematographer Ennio Guarnieri (later behind the camera for Mauro Bolognini's 1981 La storia vera signora dalle camelie, starring Isabelle Huppert and Gian Marie Volonté) and benefiting immeasurably from a devastatingly haunting score by Piero Piccioni. Best known at the time for his immortal onscreen pairing with Catherine Deneuve in Jacques Demy's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg in 1964 and looking a bit like a dreamier Stephen Boyd, Nino Castelnuovo brings a persuasive sense of innocence to the role of Armand, presented as he is in counterpoint to the more brash and typically Roman wastrel Gaston (Roberto Bisacco, between roles in Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet and Sergio Martini's Torso). An actor of limited emotional range, Castelnuovo is nonetheless a remarkably effective protagonist but if Camille 2000 can be said to belong to one person then it is the property of French actress Danièle Gaubert, whose pallid, womanly mien is the perfect embodiment of elusive happiness. Tragically, Gaubert (who later married Olympic skier Jean-Claude Killy) died young, of cancer, in 1987.

Tendered at the time as little more than sex exploitation, Camille 2000 has withstood the test of time to emerge as a bona fide classic of artful eroticism. Guilty at times of gross caricature (Metzger's depiction of male homosexuality and drug use is on par with Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In) but otherwise unexpectedly sensitive and heartfelt, the film has been available over the years in a variety of home entertainment formats, from lowly VHS to digital versatile disc. Last pressed to DVD in America in 2006, Cult Epics' new Camille 2000 DVD earns its place on the top shelf courtesy of a new director-approved "extended version" that adds another reel of material. The restored high definition transfer, letterboxed at 2.35:1 and anamorphically enhanced, plays fleetly even with the added material (which fleshes out some peripheral characters). Metzger joins art and film historian Michael Bowen for an informative audio commentary that could serve as a master class in filmmaking on the fly. The compliment of extras includes scenes deleted before the film's original release, a restoration demo and 30 minutes of behind-the-scenes home movie footage cobbled together as the featurette On the Set of Camille 2000, narrated by Radley Metzger.

by Richard Harland Smith
Camille 2000 - Radley Metzger's Camille 2000 - An Italian Sixties Jet Set Version Of The Alexandre Dumas Novel

Camille 2000 - Radley Metzger's CAMILLE 2000 - An Italian Sixties Jet Set Version of the Alexandre Dumas Novel

A decade beyond Federico Fellini's cautionary La dolce vita (1960), American filmmaker Radley Metzger offered a fresh perspective on a slightly older but no more wiser Roma with Camille 2000, an adaptation of the 1848 novel and 1852 stage play The Lady of the Camillias by Alexandre Dumas fils (namesake son of the author of The Three Musketeers) - source also for Giuseppe Verdi's 1853 opera La Traviata. In place of the desperate middle-aged professionals played in the Fellini film by Marcello Mastroianni, Alain Cuny and Walter Stantesso, Metzger and screenwriter Michael DeForrest offer a legion of moneyed twenty-somethings living fast and high in the Eternal City, their excesses funded by cash cadged from family accounts, friends and lovers or won on the stock market or at the baccarat table. Au currant but impermanent, the negative capability of Metzger's latest lost generation is personified in the affair of Armand Duval (Nino Castelnuovo), new to "the city of 7 hills and 77 Hells" and ready for love, and Marguerite Gautier (Danièle Gaubert), a penniless young woman kept afloat by a variety of wealthy lovers who is as stunningly beautiful as she is eminently unattainable. "You must love me a little less or understand me a little better," Marguerite warns Armand when she has broken his heart the first time. Just as the beguiling but infidelitous Marguerite seems to be pulling a bait-and-switch on the gullible but not unworldly Armand - leading him on and cutting him loose again and again - so Metzger lures in the viewer with the promise of chic eroticism (couples cavort and conjoin in heterosexual and homosexual variations on inflatable couches and beds, their images refracted and multiplied in the reflective surfaces of mirrors and balloons, their infinite multiplicity at once exalting them and diminishing their humanity) only to thwart the expected payoff of voyeurism with a disarmingly passionate and heartbreaking story of doomed love. Winning the heart of the fickle Marguerite by giving her a reason to hope for something beyond immediate gratification, Armand then loses her through the interference of his well-meaning father (Massimo Serato). Convinced that the proof of her love for Armand lies in setting him free, Marguerite resorts to acts of cruelty that echo her first act indifference and push the narrative towards its tragic finish. Having already shot films in Germany and France, Metzger gets excellent use out of his Roman locations (including the lush Villa Borghese) and a romantic sidebar in Monaco's Port d'Hercule, using Italian cinematographer Ennio Guarnieri (later behind the camera for Mauro Bolognini's 1981 La storia vera signora dalle camelie, starring Isabelle Huppert and Gian Marie Volonté) and benefiting immeasurably from a devastatingly haunting score by Piero Piccioni. Best known at the time for his immortal onscreen pairing with Catherine Deneuve in Jacques Demy's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg in 1964 and looking a bit like a dreamier Stephen Boyd, Nino Castelnuovo brings a persuasive sense of innocence to the role of Armand, presented as he is in counterpoint to the more brash and typically Roman wastrel Gaston (Roberto Bisacco, between roles in Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet and Sergio Martini's Torso). An actor of limited emotional range, Castelnuovo is nonetheless a remarkably effective protagonist but if Camille 2000 can be said to belong to one person then it is the property of French actress Danièle Gaubert, whose pallid, womanly mien is the perfect embodiment of elusive happiness. Tragically, Gaubert (who later married Olympic skier Jean-Claude Killy) died young, of cancer, in 1987. Tendered at the time as little more than sex exploitation, Camille 2000 has withstood the test of time to emerge as a bona fide classic of artful eroticism. Guilty at times of gross caricature (Metzger's depiction of male homosexuality and drug use is on par with Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In) but otherwise unexpectedly sensitive and heartfelt, the film has been available over the years in a variety of home entertainment formats, from lowly VHS to digital versatile disc. Last pressed to DVD in America in 2006, Cult Epics' new Camille 2000 DVD earns its place on the top shelf courtesy of a new director-approved "extended version" that adds another reel of material. The restored high definition transfer, letterboxed at 2.35:1 and anamorphically enhanced, plays fleetly even with the added material (which fleshes out some peripheral characters). Metzger joins art and film historian Michael Bowen for an informative audio commentary that could serve as a master class in filmmaking on the fly. The compliment of extras includes scenes deleted before the film's original release, a restoration demo and 30 minutes of behind-the-scenes home movie footage cobbled together as the featurette On the Set of Camille 2000, narrated by Radley Metzger. by Richard Harland Smith

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Filmed in Rome and Porto Ercole. One source credits Dominique Badescu with an unspecified acting role.