The Golden Coach


Action / Comedy / Drama / History / Romance


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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by rserrano 8 / 10

A Golden Ending

For the first 102 minutes, I saw this film much as MATTHEWSCOTT8: a pleasant movie that was charming and colorful, but otherwise ordinary. The final minute, however, is transcendent and elevates the entire work to something else. (The only other example of this I can think of is John Huston's "The Dead" where the final voice over forces you to reevaluate everything that have come before in a new light).

Here is one interpretation of the the events of the last minute and their meaning:A player steps to the edge of the stage, beyond the curtain. He reveals the cosmological structure of this play within a play within a film. The first play is the "real world" where ordinary events occur and characters interact. Most pursue some narrow selfish objective, but on rare occasions one overcomes their greed and achieves a degree of liberation and fulfillment (in this case Camilla).

The second play is the stage on which the our narrator stands; a kind of Bardo between the fist play and our audience. The audience is a sea of human souls - all those who have passed away as their personal play has ended.

The narrator tells us that Camilla is missing. In the background we see her pale ghostly image as she bids farewell to remaining cast members.

The narrator then gives us his philosophy of life, "Don't waste your time on the so called real life. You belong to us"..." the only way to find happiness is on any stage"... "during those two little hours when you become another person; your true self." Thus, even a fairly standard story offers the potential to transcend our plight and experience something eternal. Renoir is describing the essence of pure eastern mysticism, here in a deeply western European context.

"Filipe, Ramon and the Viscount have disappeared. Gone." says Camilla, "Don't they exist anymore?".

"Now they are part of the audience. Do you miss them ?" asks our narrator.

Overall, this ending is so quick and unexpected that is feels like a rabbit punch to awaken the spirit. We are left, like Camilla, to contemplate the play, the nature of all plays and our own existence.

Reviewed by farmhouse41 10 / 10

A masterpiece of universal truths

I saw the Italian version in Bologna in 2006, and have just seen the American DVD. The latter seems to be missing some footage at the end, does anyone know? I seemed to remember a more elegant ending, when Anna Magnani steps back on stage.

The genius of this moment is that it is in fact the stage that is the real world, and all that she has been participating in with the three men she has dallied with is the illusion. I take this as a metaphor for the play of creation as described in the Bhagavad-Gita, Chapter 2, when Krishna says to Arjuna, "Be without the three gunas." So Camilla has come to understand this, has given up her attachment to material things, symbolized by the coach, and even to the whole rigmarole of worldly life, and goes back to her true essence, which is to be the witness to all this churning activity. By stepping out onto the proscenium, leaving all the muddle of the gunas behind, she becomes enlightened and can continue as she chooses, playing other roles if she likes, but with the knowledge she has gained in this past existence.

Reviewed by Ilya Mauter 9 / 10

A comedy of life

"La Carozza D'Oro" is the only Italian film made by Jean Renoir. As Renoir recognized later, his main collaborator in the making of the film was Antonio Vivaldi in a form of his music that director used to hear while writing the script which is based on a stage play by Prosper Merimee. Vivaldi's music is also extensively used throughout the film.

The story is about the group of Italian actors that move to XVIIIth century Spanish South America. Anna Magnani gives a superb performance as a main star of the group - Camilla, whose main passion in life is theater. She finds herself in the center of attention of the three man: a toreador Ramon (Riccardo Rioli), a Vice King Ferdinand (Duncan Lamont) and a young adventurous officer Felipe (Paul Campbell) facing the tough choice in making a decision: whom to choose?

A funny theatrical comedy of life from great French director Jean Renoir, with superb acting and wonderful music from Antonio Vivaldi. 8/10

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