Originally released in 1937 as Francois 1er, Christian-Jacque's Francis the First didn't attain an American release for nearly a decade. Horse-faced farceur Fernandel plays Honorin, a failed provincial actor. Lacking self-confidence, Honorin turns to a carnival hypnotist for aid. While under hypnosis, he imagines that he's a 16th-century French cavalier in the court of King Francis the First. In the tradition of Twain's Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, our hero endears himself to the French aristocracy by teaching them 20th-century dances, expressions and card tricks. Along the way, Honorin romances King Francis' zaftig mistress (Mona Goya) and tangles with a troublesome ghost.
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