Most film versions of the life and times of 15th-century Parisian "beggar poet" Francois Villon are derived from the old theatrical chestnut The Vagabond King. Not so the French Francois Villon, an original for the screen penned by director Andre Zwobada and scenarist Pierre MacOrlan. Serge Riannini plays the title character along more serious lines than such previous screen Villons as John Barrymore and Ronald Colman. Surprisingly, King Louis XVI, Villon's friendly enemy, is nowhere to be found: instead, the film dwells on the poet's many romantic entanglements. While American censors were surprisingly lenient when dealing with the amount of cleavage displayed by such zaftig actresses as Claudine Dupuis and Helene Sauvaneix, it was obvious that the love scenes in Francois Villon were heavily trimmed for U.S. consumption.
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