Jean Baptiste Pouquelin Molière (1622-73) was perhaps the greatest playwright of French history. His comedies have been performed, adapted and re-adapted continually from his day to ours not only in France, but around the world. It is certain that he lived and breathed for the theater: the company he toured with became first, the King's Troupe (for the "Sun King," Louis XIV), and later became what was even then the most prestigious theater company of France, the Comédie Française. The Comédie Française remains a national institution of unimaginable importance. Thanks to Molière's devastating wit, the king's patronage and protection was more than a formality: he offended many important people personally and in his comedies. This lavish biographical film chronicles his childhood experiences as a merchant's son, going by the name of Pouquelin, up to the time he ran away to join the Béjart company of travelling players, and then follows his later years as a respected client of the king. Viewers will find their appreciation for this film enriched by prior knowledge of Molière, his plays, and his times.
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