Based upon the classic Moliere farce and performed by the legendary <i>Comedie Francaise</i>, The Would Be Gentleman opens in a contemporary setting as audience members enter a theatre and take their seats. The curtain rises, and we the play begins. We soon meet Jourdain (Louis Seigner), a man of recent wealth but no breeding. Jourdain is obsessed with "quality" and "respectability," but is a total fool, and his efforts at bettering himself are met with derision -- but only behind his back. Jourdain also has set his sights on a lovely widowed Marquise, whom he hopes to impress by commissioning serenades, ballets, etc., and for whom he has bought an expensive ring. He has enlisted the aid of an impecunious Count to deliver his messages of love, but the Count is after the Marquise himself and tells her that the gifts he brings are his own. Jourdain also must deal with his wife, who finds his airs ridiculous, and his daughter Lucille, who wishes to marry Cleonte, a young, honorable man who is perfect in all respects save one -- he is not of noble blood. Fortunately, Cleonte's servant devises a scheme to fool Jourdain into thinking Cleonte is to the manor born, and the film ends with all the lovers matched with their appropriate partners.
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