Start the Revolution Without Me [1970]

Director: Bud Yorkin
Stars: Gene Wilder, Donald Sutherland, Hugh Griffith, Jack MacGowran, Billie Whitelaw
Genre: Comedy, History
Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 90 minutes

Gene Wilder and Donald Sutherland play two sets of identical twins who are mismatched at birth shortly before the French Revolution. One pair is reared as royalty; the other is raised as the children of peasants. The plot in this film by Bud Yorkin is a wonderful mishmash of Dumas, Victor Hugo, and Molière, with the peasant brothers joining the revolutionaries while their bizarrely foppish siblings eat cake and ignore the events around them. Wilder and Sutherland are joined by a who's who of British comedy stars, including Billie Whitelaw, Hugh Griffith, and Victor Spinetti (and a cameo by Orson Welles)--yet this film flopped upon release, only to become a cult item among college students of the period. --Marshall Fine

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