Adventure, love and fantasy in a most cheerful 18th century
Jean-Paul Belmondo and Claudia Cardinale, dazzling with beauty and humour
A film that entertains with style, dynamism and fantasy, and succeeds in doing so with touches of romanticism and a foray into the tragic. Philippe De Broca willingly renounces historical fact, plays with dazzling colours, tips his hat to classic adventure cinema and injects his film with the freshness of the nouvelle vague. Essential to the success of the film is the most beautiful star pairing one could hope for. For his actions scenes, Jean-Paul Belmondo refused the possibility to use a stunt double. Replacing Claudia Cardinale with a stand-in would be a crime.
The beginning of the 18th century. Cartouche is the leader of the best well-organised group of thieves in Paris. He has the habit of stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Women fall in love with him, including Venus, a beautiful gypsy. She saves him after a heist goes wrong, but is mortally wounded in doing so. As a final gift, Cartouche steals the jewellery from the ladies at a ball to cover the corpse of his beloved with precious jewels.