Waltz of the Toreadors

Synopsis: This is the end of a glorious military career: General Leo Fitzjohn retires to his Sussex manor where he will write his memoirs. Unfortunately, his private life is a disaster: a confirmed womanizer, Leo has infuriated his wife Emily, now a shrewish and hypochondriac woman, all the more bitter as she still loves him. The General has two plain-looking daughters he dislikes and an attractive French mistress, Ghislaine, with whom he has had a platonic affair for seventeen years. When Ghislaine resurfaces, determined to complete her love with him and to get rid of Emily, Leo is at a loss what to do...
Genre: Comedy
Director(s): John Guillermin
  Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win.
105 min

- Welcome to England, madam.

- Mademoiselle Ste-Euverte.

- I trust the crossing was smooth?

- Perfectly, thank you.

Quiet, quiet!

The house mascot, madam.

This way, if you please.

I'm glad you had a smooth crossing.

I think madam will like the room.

It's the best we have.

- Mademoiselle.

- I beg your pardon?

I am Mademoiselle.

This is it.

The room will do very well, thank you.

Put it down.

Madam would like some breakfast?

Coffee perhaps?

Oh, no, nothing. Nothing at all.

Come in.

- You are from the castle?

- Yes.

- You have the letters?

- I have them here, madam.

- Mademoiselle. Give them to me.

- They were very hard to get, Mademoiselle.

- The wear and tear on my nerves...

- Oh, yes, yes, please.

And I had to sit up, night after night, waiting.

I quite understand.

Thank you, Mademoiselle.

11th Dragoons, General salutes.

He's retiring, you know.


So soon?

They're giving him something -

one of those big flags or an old sword.

I'd better get back.

Carry on, Major.

Quiet, please.

Quiet, please. Quiet.

Three cheers for the General.




Sir Eglamore, that valiant knight

Fa la lanky down dilly,

he took up his sword

And he went to fight,

fa la lanky down dilly

And as he rode o'er hill and dale

All armoured in a shirt of mail

Fa la la

La la la lanky down dilly

There leaped a dragon right out of her den

Fa la lanky down dilly

That had slain I know not how many men

Fa la lanky down dilly

But when she spied Sir Eglamore,

oh, that you had

But heard her roar...

- Take that to my quarters.

- Yes, sir.

Come on, come on!

lf I were your age, Robert,

those little virgins down there,

they wouldn't last out the summer.

- Do you think I lack character, sir?

- You want to get after it, boy.

As your legal guardian,

I'm entitled to tell you about these things.

- If only you would, sir.

- On the other hand, what happens?

I'm not too sure, sir.

You take one of these little virgins

under the apple tree,

you wake up ten minutes later,

what have you got? Hm? Eh? I'll tell you.

- You're married to her and keeping her mother.

- But I'm too young for marriage, sir.

In no time at all, you'll be too old.

You'll be like me, you see.

You'll be sitting at your desk,

dictating your memoirs.

They're coming!

- Oh, I want that.

- Let me have a look!

- And, Robert?

- Sir?

You get the urge sometimes, I hope.

Yes, I do, sir.

Good. Life without the urge is unthinkable.

Now, then, get on with your work, all of you.

What is this, a kitchen or a dosshouse?

Really, cook!

I feel as sprightly as a two-year-old,

almost like a widower.

Good morning. We'll work later, my boy.

I must get this damn corset off.

- Ooh!

- Very good, sir.

- Agnes, has the new girl arrived yet?

- Not yet, sir.

Well, let me know when she does, will you?

- Melanie?

- It's Rosemary, sir.

Of course it is. I never forget a pretty little face.

- Yes, madam?

-You took your time.

Has he come back yet?

- I'm not certain, madam.

- Well, find out. Find out at once.

Yes, madam.

Later, my child. Later.



Well, answer me, somebody, answer me!

Agnes, has he come in?

What do you mean, you're not sure?

Well, go and look for him.

I know he's around somewhere.


I saw you, Leo.

I know you're there.

Yes, er, I am here, my love.

Yes, yes.

- What are you doing?

- Oh, er, just changing.

Yes, you're thinking. I can hear you.

- What are you thinking about?

- Oh, I am thinking about you, my love.

Hmm. Liar.

You're thinking about women.

Damn and blast it!

There! I've caught you out.

You're swearing because I've caught you out.

Don't be ridiculous.

I'm swearing at my corsets, my love.

I'm only ill because of you.

Come now, my love.

I'm ill because I know what you're doing.

I am merely unfastening my corset, madam.

You're thinking about women as you do it.

I know.

What drab have you got in there now?


- Oh!

- You're sighing. What's going on?

Oh, nothing. Nothing's going on.

Inside your head, though.

What's going on in there?

My head, madam, is out of bounds.

It's the only place I've got left

where I can have a bit of peace.

I'll get into it one day.

You'll find me there,

- when you least expect it.

- As you wish, madam. As you wish.

Meanwhile, I shall take the doctor's advice

- and close the door on you.

- Leo I forbid it.


Damn you, madam!

Damn you, damn you!

- He's coming. Papa!

- Papa!

- Yes, what is it?

- What shall we do about dresses for the ball?

- Do nothing about them.

- How can you say that, Papa?

- New dresses give young girlies ideas.

- But we've nothing to wear.

Then wear nothing. It's much more jolly.

Robert, have you got those notes in there?

- We need new dresses, Papa.

- We've grown, Papa.

You never stop growing. Have I grown?

People grow till they're 25.

- Not if they've got any tact, they don't.

But, Papa!

Oh, very well.

Robert will take you down to Mrs Bulstrode's

dress shop later on and then you can er...

- Have you decided which one of us to marry?

- One or the other, Robert.

Will you kindly go away?

You are not allowed in here.

What did I say to you just now?

Robert will take us

down to Mrs Bulstrode's dress shop later.

Oh, my God, they're ugly. Aren't they ugly?

How can you enjoy a pretty face

and bring that into the world?

Your daughters have certain qualities, sir.

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Jean Anouilh

Jean Marie Lucien Pierre Anouilh (French: [ʒɑ̃ anuj]; 23 June 1910 – 3 October 1987) was a French dramatist whose career spanned five decades. Though his work ranged from high drama to absurdist farce, Anouilh is best known for his 1944 play Antigone, an adaptation of Sophocles' classical drama, that was seen as an attack on Marshal Pétain's Vichy government. One of France's most prolific writers after World War II, much of Anouilh's work deals with themes of maintaining integrity in a world of moral compromise. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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