Let Joy Reign Supreme

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Que la fête commence
Let Joy Reign Supreme
Directed by Bertrand Tavernier
Written by Jean Aurenche
Bertrand Tavernier
Produced by Michelle de Broca
Yves Robert
Starring Philippe Noiret
Jean-Pierre Marielle
Cinematography Pierre-William Glenn
Edited by Armand Psenny
Music by Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
Distributed by CIC/Fildebroc Productions/Franco London Films/Productions de la Gueville/UPF
Release date
  • 23 March 1975 (1975-03-23)
Running time
114 minutes
Box office$8.4 million [1]

Que la fête commence... (English title Let Joy Reign Supreme) is a 1975 French film directed by Bertrand Tavernier and starring Philippe Noiret. It is a historical drama set during the 18th century French Régence centring on the Breton Pontcallec Conspiracy.


It won the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics Prix Méliès, and the César Award for Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Writing and Best Production Design, and was nominated for Best Film, Best Supporting Actress and Best Music.


In France in 1719, Philippe II, Duke of Orléans is the regent for the young Louis XV. He is sophisticated, gentle, a liberal and a libertine. He endeavours to keep his subjects cultured and happymainly to stop the peasants from rising upbut he knows he has no real royal authority. To assist him, Philippe enlists the aid of an atheistic and venal priest named Guillaume Dubois, another libertine who does not care for anyone except himself. The film begins with the gruesome autopsy of Marie Louise Élisabeth d'Orléans, Duchess of Berry, elder daughter of the Regent who died on 21 July 1719, her health fatally ruined by her debauched life and a series of clandestine pregnancies. Notoriously promiscuous, Joufflotte ("chubby")as she was nicknamed because of her generous proportionswas rumoured to have committed incest with her father. The autopsy reveals that the Rubenesque princess was again pregnant. Philippe is very much affected by her death. Meanwhile, a rebellion led by a Breton squire named Pontcallec occurs. Philippe's natural idealism is further shaken when he is forced to execute Pontcallec's band of revolutionaries. Dubois, however, tries to take advantage of the revolt and subsequent famine to become archbishop. It becomes apparent that true joy will only be found when the peasants successfully overthrow the aristocrats who have held them down for so long.

The film provides a description of 18th century life at court, and features the music of the real Philippe d'Orléans.


Awards and nominations

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  1. "Que la fête commence (1975) - JPBox-Office".