Cinema: Message from the Asylum

King of Hearts. Provincial France. World War I. Retreating Germans plant a time bomb in a town square, preparing to explode it at midnight when Allied troops arrive. To foil the Boche plan, a Scottish regiment sends in a wide-eyed private (Alan Bates), who finds the town empty save for the inmates of a lunatic asylum. Spilling out of their bin and into the town, they find an abandoned circus with enough period costumes to outfit nine road companies of Marat-Sade.

Apart from the wardrobe, nothing about this comedy wears well. Though Director Philippe de Broca (That Man from Rio) obviously hoped...

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