Live Movie
Pubblicazioni varie
Galleria Personaggi
Gallerie - Live Movie

Click qui per leggere questa pagina in italiano



Just starting from 1973, Riyoko Ikeda has been courted by producers who wanted to get rights of VERSAILLES NO BARA for a movie or animated series. Still Riyoko Ikeda seemed not to be concerned to see her work on screens. The first who got to convince her, he was japanese producer MATAICHIRO YAMAMOTO who was finally allowed to shoot the "LADY OSCAR" movie in 1978.
The movie has to be entirely shoot in France with cast formed by english-speaking actors and actresses, playing live... from here it came the use to refer to this movie as to the "live movie" of LADY OSCAR, because it hadn't to be dubbed. If you get to find an original edition of the movie, you will see that also the japanese editions are in English with subtitles.


Mataichiro Yamamoto (Mata-San) producer with  Jacques Demi director, while shooting the movie.

Shooting start: Jossigny (France)
24th July 1978
Shooting at Versailles:
from 14th August to 2nd October 1978
Cinema Opening in Japan:
Tokyo, 3rd March 1979

Front and rear of a japanese cinema ticket, dated
May 1979

Funds to produce the movie are granted by japanese Shiseido, together with NTV Nippon Television and other great names, such as TOHO CO. and KITTY RECORDS.

At those times, Yamamoto was a young producer, about 30 years old and this movie was one of the first projects for Jacques Demi too (the French director choosen for this movie), they both will get bright careers years later.
Yamamoto had really a great talent and he was able to get permission to shoot the movie into the real palace of Versailles: it was not simple to get such a permission because French institutions were fearing risks for the artistic heritage of the Chateau... but he got to convince them with the promise to book the palace just for a short period: in facts he tooks machines away from the palace within 2 months about.


Lady Oscar - Cinema Poster

Directed by
Original Story by
Produced by
Screenplay by
Music by

Searching for actors was very difficult, above all for the role of Oscar... so that Riyoko Ikeda herself finally decided to go to Paris in order to be present at the tests. Finally, choice falled on Catriona Maccoll, a young dancer who was at her first time in cinema.
As about the other most important roles, they choose all young actors without experience; none of them will shine so much and they all remained quite unknown to the great public.
Catriona Maccoll (3 Oct. 1954, Oscar) and Barry Stokes (19 Sept. 1948, Andrè) will continue the career as actors in future but without important results, only little parts into not important tapes. Young and unlucky Christina Bohm (19 Febr 1954, Marie Antoinette) died a few time after finishing the movie, after a road accident... she was only 24: her role was maybe the best among the others since she was so nice and gracious that she really got to embody the figure of Marie Antoniette just she had to appear into the Riyoko Ikeda manga, who wanted a tender-hearted young queen, unconscious of her destiny.

The only figure here who will get some kind of fame, she will be Patsy Kensit, here into the role of Oscar child... but.. what a "fame"... not even to mention!
Patricia Louisiana Knop (screenplay) will get a few fortune with some recent productions in USA.

Mataichiro Yamamoto is the only great figure of the whole thing: he is now a great producer.

Among all the artists who worked to this movie, we must speak about the great composer Michel Legrand (1932): he had already worked with Jacques Demi when he accepted to write the soundtrack of this movie, registered in Japan and distributed by Kitty Records. Michel Legrand is now most well known all around the world for his talent so we don't wonder about the fact that he really wrote wonderful musics for this movie: he also won 3 Oscar prizes and if you want to get more infos about this career, you will easily find many websites dedicated to him.. still you will hardly find any recall to this movie unfortunately.
It's true: this LADY OSCAR movie didn't got the hoped success and many artists decided to cancel it from their biographies... Michel Legrand published many compilations in Europe and none of them include the main theme of LADY OSCAR... even if you will recognize that, as about musics, soundtrack here is wonderful. LADY OSCAR musics only existed into the japanese discs released at the end of '70s by Kitty Records in Japan, never published on cd at present days: this is probably the only website dedicating a few lines to this soundtrack at world!
Well, so please aknowledge that the main theme of LADY OSCAR, written by Michel Legrand, was titled "I'm a Lady" and it is the one you should be able to hear in background now... please also aknowledge that since this movie has not been famous like others, Legrand never spoke about it and it's usually not mentioned into his official discography (maybe he didn't gain enough with it)... so you please remember this theme... and feel free to forget LEGRAND!

Jacques Demi too, whose name became so famous in France, did his best to make his fans forgive the direction of LADY OSCAR and this was not such a great honour (peace to his soul, he is dead).

It's true that this movie was not a masterpiece: i am not here to acclaim it and not concerned in redeeming all those people who didn't like it... still i would like to make you think about the fact that this movie, even if it was shot in France with international cast, it was just a japanese production and Japan had a really short story about cinema.
More then this, the project encountered many practical obstacles: the rithm of the work had to be quickest because actors had to leave the Versailles palace as soon as possible and actors had never known nor the original story nor the director before starting the scenes! Just think that Catriona Maccoll firstly met Jacques Demi on July 1978 and she had never played before.

Following such a rythm with such a plot was very hard... Catriona Maccoll had commented her experience for a japanese magazine with these words: "...I don't think that i have ever been less aware of time and seen the months pass by at such a speed. Indeed a great deal of time and hardwork was put into the making of "Lady Oscar" by everyone involved, in order to overcome the inevitable day-to-day problems to ensure that the filming ran as smoothly as it did, which is not to be guaranteed when there are at least three languages being spoken on the set! The actors who spoke English, the team who spoke French and the producers who spoke Japanese. However, everyone was more then willing to make an effort to understand and get on with one another and i am sure than i can say on their behalf that "we had a lot of fun!!"(...) I think as far as i am concerned that the international element was one of the most exciting things about it: I had the impression that the whole world was involved! Tokyo has always seemed so far away from me and i was thrilled to be in such close contact with Japan and the Japanese people, a nation from the other side of the world whom i did not know much about and had certainly never had the opportunity to meet or work with before...."  (Shueisha Roadshow, 1979)

Due to so many obstacles, during the production of the movie and up to the opening at Tokyo, on 3rd March 1979, i am always a bit annoyed when reading predictable critics about this movie on websites, here and there... quite all websites dedicated to LADY OSCAR are mentioning this movie telling that it was bad, without doing any sort of analysis of the reasons... ninny...
This movie has been produced in Japan in 1978 and it was the first experiment to bring VERSAILLES NO BARA on screens: the most famous manga in Japan, 10 volumes, had to be condensed into a tape of 90 minutes: some years later, people will forgive Shingo Araki because he was not strict to the original story due to the fact that he had to resume the whole story within 40 episodes only (about 13 hours and 30 minutes...)... and Jacques Demi? Nothing forgiven! Not even considering that Shingo Araki Production was counting the most talented artists of the genre while Demi had to work with a cast of beginners.

In all the countries where the LADY OSCAR LIVE MOVIE has been transmitted, it was transmitted after the success of the animated series (even if, in Japan, the animated series came with one year of delay, after!) so unless finding the progress from the movie to the animation, we have seen the opposite regression... but this is an error of ours.

As about the role of Oscar, all has ben told about Catriona Maccoll but the reason for which she had been choosen! Major investor of the LADY OSCAR LIVE MOVIE project was japanese Shiseido, producing cosmetics: Shiseido wanted to fund the promotional campaign of its products, in those years, on a message who could sound like this "DO YOU LIKE THE ROSE OF VERSAILLES? MAKE-UP WITH OUR PRODUCTS AND YOU'LL BE BEAUTIFUL LIKE A ROSE!... so they needed Oscar to be beautiful, no matter if she was able to go horse-riding or not!
Into the original manga comics, at first Oscar is a young scarse girl and after she becomes a woman with noble lines, slender, tall, she is like a flag! She the woman whom Fersen can think to as a man until they told him she is not!: Riyoko Ikeda design of Oscar is 1,80m tall and 58 kilos, no curves, flesh and blood: yes, Oscar is wonderful but her role is wonderful, her personality, her appeal but these things are out of her body... the Oscar's body by Riyoko Ikeda gets a feminine appearance only one time, into the scene when she dresses like a woman... but Riyoko Ikeda can joke with curves like she wants, because she uses the pencil!! Instead, producers of the live movie needed a beautiful woman and they couldn't change her body scene by scene! She had to be beautiful in feminine dress and Catriona was but, how about the uniform with such short legs? Well, they preferred to fail the figure of Oscar while dressing like a man, and they just looked for a young beautiful women, following the taste of the years. Doing this, they finally run out from the original character so that we can't recognize Oscar in that body.
Catriona Maccoll was perfect to act as testimonial for a house of cosmetics, ... in the role of Oscar, she was not. Just like Oscar if she had to publicize a beauty farm! In conclusion, i don't wonder Catriona was not resembling Oscar, it was not possible. As about beeing beautiful, she was.


Lady Oscar - Il copione

Here it's one copy of the original plot of the movie, offering all the translations from japanese to english...

Music added as background in this page is a piece cut and resampled from the "Lady Oscar Theme" by Michel Legrand. Please note it's here to publicize the original soundtrack. Any kind of reproduction is not allowed. This website exists for collectors of original material only, we don't promote and we don't support diffusion of illegal materials ever. We do all, with regards to original creators and authors.