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A Film That Broke Boundaries

The Last Romantic Lover (Le dernier amant romantique)


Genre: Drama, Romance
Year Released: 1978, 2022 Cult Epics Blu-ray
Runtime: 1h 44m
Director(s): Just Jaeckin
Writer(s): Ennio De Concini, Just Jaeckin, César Fernández Ardavín
Cast: Dayle Haddon, Gérard Ismaël, Fernando Rey
Where To Watch: This and others are available for purchase from

RAVING REVIEW: Director Just Jaeckin's enigmatic film career is often defined by his association with the "master of eroticism" title, thanks to the international success of his EMMANUELLE films. However, a closer look at his filmography reveals a filmmaker who broke free from constraints and always aimed to surprise his audience. This is precisely what you get with THE LAST ROMANTIC LOVER, a movie that shatters expectations and presents multiple perspectives.

THE LAST ROMANTIC LOVER starts with a struggling circus just outside the city. To save his family business, the ringmaster enters a male beauty pageant organized by the feminist publisher, Elisabeth, played by Dayle Haddon. The competition features a talent show, swimwear competition, dinner date, and a cinematic “flexing competition.” It offers the grand prize of being crowned The Last Romantic Lover and a substantial sum of money to revive the circus.

Pierre (Gérard Ismaël,) a young man who wasn't interested in participating, reluctantly enters the competition and wins. But the prize is much different from what he expected; I debated expanding on this, but I think it’s an experience best viewed when watching the film for the first time. The film's final act returns to the circus; this reminds the audience of the world outside the “pageant” world.

Despite its commercial shortcomings, THE LAST ROMANTIC LOVER holds a special place in Jaeckin's heart and is considered by him to be his favorite film. The score, composed by Pierre Bachelet, adds to the movie's charm with its playful central theme and more “modern” musical influence of the time. The film was made in the late 70s and would be one of my picks to show a modern audience the film style from this period. Visually I can’t think of many films that compare with the style and color palate of cinematographer Robert Fraisse, who created very distinct “worlds” for this film.

In conclusion, THE LAST ROMANTIC LOVER is a film that breaks the mold and challenges traditional storytelling. It's a visual feast and a heartwarming fairy tale that showcases the talent and versatility of Just Jaeckin.

Cult Epics, a Los Angeles-based company specializing in controversial art films with a cult following, distributed the film. Cult Epics was founded in Amsterdam in 1991 and has a long history of releasing rare movies in the art-house, horror, and erotica genres. Over the years, the company has made over 150 titles available on home video and digital in the USA and Canada and continues to bring these films to a new generation of fans. With its commitment to releasing films that push the boundaries of traditional cinema, Cult Epics is a name to watch for movie lovers who appreciate films that challenge the status quo.

- New 4K HD Transfer (from original 35mm negative) supervised by cinematographer Robert Fraisse
- Original LPCM 2.0 Mono French track
- New DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround French track
- Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
- Audio Commentary by Jeremy Richey (Author of the book Sylvia Kristel: from Emmanuelle to Chabrol)
- Interview with Just Jaeckin (2020, HD)
- Interview with Dayle Haddon (2022, HD)
- Presentation at the Cinematheque Francaise (2022, HD)
- Promotional Gallery
- Cult Epics Trailers
- Dual-layered Disc
- Double-sided Sleeve first printing

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[photo courtesy of CULT EPICS]

Chris Jones
Entertainment Editor

Chris Jones is the Mail Entertainment Editor covering Movies and Television topics. He is from Washington, Illinois, and is the owner, writer, and editor of Overly Honest Reviews.