Given the opportunity to turn out a Sacha Guitry-style spectacle, director Roberto Rossellini charts his own neorealist course for The Rise of Louis XIV. It's as if a documentary cameraman was let loose in the royal court of the 17th Century Sun King, here played by Jean-Marie Patte. The use of unfamiliar actors in the major roles adds to the film's realism. Though shown to be the product of a decadent lifestyle, Louis is depicted as being trapped by his royalty, forced in spite of himself to be a raconteur and trendsetter. The Rise of Louis XIV was one of several innovative films made for French television by the Italian Rossellini.