Thomas is the 12-year-old son of a millionaire who lives in a big mansion surrounded by woods in France. When his mother dies, his father hires a widowed maid to take care of everything while he is away. The woman brings her only son, Charles, to live with them and, hopefully, be company to lonesome Thomas.
The rich boy and the poor one become enemies from the very first encounter. Moved essentially by jealousy and fear, Thomas decides to turn Charles’ life into a hell on Earth, especially after their parents eventually fall in love. As the title suggests, he wants to make it clear to the invader who is the lord of the castle.
Je suis le seigneur du château (English: I’m the King of the Castle) is a 1989 French motion picture, directed by Régis Wargnier, loosely based on the novel I’m the King of the Castle by the English writer Susan Hill.
The film was shot at the chateau de Beaumanoir in the Côtes-d’Armor, in the Le Leslay commune. One sees also the countryside of the Huelgoat region and the town of Morlaix (the viaduct and the little streets around the church Saint-Melanie). The film was shot just a few months after the storm of 1987 of which there is visual evidence in the film.
The film deviates from the novel in several key ways. Most notably, it imbues a homoerotic subtext in the relationship between Thomas and Charles. In the book, Thomas (named Edmund) and Charles fluctuate between being friends and enemies, but there are never any suggestions of romance between the two.
Je Suis le Seigneur du Château (1989)
Directed by: Régis Wargnier
Starring: Jean Rochefort, Dominique Blanc, Régis Arpin, David Behar, Pascale Le Goff, Frederic Renno
Screenplay by: Alain Le Henry
Production Design by: Jean-Jacques Caziot
Cinematography by: François Catonné
Film Editing by: Geneviève Winding
Costume Design by: Elisabeth Tavernier
Distributed by: Motion Media
Release Date: February 22, 1989