The Champagne Safari

  • 1995
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Documentary

Summer 1934: Enigmatic multimillionaire Charles E. Bedaux embarks on "The Bedaux Sub-Arctic Expedition," a 2,300 kilometer trek through the unmapped Canadian Rockies. The extravagant caravan includes a fleet of automobiles, 130 packhorses, 53 Canadian cowboys, Bedaux's wife and his mistress, 400 pounds of books, crystal stemware and more than 20 tons of...read more

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Summer 1934: Enigmatic multimillionaire Charles E. Bedaux embarks on "The Bedaux Sub-Arctic Expedition," a 2,300 kilometer trek through the unmapped Canadian Rockies. The extravagant caravan includes a fleet of automobiles, 130 packhorses, 53 Canadian cowboys, Bedaux's wife and his mistress, 400 pounds of books, crystal stemware and more than 20 tons of supplies, including pate de foie gras and, of course, champagne. To immortalize it all on film, Bedaux enlists the services of renowned Hollywood cinematographer Floyd Crosby. The safari was a disaster, and Crosby's footage

was believed lost until filmmaker George Ungar unearthed 20 cans of nitrate stock years later in a Paris basement. The pieces assembled here are astounding -- a bizarre collision of documentary, home movie and out-and-out self-aggrandizing myth-making that reveals Bedaux's rampant megalomania. But just as interesting is Ungar's portrait of the man himself, a sort of Ayn Rand uber- mensch come to life: Highly unscrupulous and fiercely individualistic, Bedaux amassed a fabulous fortune through his dehumanizing efficiency-management system, dallied with the Windsors while courting

Hitler, and wound up facing charges of treason for industrial collaboration with the Nazis. It's not your typical American success story, but it speaks volumes about America.

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  • Released: 1995
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Summer 1934: Enigmatic multimillionaire Charles E. Bedaux embarks on "The Bedaux Sub-Arctic Expedition," a 2,300 kilometer trek through the unmapped Canadian Rockies. The extravagant caravan includes a fleet of automobiles, 130 packhorses, 53 Canadian cowb… (more)

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