One of the first actual "cult films" I became aware of in the mid-seventies was the 1966 French film, KING OF HEARTS. Directed by Philippe De Broca (who would later direct DEAR INSPECTOR and the marvelously fun LE MAGNIFIQUE), KING OF HEARTS is an odd, surreal, metaphorical comedy/drama about a WWII soldier charged with defusing a bomb left behind in a small French town. Although the townspeople have evacuated, the town has been taken over by the inmates of the local asylum...who name the soldier their King.
KING OF HEARTS appeared regularly at midnight shows, revival houses and art theaters and, as home video took over in the early eighties, was popular there, also. In time, its star fell, replaced by ever more outrageous midnight movies. Taken on its own, though, KING OF HEARTS is a must for film buffs.
Eclectic English actor Alan Bates starred in his second significant film of '66, the other being GEORGY GIRL with Lynn Redgrave.
French actress Genevieve Bujold has an early role in KING OF HEARTS. She went on to be in a number of major English language and International productions throughout the seventies and eighties and became the answer to the trivia question of "Who was the original actress cast as Capt. Janeway on STSR TREK: VOYAGER?"