The Legend of Frenchie King

The Legend of Frenchie King (French: Les Pétroleuses) or Petroleum Girls is a 1971 French, Spanish, Italian and British international co-production western comedy film directed by Christian-Jaque and starring Claudia Cardinale and Brigitte Bardot.

The Legend of Frenchie King
French theatrical release poster
Directed byChristian-Jaque
Produced by
Written by
  • Marie-Ange Aniès
  • Daniel Boulanger
  • Clément Bywood
  • Eduardo Manzanos Brochero
  • Jean Nemours
Music byFrancis Lai
CinematographyHenri Persin
Edited byNicole Gauduchon
  • Francos Films
  • Vides Cinematografica
  • Coop. Copercines (Madrid)
  • Hemdale Holdings[1]
Release date
16 December 1971
Running time
94 minutes
  • France
  • United Kingdom
  • Italy
  • Spain
Box office2,234,479 admissions (France)[2]


In Bougival Junction, Texas in 1888 the Francophone town is led by Marie Sarrazin. A new family arrives, calling themselves the Millers, but in fact they are the daughters of the hanged outlaw Frenchie King. His eldest daughter Louise seeks to keep her father's name alive by donning men's clothing and continuing his criminal ways. Louise and Maria fight, but when they are jailed they team up to take revenge on the town's men.[3]



The premiere of Les Pétroleuses was on 17 December 1971 at the Balzac cinema in Paris.[5]


Critical response

The film received generally negative reviews. Bardot's performance in particular was criticised by Jean Loup Passek, who noted how uncomfortable she seemed in the film's outdoors action setting.[6] Writing in Variety Gene Moskowitz dismissed the film as "predictable, naive and gauche" whilst Tom Milne called it "drearily unfunny".[7]

See also


  1. "Les Pétroleuses (1971)". British Film Institute. 1971. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  2. Box office information for film at Box Office Story
  3. Crawley, Bébé, p. 231
  4. Tony Crawley, Bébé: The Films of Brigitte Bardot, London:LSP Books, 1975, p. 230
  5. Petroleuses Premiere. Actresses Claudia Cardinale (left) and Brigitte Bardot at the premiere of 'Les Petroleuses' (aka Petroleum Girls or The Legend of Frenchie King), at the Balzac cinema, Paris, 17th December 1971. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  6. Crawley, Bébé, p. 233
  7. Crawley, Bébé, p. 234
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