Harpagon, un riche veuf, vit avec ses enfants, Cléante et Élise. Avare à l'extrême, il a enterré, dans son jardin, une cassette pleine d'or et soupçonne perpétuellement son entourage de vouloir la lui voler. Il souhaite que ses enfants réalisent de beaux mariages d'argent et, pour lui-même, caresse un projet de secondes noces qui devra ne rien lui coûter.
Gauthier Valence, acteur de cinéma et télévision qui connaît un grand succès, a décidé de monter lui-même Le Misanthrope. Il effectue un voyage express à l'île de Ré afin de commencer la distribution des rôles. Il espère y convaincre son ami et grand acteur, Serge Tanneur, de remonter sur les planches.
Un vieux conseiller est dupe de l'hypocrisie de sa gouvernante : pour lui ouvrir les yeux, son petit-fils va lui projeter une comédie filmée intitulée « Tartuffe ». La séance terminée, l'impudente sera démasquée et chassée.
In Rome the rich and stingy landowner Argante believed to be sick in any possible harm, although born as a fish. Another thing that the cruel man holds great attention is his money and his contract with a young doctor for the wedding of his daughter Lucrezia. In fact, the good catch is considered the girl a total moron who knows nothing about medicine, but Don Argante not pay much attention and just think to combine the deal as soon as possible. Meanwhile his wife, without his or her knowledge, betrays him with another. Comes the doctor betrothed his daughter to the house of Argante, as he finds himself in yet another false relapse, and thus begins to visit him. Argante now realizes the nonsense that says the young but is only about money and does not care. Later, between the master and his servant turns a strong argument that Argante is not loved by anyone in the family except by his servants. To test the family Argante is persuaded by the servants to pretend to be dead in order to discover the hatred that his wife and family have of him and so it happens. As if that were not enough rich to the poor has been stolen also deposit money.
The rich and miserly Don Arpagone lives his days following precise patterns and commanding his servants and sons. He wants to marry a rich girl named Marianna, but is loved by the boy Valerio, without Arpagone know. As if that were not enough, Arpagone, in addition to wanting the inheritance of the new bride, intends to marry his daughter with a rich noble to earn more money.
Jean-Baptiste Poquelin is raised by his father and his grandfather because his mother dies when he's still very little. He works as a handyman, studies the law at a university and travels the country as an actor before he becomes the celebrated playwright Molière who impresses firstly the Duke of Orleans and then even King Louis XIV.
The film begins in 1658, when the French actor and playwright returns to Paris with his theatrical troupe to perform in the theater the king's brother has given him. Most of the film is in the form of a flashback to 1645. Following an unsuccessful run as a tragic actor, Molière is released from debtor's prison by Monsieur Jourdain (Fabrice Luchini), a wealthy commoner with social pretensions, who agrees to pay the young actor's debts if Molière teaches him to act.
Après avoir essayé pendant longtemps sur la scène, Ettore Petrolini réinvente Sganarelle, d'une manière proche au caractère Bertoldo de Giulio Cesare Croce. Se référant à Petrolini, le critique de cinéma Filippo Sacchi avait écrit " Vous devez l'accepter tel qu'il est, avec son tempérament et ses qualités admirables ... avec le grotesque et la blague qui échappent même sans logique dans le genre comique"