A portrait of the complex life of 18th century gadfly Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, most noted for his plays "Barber of Seville" and "The Marriage of Figaro." Although a talented playwright, Beaumarchais's social activities were not confined to the stage, in fact he conspired with France's leaders in aiding rebels from the American colonies. Beaumarchais's controversial political involvement included: being sent by Louis XV on a secret mission to London, imprisonment in Britain, and even having a short-lived career as a gun-runner for the American Revolution.