Comedic characters, well established relationships and cool fencing.
Andre Moreau (Stewart Granger) helps his best friend Philippe (Richard Anderson) run from the royal guard for spreading pamphlets to ignite a revolution. On the run they meet Aline de Gavrillac (Janet Leigh), and Andre immediately takes a fancy to her, but soon finds out that she may be his sister. Aline is engaged to Marquis de Maynes (Mel Ferrer), the best swordsman around, and who kills Philippe in a duel. Having no-where to go, Andre finds himself on stage acting as Scaramouche with his on-and-off again girlfriend Lenore (Eleanor Parker). Directed by George Sidney.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Right from the start it is established that Andre is this witty fella who gets out of chaos by any means necessary. Stewart Granger does a wonderful job playing his character. He was like the Jack Sparrow of the 50’s; actually I would not be surprised if the character of Sparrow was influenced by Andre or Scaramouche. Eleanor as Lenore does a great job too, she is almost as equally hilarious as Andre is, however towards the end she becomes more docile and ‘damsel-like’ which I’m a little annoyed at. But it wasn’t so bad. Those two were the highlight of the show for me. Mel Ferrer was good but apart from his sword skills his acting didn’t really stand out to me, nor did Janet Leigh’s, it was kind of average.
The screenplay is really well written and never has a dull moment. I was supposed to read the book for my literature course, but I decided to watch the film instead and I’m so glad I did. In my opinion, it does a wonderful job of condensing the novel into two hours worth of footage. I know that some events have been altered (the marriage of Marquis and Aline was not arranged in the novel), but overall I think that it is pretty accurate. But I’ll have to read the book to find out. [OK, I’ve read the book. There are a lot of differences, but the film does a good job of capturing the essence.]
I don’t really know what else to say about the film. It was engaging and comical, had action scenes (that felt a little long and repetitive sometimes), and great characters.
PROS: Acting/characters, screenplay, sword-fighting
CONS: Nothing that I can think of really
I give this an 8/10.
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