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Saturday, July 06, 2013

Scaramouche (1952)

Andre-Louis Moreau is a nobleman's illegitimate son in the days just before the French revolution. Noel, the Marquis de Maynes, a nobleman in love with the Queen, is ordered to seek the hand of a young ingenue, Aline, in marriage. Andre also meets Aline, and forms an interest in her. But when the marquis kills his best friend Andre declares himself the Marquis's enemy and vows to avenge his friend. He hides out, a wanted man, as an actor in a acting troupe, and spends his days learning how to handle a sword. When de Maynes becomes a murderer, challenging opposing National Assembly members to duels they have no hope of winning, Andre becomes a politician to protect the third estate (and hopefully kill de Maynes).


I love this film.  I think I've seen it about four times and I still like it (which is surprising because if I watch a film too much, I end up not liking it).  One reason it's one of my favorites is the time period - just before the French Revolution.  And it shows.  There's a small part near the beginning where Marie Antoinette says to the Marquis "What do these people want of us?"  And he replies, "Our money, our lands...our heads."  

Returning to the film itself, there were a couple of actresses I recognized - Janet Leigh (Aline) who I've seen in The Vikings as Princess Morgana (that's another excellent film) and Eleanor Parker (Lenore) who was the baroness in The Sound of Music (totally different role in Scaramouche - nothing at all like the baroness).  I actually didn't like Andre himself because he's so fickle.  First he's in love with Lenore, then Aline, then Lenore and then Aline again :P  Whatever.  I still think he and Lenore should have gotten married (I love this film but I hate the ending.  No kidding).

The music was great, the final showdown scene was amazing and I love the overall story (well...most of it).  Definitely worth a watch.

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