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On Guard
On Guard
Actors: Daniel Auteuil, Fabrice Luchini, Vincent Perez, Marie Gillain, Yann Collette
Director: Philippe de Broca
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2004     2hr 8min

The swordplay never ends in this dazzling, Dumas-like adventure of conspiracy and revenge, set around 1700 and presented here in its seventh filmed incarnation, directed by French New Wave titan Philippe de Broca (That Man...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Daniel Auteuil, Fabrice Luchini, Vincent Perez, Marie Gillain, Yann Collette
Director: Philippe de Broca
Creators: Philippe de Broca, Françoise Galfré, Patrick Godeau, Rita Rusic, Jean Cosmos, Jérôme Tonnerre, Paul Féval
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Enhanced - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/09/2004
Original Release Date: 03/20/1998
Theatrical Release Date: 03/20/1998
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 2hr 8min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Enhanced
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: French, Italian
Subtitles: English, French

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Movie Reviews

Edward Lee | 06/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Alexandre Dumas made a reputation for himself writing stories chiefly about the uncommon man who had to rise to the occasion in extraordinary circumstances. Arguably, THE THREE MUSKETEERS and THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO stand as some of the best literature of the ages, and the film adaptations have created some of the most incredibly swordplay put to the silver screen.The little heard of and rarely seen ON GUARD ("Le Bossu," 1997, from the French novel by Paul Feval of the same name), by far, features some of the most exciting swordplay with a story that compares to Dumas' best work in many ways.Daniel Auteuil stars as Lagardere, a budding swordsman who can't back down from a fight. One evening, upon trying to best the Duke of Nevers, he inadvertantly falls into the duke's good graces and joins him -- as a sidekick -- on a journey to rescue the man's infant daughter, Aurore. However, as the duke is soon murdered by his villainous cousin Count Gonzague (played with ample creepiness by Fabrice Luchini), Lagardere escapes with the infant and, along with the help of a traveling circus, raises her as his own child for sixteen years ... until Aurore takes up the sword and performs a move only her real father could've known, alerting the now-in-power Gonzague to the fact the the daughter has survived. Now, Legardere is faced with the ultimate challenge of devising a masterful plot to put the woman back on the throne and into her position of prominence!Much of the film is pure plotting and humor, some of which can only be the product of the French ("Ever try sodomy, my friend?"), and I'm quite certain several of the jokes might be lost on an American audience. Still, Auteuil as Lagardere is the film's masterful stroke; he proves himself capable of a Musketeer-like defender, a loving father, and a pining lost soulmate to the lovely Aurore, all the while maintaining his sense of duty coupled with a great sense of humor.The film is presented widescreen, filmed on beautiful locations, and the sound is very crisp and vibrant. ON GUARD is a wonderful adaptation that deserves to be discovered by a much larger audience."
Swashbuckling Entertainment
Heather Richards | a galaxy far far away | 10/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I picked this movie up on a whim and was I ever glad that I did. This movie is swashbuckling entertainment at its finest. Not only is the movie beautiful to look at, the acting is top notch and the story line is refreshingly crisp and intruiging.

Daniel Auteuil is the witty and bold Lagardere, who has vowed to avenge the death of his friend and fellow swordsman, the Duke de Nevers, who has been assassinated on his wedding day by his treacherous cousin. Lagardere must then raise the Duke's daughter and somehow regain her birthright. Interspersed through the story is exceptionally choreographed sword play, a love story and a Monte Cristo-like plan of revenge.

Auteuil is lovable and dangerous at the same time as Lagardere and somehow convincingly pulls off being the main romantic lead as well, even though the age difference between he and his paramour is something that most American audiences shy away from. Vincent Perez as the Duke was a wonderful touch. He's frivolous, prissy and hedonistic, but he's also a dangerous man with a sword, in fact more dangerous than Lagardere, and he's also a loving man to his wife and child he hasn't seen and comes out being downright likable. Marie Gillain is spunky and charming as Aurore, the Duke's daughter and Lagardere's ward. She's truly her father's daughter and more than a match for Lagardere.

As with the Count of Monte Cristo, this is a revenge movie at heart with a lot of heart in it. It makes for a lovely period adventure piece and well worth the watch."
"In A Year, 10 Years... 20... I'll Avenge Thee"
Brian E. Erland | Brea, CA - USA | 07/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Note: French with English subtitles.

'On Guard' released in '98 is a delightful movie encompassing masterful swordplay, murder and revenge, love and redemption. Starring Daniel Auteuil in one of his finest roles, it's easy to see why he has become a recognized "National Treasure" of France. He is funny, charming, sly, dashing, brave, sensitive and romantic. Truly one of the most engaging actors on the scene today.

Plot: Lagardere (Daniel Auteuil) is hired to escort the Duke of Nevers ((Vincent Perez) to a distant town to wed his beloved Blanche (Claire Nebout) who has already given birth to his daughter. His envious cousin Count Gonzague (Fabrice Luchini) desires both the Dukes money, property and fiance, escorting an envoy of mercenaries to kill the Duke and everyone at the wedding except the lovely Blanche. Lagardere steps in and becomes the hero saving the baby Aurore and escaping to raise her as his own. With the passing of sixteen years the time of revenge and redemption arrives. Is the brave Lagardere up to the task?

This is my favorite French film. Not only is Atreuil magnificent but he has a wonderful supporting cast with the villianous Fabrice Luchini (Count Luchini), Vincent Perez (Count Nevers) and the lovely Mari Gillain as Aurore.

My Highest Recommendation!"
A very enjoyable film.
Lucien | New York | 05/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Being a huge fan of Daniel Auteuil's work, watching this
film was a no-brainer. (Anything Daniel touches I must see!) And may I say, it was definitely worth seeing! The storyline, acting, and direction is excellent! It is a fantasy-world that you delve into within the film, and one must remember this. Have a little imagination while watching and don't ask too many questions about character development. This is a film where you escape complicated, everyday life, and are transported to a world where honor, love, loyalty and goodness always conquered above all. Definitely recommended!