Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Stewart Granger, Eleanor Parker, Janet Leigh, Mel Ferrer, Henry Wilcoxon
Genres: Action & Adventure
Scaramouche is the secret identity of a hero fighting for independence in the French Revolution. Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adventure Rating: NR Release Date: 1-JUL-2003 Media Type: DVD
"On your word as a fraud and a fake?"
CodeMaster Talon | Orlando, FL United States | 03/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a great movie! Lesser known than many other great swashbucklers, "Scaramouche" is nonetheless a top-notch production in every way. Stewart Granger stars as the quick-witted Andre Moreau, a charming drifter who after the murder of his best friend dedicates his life to the destruction of the murderer, the cold-blooded Marquis de Maynes (Mel Ferrer). Along the way he fights many duels, romances sweet Janet Leigh AND fiery Eleanor Parker, and has several close shaves. "Scaramouche" features a solid script, beautiful sets, lush costumes and gorgeous cinematography. The cast is excellent, with Mel Ferrer in particular giving shading and nuance to the role of the villain. The last 20 minutes of the film feature a long, spectacular sword fight that is a must-see for fans of the genre. I highly recommend "Scaramouche" to any film buff and especially to those who love adventure films.
GRADE: A(As a side note, I have also read the novel on which this movie is based, and I found it very entertaining. The movie differs from the book in several key areas, so if you have yet to read the novel, don't worry, the movie won't spoil it for you.)"
En Garde! They Don't Make 'em Like THIS Anymore!
Philip Swan | Alpharetta, GA. | 07/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"WHAT A GLORIOUS MOVIE! I've loved it since I was a kid, and somewhere between 20-30 viewings haven't dimmed its lustre for me, especially in the sparkling DVD presentation - I never fail to have my spirits lifted by the end of this grand adventure. Eleanor Parker and Janet Leigh never looked lovelier than in Charles Rosher's glorious Technicolor photography, and Stewart Granger and Mel Ferrer make a fine sparring duo. This is one of Granger's best performances - he makes Andre Moreau eminently likeable, while Ferrer is properly smarmy as his noble nemesis. And boy, do sparks fly between Granger and Parker in their romantic scenes! Parker is wonderful throughout - this is some of her best screen work. Supporting performances by Robert Coote, Henry Wilcoxen and Lewis Stone are also excellent (Stone appeared in Rex Ingram's spectacular 1923 version, playing what was essentially the Ferrer role).
The film's climactic 7-minute sword fight is justly famous and spectacularly staged and photogaphed, but there is much else to enjoy - the Commedia dell'arte sketches are amusingly played, and throughout the film is one of Victor Young's most gorgeously melodious scores, with beautiful themes for the main characters and an incredibly beautiful 'revelation' theme which precedes and ends the famous sword-fight (which itself has no musical underscoring at all). That his magnificent SCARAMOUCHE score didn't even receive an Oscar NOMINATION is a gross oversight!
There's hardly a French accent in sight, and the story has been considerably simplified from the original Sabatini novel and Ingram's film, though the basic plot-line and character motivations remain the same - in fact, the French Revolution sub-plot has been dropped almost entirely, though the film's trailer and production shots in circulation hint that it was originally given more screen-time.
The DVD extra's (2 trailers, an interview with Ferrer) are good, but I really wanted more - perhaps interviews with the 2 leading ladies as well - but believe me, I'm not complaining - this film took forever to get to VHS video and, given the studios resistance to spending much $$$ to get older films in shape for DVD, we're lucky they've honored us with this one already!
This one's a DON'T-MISS!!!!!"
A genuinely intelligent swashbuckler.
darragh o'donoghue | 04/27/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Admirers of 'Scaramouche' tend to exult in its action sequences, especially the 'longest ever' sword sequence; these are terrific, but it should be noted that they are also mocked within the film - e.g. the 'duel' between Andre and Lenore in the caravan with pots instead of sabres. What is just as interesting is the way the film takes the familiar swashbuckler trajectory - an essentially decent man is forced outside of society and must overcome a number of obstacles and tests before he is restored - and completely subverted. This is achieved by the use of theatre in the play (director Sidney was raised by travelling players, and the tavern scenes have a vividness rare in Hollywood), both as a source of fragmenting identity, and as a metaphor for the way the working class infiltrated, and eventually overcame the aristocracy (as the troupe move from a provincial tavern to a huge Parisian theatre) - we are on the eve of the French Revolution. The film IS 'lavish', but this is to mistake period detail with the much more fertile 'theatrical' artifice, which reflects the film's themes. Immense fun."
Crème de la crème of swashbucklers
Edward | San Francisco | 07/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This lavish and witty adventure was based (very loosely) on the once-popular novel by Rafael Sabatini. It had been filmed before as a silent, much more faithful to the original. This Technicolor "talkie" takes liberties -- and has a lot more fun, despite its themes of revenge and hopeless love. There's even a Napoleonic sight gag in the final shot. The cast is ideal: Stewart Granger is rugged yet suave as the cynical hero and Mel Ferrer is appropriately icy as his aristocratic nemesis. (Ferrer is dressed in whites and silvers, Granger in warm colors.) Granger is loved by both Janet Leigh and Eleanor Parker, the former a sweet Bourbon, the latter a sexy coquette. To complicate matters, Miss Leigh is adored by both Granger and Ferrer. (One contemporary critic sighed: "It's quite a plot!") The third female is Nina Foch, the most elegant Marie Antoinette you'll ever see. Unfortunately, her role was partially cut in the final editing. The picture moves on several levels. At !the beginning, Granger's character André Moreau ("Born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad", to quote Sabatini's famous first sentence) is a careless man who knows nothing about politics and cannot use a sword. In seeking vengeance for his friend's death, however, he joins the forces of liberté, égalité, fraternité; and, studying with masters, he becomes the most dangerous swordsman in France. Hiding from the authorities, he takes up with a seedy group of traveling players and, under his influence, it becomes a brilliant commedia dell'arte success (hence the title).The climatic duel takes place in a glittering Parisian theatre, the antagonists moving from the boxes, down a broad staircase, through the crowded auditorium, and onto the stage itself. All this to a dashing Victor Young score. One viewer has called "Scaramouche" a no-music musical. Actually, M~G~M originally meant this remake to be a musical starring Gene Kelly. The director George Sidney alternated between musicals and "straight" films. It isn't flawless: One of Ferrer's victims gets the fatal thrust twice in the opening sequence, once in long shot, then in close up. And don't dwell too long on the "surprise" ending (a variation of Sabatini's) or you may wonder why the marquis has to be introduced to the queen's protégée at the beginning. He would have known her or at least her name for years."