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Friday, June 21, 2013

Swordsman Of Siena (1962)

In 16th century Tuscany, the brutal Spanish tyrant (Riccardo Garrone) overseeing the city hires an English mercenary (Stewart Granger) as a bodyguard to his fiancee (Sylva Koscina, HERCULES). Meanwhile, a secret rebel group called "The Ten" attempts to overthrow the oppressive regime. This late entry in the swashbuckler sweepstakes is unexpectedly entertaining. Its leading man (Granger) was beyond his prime by 1962 but he still was fastidiously adept in his sword skills proving all those years in those MGM swashbucklers weren't wasted. Handsomely shot in color and CinemaScope by Tonino Delli Colli (ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST), this appears to have been one of those international co-productions that were shot twice, once in Italian and once in English. The English language screenplay is credited to Michael and Fay Kanin (TEACHER'S PET) and the English language version is directed by Etienne Perier (BRIDGE TO THE SUN). The rather lackluster score by Mario Nascimbene could have used some punch. With Christine Kaufmann, Alberto Lupo and Marina Berti.

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