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Monday, December 21, 2015

Scaramouche (1952)

When his childhood friend (Richard Anderson) is killed in a duel by a Marquis (Mel Ferrer), an adventurer (Stewart Granger) vows to avenge his best friend. But soon he finds out that not only do he and the woman (Janet Leigh) he loves share the same father but that she is engaged to the Marquis! Based on the 1921 novel by Rafael Sabatini (CAPTAIN BLOOD), this was previously filmed in 1923. As directed by George Sidney, this lush and lively Technicolor adventure is one of the best swashbucklers to come out of Hollywood. The screenplay by Ronald Miller and George Froeschel is witty without winking at the audience and the swordplay is exquisite. Indeed, the final duel between Granger and Ferrer lasting almost 10 minutes is spectacular! The film also benefits from its two luscious leading ladies, Eleanor Parker as the fiery redheaded hellion and Janet Leigh as the delicate fair haired lady. The rousing underscore is by Victor Young. With Nina Foch as Marie Antoinette (wearing Norma Shearer's old costumes from the 1938 film), Henry Wilcoxon, Robert Coote, John Dehner, Elisabeth Risdon and Lewis Stone, who played Ferrer's role in the 1923 version.

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