A law student becomes an outlaw French revolutionary when he decides to avenge the unjust killing of his friend. To get close to the aristocrat who has killed his friend the student adopts the identity of Scaramouche the clown. Written by
Steve Crook <email@example.com>
This 1923 adaptation of a mid-1921 novel is one of the most faithful-to-the-original screenplays I have ever seen. Granted, large blocks of the book are omitted or greatly condensed, but who wants a 20-hour movie? The basic story line is retained and well developed.
The cinematography is superb, and the print we saw on cable was sharp and clear. It shows there is no excuse for the foggy, low-contrast prints we see in so many of the early thirties films. The sets, costumes, performances, and overall production are outstanding for any era. The silent film has been provided with a fine score, and even with its limitations is infinitely superior to the 1952 so-called "remake," which is virtually no relation to the book.
The two-hour-plus production moves along briskly (with perhaps a few too many minutes of the final mob scenes) and is exciting. Suspense is maintained very well, though my wife anticipated the ending. It was hard to keep my previous knowledge of the plot to myself.
I loved this production and give it an enthusiastic and unqualified 10.
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