Bardelys the Magnificent (1926)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  30 September 1926 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 773 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 12 critic

Rafael Sabatini's story of the swashbuckling era and of Bardeleys, the handsome courtier who could win any woman he set his mind to...and was not above boasting about it to all who would listen.



(novel), (adaptation), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lionel Belmore ...
Emily Fitzroy ...
Vicomtesse de Lavedan
George K. Arthur ...
St. Eustache
Arthur Lubin ...
Theodore von Eltz ...
Edward Connelly ...
Fred Malatesta ...
John T. Murray ...
Joe Smith Marba ...
Innkeeper (as Joseph Marba)
Daniel G. Tomlinson ...
Emile Chautard ...


In the court of French king Louis XIII, a courtier named Bardelys carries with him a grand reputation as an irresistible ladies' man. When another figure in the court, Chatellerault, fails to win the hand of the beautiful Roxalanne (whose family fortune the king wishes to bring under his control), Bardelys suggests that he could win the young woman's hand. Thus a bet is made, and Bardelys embarks on the pursuit of Roxalanne and her fortune. But intrigue and mistaken identity lead Bardelys into grave danger. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


I could win every woman in France he cried...and he did! (original poster) See more »


Drama | Romance






Release Date:

30 September 1926 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bardelys el magnífico  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne, the reason this film was (almost) lost was that Rafael Sabatini, the author of the book, didn't sell the movie rights to MGM outright. Instead, he leased them for 10 years, and in 1936 MGM chose not to renew the lease because it decided that a silent film with a now-dead star no longer had commercial value. So, according to the terms of Sabatini's contract, MGM destroyed the negative and all known prints. See more »


Featured in Show People (1928) See more »

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User Reviews

John Gilbert the Magnificent
4 November 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I thought this was a great film. It's got everything. There's plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor (as with Sabbatini's MONSIEUR BEAUCAIRE, one of Valentino's more underrated films) and also some terrific action sequences.

John Gilbert and Eleanor Boardman are great together. Roy D'Arcy has another memorable role as the bad guy (see THE MERRY WIDOW). Karl Dane and George K. Arthur provide comic relief (so does Gino Corrado in the opening duel sequence). Lionel Belmore and Emily Fitzroy are solid as the Lavedans. Try to find John Wayne and Lou Costello as extras.

The missing reel (?) seems to leave us without the story of Lesperon (whom Gilbert masquerades as), but the missing footage doesn't ruin the story.

As has been pointed out, the river seen among the willows is lushly romantic and beautifully done and reminds one of scenes from SUNRISE. The escape scene is terrific with great closeups of Gilbert as he swings on tapestries from the castle walls. It would be interesting to know how they shot these scenes.

There are enough comic and action scenes here to dispel the image of John Gilbert as merely some pale and insipid "great lover" of the silent screen. Gilbert was a solid actor who had appeared in around 70 films by 1926. Gilbert did everything: westerns like HELL'S HINGES with William S. Hart, sports films like THE BUSHER with Charles Ray and Colleen Moore, comic roles like the manic hayseed dancer in HEART O' THE HILLS with Mary Pickford. When he finally reached stardom in the early 1920s, Gilbert continued to explore a full range of roles. He was also a writer and director.

BARDELYS THE MAGNIFICENT ranks among Gilbert's best and most entertaining silent films.

43 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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