In 1865, General Gurko Lanen is dictator of "Lichtenburg" in the Balkans. Rightful ruler Zona hopes to get aid from Napoleon III of France. The visiting Count of Monte Cristo falls for Zona...
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Edward G. Robinson,
In 1865, General Gurko Lanen is dictator of "Lichtenburg" in the Balkans. Rightful ruler Zona hopes to get aid from Napoleon III of France. The visiting Count of Monte Cristo falls for Zona and undertakes to help her, masquerading as a foppish banker and a masked freedom fighter. The rest is rapid-fire intrigue and derring-do. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thirteen years after making this film, in which he played the villainous ruler of a fictitious country called "Lichtenburg" (an obvious combination of the real-life small countries Lichtenstein and Luxemburg), George Sanders played a sympathetic role in the musical "Call Me Madam," also set in "Lichtenburg." See more »
Another bigger than usual budget for an Edward Small film that is very much in the same pattern as THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK, with the same stars--LOUIS HAYWARD and JOAN BENNETT--with Hayward again as the man who assumes a disguise (as a fop) in order to win the freedom of the Duchess of Litchtenberg from the clutches of villainous GEORGE SANDERS and his traitorous ways.
Full of intrigue, swashbuckling and occasional moments of romantic byplay, it's handicapped by Bennett's ice princess manner of performing in these costume roles as a damsel in distress--beautiful but expressionless. LOUIS HAYWARD, on the other hand, is very animated and charming in the title role, showing prowess with the swordplay and finally getting the upper hand in a duel of wits and swords with Sanders.
It's enjoyable but full of deja vu for those who've seen other swashbucklers of this ilk. FLORENCE BATES has a few wry moments as Bennett's maid, and MONTAGU LOVE is effective as a wrongly imprisoned nobleman.
The musical score by Edward Ward is helpful in sustaining an air of adventure but certainly not one of his more notable scores.
Summing up: Standard entertainment that must have made Saturday matinée audiences happy in the '40s--but it's all just too familiar with no original touches.
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