During the European revolutionary fervor of 1848, Italian Captain Renato Dimorna tries to avenge his father's death, goes against the corrupt local military governor Larocca and prevents an Austrian military invasion.
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Robert D. Webb
In 1848, the northern Italian region of Casamare is facing an imminent military invasion by the neighboring Austrian army. In the town-square of Casamare, at the statue of the famed Italian hero Count of Monte Cristo, the local military governor, Viovanni Larocca, is holding a patriotic speech in order to bolster the people's morale and to fund-raise more money for the Italian army. Most people have complete trust in their military governor. However, Larocca is summoned to the luxurious estate of Count Dimorna, one of the leading noblemen of Italy, whose son, army captain Renato Dimorna is on leave. At Count Dimorna's castle, military governor Larocca is confronted by an angry Dimorna who accuses Larocca of treason. His proof is a letter from the enemy to Larocca confirming large transfers of money made to a personal Swiss account in Larocca's name. Larocca murders Dimorna and makes it appear as if the count committed suicide because the count's guilty conscience of being the real ... Written by
Zorro-like adventure from Columbia is really an inflated B-film...
Italy in 1848 is the setting for MASK OF THE AVENGER, which borrows heavily from every Zorro-like swashbuckler or "Count of Monte Cristo" film ever made. Columbia's fledgling stars, JOHN DEREK and JODY LAWRENCE play the romantic leads with ANTHONY QUINN lending his presence to a colorful supporting role. He was on the verge of his own big-time stardom.
Derek is the masked aristocrat who must engage in swordplay with military tyrant Quinn. Although given Technicolor and some appropriate sets, it has the look of a second-rate epic indistinguishable from a dozen other such stories.
Nor is it any help that JODY LAWRENCE is a strictly one-note actress who brings nothing but a pretty face to her role as the lovely heroine.
JOHN DEREK fares slightly better but it's no more than a cardboard, by-the-numbers sort of adventure done countless times in more inventive ways. This one stirs up only a moderate amount of interest and can be easily forgotten.
Obviously designed to give Derek's teen-age fans a thrill since he gets solo billing over the title.
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