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Jean-Paul rebels against his bondage to his uncle, the Marquis de St. Malo, and journeys to the far-off Mayan hills of Guatemala seeking a hidden treasure. He is the rightful heir to his uncle's title and lands, and goes to Guatemala to win his fortune and come back and claim his heritage. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The best tradition of US (almost B) movies in costume
The movie was broadcast this afternoon on french TV (France 3). Never heard about it before. The action takes place half in a fake Hollywood France of the "XVIIIème siècle", half on location in the real beauty of Guatemala. Delmer Daves is for sure a professional entertainer (see "Broken Arrow"), and the movie follows the best tradition of US (almost B) movies in costume, like Fritz Lang masterpiece "Moonfleet". The typography of the production credits and cast is great (in the "Drums Along the Mohawk" style, though inferior), the colors amazing, and the scenes shot in the ruins and landscapes in Guatemala - with the locals Indians - are truly beautiful. The political message against "money for money" and for freedom (Jean-Paul, the hero, is a "slave" in the French society of that time) is naive but OK. Cornel Wilde is a strange actor, but not as bad as I fear. He's good in action scenes, and can be stirring when the camera is close to his virile face. Not that sexy, but he is "un bel homme" as old French ladies would say. He and Delmer Daves must have been very proud of his great body : he's half naked twice (in 1953!), and not just a second. Anne Bancroft was a débutante, but she's very courageous in her part, a bitchy and cynic Marquise. The only problem is Constance Smith. Because she is not Debra Paget, the incredible actress of "Das Indische Grabmal". She is so not pithy, and that's a thousand pities.
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