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In the 18th century, Louis de Bourguignon is working with the Malichot's gang, but their ways are too 'unethical' for him. He creates his own band, acting under the name of Cartouche, making audacious robberies of the rich people, and even distributing the takings with the poor. Thus, cartouche attracts the people's sympathies, Venus's love, and hate from the Police and Malichot... Cartouche can escape all the traps they set at him - except the entrapments of love. Eventually, he will be saved by a woman, at her own cost. Written by
While this certainly isn't one of the deeper or meaningful costume dramas I have seen, I must admit it's a lot of fun--even though the character played by Jean-Paul Belmondo is crazy when it comes to his relationship with the lady played by Claudia Cardinale. It's in many ways a re-telling of the Robin Hood story in 18th century France--with a much more flawed main character. Like Mr. Hood, Cartouche steals from the rich and gives to the poor, but unlike Robin (who was quite happy with Maid Marion, thank you very much), once Cartouche got the girl of any man's dreams, it just wasn't good enough. Claudia Cardinale played a ravishing young thief who was desperately in love with him and ultimately would do anything for Cartouche--and the idiot keeps looking at other women! Ultimately he understands the stupidity of this, but by then it's just too late.
The story excels when it comes to exciting fights and costumes. However, at times, it lets the viewer down because the mood of the film seems to shift too much--almost like there were several versions of the film and they morphed them together. On one hand, it's a romance and in that department it does an excellent job. On the other, it's an exciting adventure yarn and once again it succeeds in this department. But, at some points in the movie (particularly when Cartouche is in the army), it also tries to be a pretty broad comedy. I actually think the film might have been better if the entire thing had been comedy or they removed the comedy altogether. It just seemed disjoint and odd the way it changed styles. However, regardless of this, the film is still worth seeing and is a lot of fun.
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