This 60s French-Spanish co-production has all the flaws of the genre: an opportunistic approach lacking a vision. It feels very routinely shot by a sloppy operator. The main cast does an OK job even though it verges on the wooden side quite often.
This mediocre movie would deserve a kinder approach if the story had tried better to stay away from Sabatini's. As such the story is much weaker while at heart the plot is almost the same. I understand that it was difficult to stem away from George Sydney's magnificent 1952 rendition since this MGM gem does everything right and is all at once a swashbuckling, romantic and comic and dramatic delight.
The Commedia dell' Arte character is a buoyant man of murky origins and it takes a lot of talent to invent something different than the Hollywood-Sabatini one. That is definitely asking too much from opportunistic European producers who are satisfied aplenty with shooting a story set in Paris at the very distinctive Burgos Cathedral.
I remember I enjoyed this movie when I was 8 and was really impressed and moved by the scene at the cemetery, but now I see this scene is one gigantic directorial failure, mixing buffoonery, fantasy, grief, vengeance and remorse. No wonder these co-productions didn't mind about craftsmanship but only about shooting the bits together.
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