Based on satirical short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle about a vain, egotistical Etienne Gerard, a French brigadier serving during the Napoleonic Wars. He thinks he's the best soldier and lover that ever lived and intends to prove it.
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Lee J. Cobb
During the Napoleonic Wars of 18th century Europe a French Hussars Colonel is entrusted by Napoleon to be his special messenger.The colonel is sent to meet French Marshal Massena who is besieging a Spanish fortress occupied by British forces and give Massena a secret dispatch from the Emperor.Colonel Gerard accepts the task and prepares himself for any type of enemy or obstacle barring his way to Morales Fortress.The only kind of enemy Colonel Gerard is not prepared for is a beautiful Spanish seductress in the person of Spanish Countess Theresa Morales.Countess Morales is the leader of the local Spanish guerrilla forces fighting alongside the British against Napoleon.Her secret task is to seduce Colonel Gerard in order to steal the secret dispatches he carries for Marshal Massena.Not only French Colonel Gerard but also British Colonel Russell falls for her Spanish charms.The two rivals are ready to duel each other to death for Countess Theresa Morales' love and for their respective ... Written by
I had never made a film that cost more than $100,000, and to make matters more ludicrous, I didn't speak a word of English, so I could never read the script. It was all relayed to me verbally by translators, but I never read a written translation. I just didn't know how to make such a film, so I decided I could either make a fool of myself or turn it into a joke on Hollywood, and I decided on the latter course. See more »
Except for the easily entertained, who should always be ignored for their obvious stupidity, this film is a lumbering bore. McEnery is saddled with the hideously written title character who annoys one and all from the first scene to the last. He is that old standby: the oblivious vainglorious military schmuck. The adventures he engages in are more like antics, with lots of frantic activity in a vain attempt to provide humor. But Gerard is such an unwavering clod that he becomes tiresome very quickly, yet you're stuck with him until the end of this fiasco (that is if you decide to keep watching). Cardinale is quite fetching, as always, and Wallach tries as Napoleon, but the script lets them all down. The story is some dull nonsense about Napoleon in need of an idiot officer to bring a false dispatch to the enemy to wreak havoc. Gerard gets the thankless job but becomes an unexpected hero as the story unwinds. Quite predictable. It all takes place during Napoleon's war in Spain, but this is NOT something to look at if you're a fan of the 'Sharpe' series by Cornwell that takes place in the same venue. This film was barely released, deservedly, and remains fitfully buried to this day. Hopefully no where near Conan Doyle's final resting place.
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