The Comte de Gonzague schemes against his cousin, the Duc de Nevers, even though he is the Duke's heir and will inherit his estates. The Count has kept secret the existence of the Duke's ... See full summary »
Francois Merlin is an espionnage-book writer. He likes to mix every-day character he can met in his book. In his book, he is Bob Saint Clar, his neighbour Christine appears as Tatiana and ... See full summary »
Barnie lives in Calais but works in London. Everyday, he takes the Eurostar to go to his office. Although he is married to Lucie, Barnie has two lovers in London: Margot, a young and fresh ... See full summary »
On an observatory set high on a mountain, astronomers make a stunning discovery somewhere out in the galaxy. A flying object in the depths of the cosmos is showing signs of life, emitting an intelligent signal. The UFO has just landed on Earth somewhere in the midst of a rainforest. Margot, the enthusiastic young woman heading up the research team, decides to go to the spot and check out this ... See full summary »
Philippe de Broca
Three adolescents, a girl who serves as the priming and two boys, kill two men cold blooded who were known by the girl only for to steal the money of them. With the money the three want to ... See full summary »
Colonel Chabert has been severely wounded in the French-Russian Napoleonic war to the point that the medical examiner has signed his death certificate. When he regains his health and memory... See full summary »
Antoine, a professor of Greek, and Lise, a police inspector, honeymoon in Greece. There they meet a young couple, Charles, an archaeologist, and Agnes, a dishy flirt. Charles unearths the ... See full summary »
Philippe de Broca
The Comte de Gonzague schemes against his cousin, the Duc de Nevers, even though he is the Duke's heir and will inherit his estates. The Count has kept secret the existence of the Duke's bastard, recently born. When the Duke learns of his child, he journeys to wed the mother, a baron's daughter, in her father's isolated chateau. The occupants of the castle are surprised and murdered by the Count and his men. The only ones to escape are the Duke's friend, the skilled swordsman Lagardère, and the infant, a girl, now the rightful heiress to the Duke's vast fortune. The Count believes the pair to have drowned, when in fact they have been concealed by a travelling troupe of Italian players. Twenty years pass. The Count has discovered that the two survive and seeks to have them slain. But Lagardère gains the confidence of the Count, and employment as his bookkeeper, through his clever disguise as a hunch-back... Written by
Alexandre Dumas made a reputation for himself writing stories chiefly about the uncommon man who had to rise to the occasion in extraordinary circumstances. Arguably, THE THREE MUSKETEERS and THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO stand as some of the best literature of the ages, and the film adaptations have created some of the most incredibly swordplay put to the silver screen.
The little heard of and rarely seen ON GUARD ("Le Bossu," 1997, from the French novel by Paul Feval of the same name), by far, features some of the most exciting swordplay with a story that compares to Dumas' best work in many ways.
Daniel Auteuil stars as Lagardere, a budding swordsman who can't back down from a fight. One evening, upon trying to best the Duke of Nevers, he inadvertently falls into the duke's good graces and joins him -- as a sidekick -- on a journey to rescue the man's infant daughter, Aurore. However, as the duke is soon murdered by his villainous cousin Count Gonzague (played with ample creepiness by Fabrice Luchini), Lagardere escapes with the infant and, along with the help of a traveling circus, raises her as his own child for sixteen years ... until Aurore takes up the sword and performs a move only her real father could've known, alerting the now-in-power Gonzague to the fact the the daughter has survived. Now, Legardere is faced with the ultimate challenge of devising a masterful plot to put the woman back on the throne and into her position of prominence!
Much of the film is pure plotting and humor, some of which can only be the product of the French ("Ever try sodomy, my friend?"), and I'm quite certain several of the jokes might be lost on an American audience. Still, Auteuil as Lagardere is the film's masterful stroke; he proves himself capable of a Musketeer-like defender, a loving father, and a pining lost soulmate to the lovely Aurore, all the while maintaining his sense of duty coupled with a great sense of humor.
The film is presented widescreen, filmed on beautiful locations, and the sound is very crisp and vibrant. ON GUARD is a wonderful adaptation that deserves to be discovered by a much larger audience.
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