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On Guard (1997)
"Le bossu" (original title)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,539 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 30 user | 17 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

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 »

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Title: On Guard (1997)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lagardère / Le bossu
...
...
...
Yann Collette ...
Jean-François Stévenin ...
Didier Pain ...
Charlie Nelson ...
Claire Nebout ...
Blanche
...
Jacques Sereys ...
Caylus (as Jacques Sereys Sociétaire de la Comédie Française)
Renato Scarpa ...
Paolo
Ludovica Tinghi ...
Ornella
James Thierrée ...
Marcello (as James Thiérrée)
...
Giuseppe
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Storyline

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 David Carless

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Si tu ne viens pas à Lagardère, Lagardère ira à toi!

Genres:

Drama | Adventure

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

20 March 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En guardia!  »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$56,158 (USA) (20 March 1998)

Gross:

$96,750 (USA) (7 February 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When the Duc dubs Lagardère, the sword he draws and uses is a fencing foil, complete with guarded tip, rather than the rapier he uses in a later scene. See more »

Connections

Version of The Duke's Motto (1925) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Period Romp through early 18th Century France - c'est magnifique!
13 April 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Not a deep film in any sense but a magnificently entertaining one nevertheless. Witty and fast-paced, it bears comparison with the highly popular 'Taxi' films. Probably my favourite French film in terms of the sheer pleasure it has given me.

Set in the France of Louis XIV and the Regency which followed his death c.1699 - c.1720, it contains a fair degree of historical accuracy. Philippe d'Orleans, Regent of France (Philippe Noiret) has a central role as the arbiter of justice who ultimately allows good to triumph over evil. This is an unabashedly romantic view of absolutist France and one should not delve too deeply into the world that is recreated here. Like Robin Hood movies, the historical backcloth provides the setting for a good swashbuckle with an underdog hero eventually triumphing over a high-born villain against all the odds.

The later plot revolves around the Louisiana scheme which saw fortunes won and lost in an early example of stock market speculation - a French equivalent of the British South Sea Bubble.

It is also a buddy movie with the main hero (Daniel Auteuil) striking up a friendship across the class barrier with the Duc de Nevers who reveals the secret Nevers sword thrust, a leitmotif which starts and ends the film and helps the (19-year?) time span hang together.

Never's scheming cousin murders him in order to inherit his fortune and the film quickly turns into a revenge movie. Auteuil saves Nevers' baby girl and heir and plots to topple the villain and to restore her to her rightful place.

Towards the end the film becomes heavily romantic and reviewers have questioned the plausibility of the resulting relationship. It is perhaps the weakest part of the plot.

The catchy score helps the film to bowl along in a relatively light-hearted way. Despite a lot of villainy and murder, the film's main tenor is one of unremitting fun. Were it being acted out on stage it would almost be a farce. Simply wonderful!


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