In 1635, Jacques du Parquet, the nephew of the well known explorer Belain d'Esnambic, enters a tavern in Dieppe, and falls in love with the daughter of the bartender, Marie Bonnard. He ... See full summary »
In 1635, Jacques du Parquet, the nephew of the well known explorer Belain d'Esnambic, enters a tavern in Dieppe, and falls in love with the daughter of the bartender, Marie Bonnard. He knows his noble family would disaprove such a marriage; besides, he is nominated for the post of governor in Martinica. He promised never to forget Marie, but as time goes by, she will accept to marry a rich and unscrupulous man, Monsieur de Saint-André. When her husband is appointed to serve in Martinica as General Commissioner, Marie demands to go with him. At her arrival, all sorts of trouble arrive: pirates take action against travellers and goods, rotten deals set the two officers against each other, and finally jealousy settles to make things worse. Written by
From the title and the fact that France was the dominant country in this French-Italian co-production, I was expecting a cheescake "nature girl" kind of film. Not at all. This is a historical costume drama, with swashbuckling elements. The lovely Ms. Lee plays an innkeeper's daughter who marries an older French colonial official, but who is desired by a younger, attractive minor official. Maybe it's just this English-dubbed edition, but the editing/continuity is a bit strange here. In the middle of a scene, we jump to an awkwardly spliced-in scene of what is being discussed by the characters, then we cut back to the same place in the dialogue where we were and the dialogue continues! There are a few other awkward jumps in the film also. The main selling point of MARIE OF THE ISLES is Belinda Lee, and she is wonderful. Her premature death robbed the 60s film world of a lady who no doubt would have carved out a significant place in European genre films. If you are a fan, you'll want to see this film. If not, it's no masterpiece. There's more talk than action, and the light-hearted musical score would fit a film with circus clowns better than a historical drama. Somewhat hard to find--not in circulation in the usual genre-film circles.
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