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Bardelys the Magnificent (1926)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 30 September 1926 (USA)
Rafael Sabatini's story of the swashbuckling era and of Bardelys, the handsome courtier who could win any woman he set his mind to...and was not above boasting about it to all who would listen.


King Vidor


Rafael Sabatini (novel), Dorothy Farnum (adaptation) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
John Gilbert ... Marquis Christian de Bardelys
Eleanor Boardman ... Roxalanne de Lavedan
Roy D'Arcy ... Comte de Chatellerault
Lionel Belmore ... Vicomte de Lavedan
Emily Fitzroy ... Vicomtesse de Lavedan
George K. Arthur ... Chevalier de Saint Eustache
Arthur Lubin ... King Louis XIII
Theodore von Eltz ... René de Lesperon
Karl Dane ... Rodenard
Edward Connelly ... Cardinal Richelieu
Fred Malatesta ... Castelrous
John T. Murray ... Lafosse
Joe Smith Marba Joe Smith Marba ... Innkeeper (as Joseph Marba)
Daniel G. Tomlinson Daniel G. Tomlinson ... Sergeant of Dragoons
Emile Chautard ... Anatol


In the court of French king Louis XIII, a courtier named Bardelys carries with him a grand reputation as an irresistible ladies' man. When another figure in the court, Chatellerault, fails to win the hand of the beautiful Roxalanne (whose family fortune the king wishes to bring under his control), Bardelys suggests that he could win the young woman's hand. Thus a bet is made, and Bardelys embarks on the pursuit of Roxalanne and her fortune. But intrigue and mistaken identity lead Bardelys into grave danger. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


I could win every woman in France he cried...and he did! (original poster) See more »


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Eleanor Boardman would marry director King Vidor about three months after this production wrapped. They would make seven films together, the first being Souls for Sale (1923), and the last was The Crowd (1928). The couple would divorce in 1933. See more »


It is odd that loyalist and judge Chatellerault should propose marriage to a woman from what he knows was a rebel family which is of such repugnance to the king that he forbids Bardelys from proposing to her. See more »


Fair Enchantress: Bardelys, you are much too clever - - how can I trust you?
Bardelys: Fair enchantress - - can you doubt me?
See more »


Featured in Show People (1928) See more »

User Reviews

John Gilbert the Magnificent
4 November 2008 | by drednmSee all my reviews

I thought this was a great film. It's got everything. There's plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor (as with Sabbatini's MONSIEUR BEAUCAIRE, one of Valentino's more underrated films) and also some terrific action sequences.

John Gilbert and Eleanor Boardman are great together. Roy D'Arcy has another memorable role as the bad guy (see THE MERRY WIDOW). Karl Dane and George K. Arthur provide comic relief (so does Gino Corrado in the opening duel sequence). Lionel Belmore and Emily Fitzroy are solid as the Lavedans. Try to find John Wayne and Lou Costello as extras.

The missing reel (?) seems to leave us without the story of Lesperon (whom Gilbert masquerades as), but the missing footage doesn't ruin the story.

As has been pointed out, the river seen among the willows is lushly romantic and beautifully done and reminds one of scenes from SUNRISE. The escape scene is terrific with great closeups of Gilbert as he swings on tapestries from the castle walls. It would be interesting to know how they shot these scenes.

There are enough comic and action scenes here to dispel the image of John Gilbert as merely some pale and insipid "great lover" of the silent screen. Gilbert was a solid actor who had appeared in around 70 films by 1926. Gilbert did everything: westerns like HELL'S HINGES with William S. Hart, sports films like THE BUSHER with Charles Ray and Colleen Moore, comic roles like the manic hayseed dancer in HEART O' THE HILLS with Mary Pickford. When he finally reached stardom in the early 1920s, Gilbert continued to explore a full range of roles. He was also a writer and director.

BARDELYS THE MAGNIFICENT ranks among Gilbert's best and most entertaining silent films.

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None | English

Release Date:

30 September 1926 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bardelys el magnífico See more »

Filming Locations:

Pasadena, California, USA See more »


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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