Andre-Louis Moreau is a nobleman's bastard in the days of the French revolution. Noel, the Marquis de Mayne, a nobleman in love with the Queen, is ordered to seek the hand of a young ingenue, Aline, in marriage. Andre also meets Aline, and forms an interest in her. But when the marquis kills his best friend Andre declares himself the Marquis's enemy and vows to avenge his friend. He hides out, a wanted man, as an actor in a commedia troupe, and spends his days learning how to handle a sword. When de Maynes becomes a spadassinicide, challenging opposing National Assembly members to duels they have no hope of winning, Andre becomes a politician to protect the third estate (and hopefully ventilate de Maynes).Written by
I recently saw this movie again on cable - it is a wonderful mixture of period romantic adventure with examples of great comedia del'arte and... especially... the best fencing scenes ever put on film. Both Stewart Granger and Mel Ferrer were excellent swordsmen and their final confrontation is a brilliant tour de force. Watch it just for this sequence - remember it was made in 1953 and is still highly enjoyable.
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