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87 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "On your word as a fraud and a fake?"
What a great movie! Lesser known than many other great swashbucklers, "Scaramouche" is nonetheless a top-notch production in every way.
Stewart Granger stars as the quick-witted Andre Moreau, a charming drifter who after the murder of his best friend dedicates his life to the destruction of the murderer, the cold-blooded Marquis de Maynes (Mel Ferrer). Along the way...
Published on March 30, 2003 by CodeMaster Talon

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20 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars SWORD PLAY AND SWASHBUCKLING - MGM STYLE
"Scaramouche" is the somewhat convoluted tale of a womanizing rogue, Andrea Moreau (Stewart Granger) who courts a gypsy player, Lenore (Eleanor Parker) but ultimately falls for the purity and grace of courtesan, Aline de Gavrillac de Bourbon (Janet Leigh). Mel Ferrer appears as the villain, Noel, the Marquis de Maynes. Andrea?s heart is set upon revenge after...
Published on July 2, 2003 by Nix Pix


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87 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "On your word as a fraud and a fake?", March 30, 2003
By 
CodeMaster Talon (Orlando, FL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Scaramouche [VHS] (VHS Tape)
What a great movie! Lesser known than many other great swashbucklers, "Scaramouche" is nonetheless a top-notch production in every way.
Stewart Granger stars as the quick-witted Andre Moreau, a charming drifter who after the murder of his best friend dedicates his life to the destruction of the murderer, the cold-blooded Marquis de Maynes (Mel Ferrer). Along the way he fights many duels, romances sweet Janet Leigh AND fiery Eleanor Parker, and has several close shaves.
"Scaramouche" features a solid script, beautiful sets, lush costumes and gorgeous cinematography. The cast is excellent, with Mel Ferrer in particular giving shading and nuance to the role of the villain. The last 20 minutes of the film feature a long, spectacular sword fight that is a must-see for fans of the genre. I highly recommend "Scaramouche" to any film buff and especially to those who love adventure films.
GRADE: A
(As a side note, I have also read the novel on which this movie is based, and I found it very entertaining. The movie differs from the book in several key areas, so if you have yet to read the novel, don't worry, the movie won't spoil it for you.)
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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars En Garde! They Don't Make 'em Like THIS Anymore!, July 25, 2004
By 
Philip Swan (Alpharetta, GA.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Scaramouche (DVD)
WHAT A GLORIOUS MOVIE! I've loved it since I was a kid, and somewhere between 20-30 viewings haven't dimmed its lustre for me, especially in the sparkling DVD presentation - I never fail to have my spirits lifted by the end of this grand adventure. Eleanor Parker and Janet Leigh never looked lovelier than in Charles Rosher's glorious Technicolor photography, and Stewart Granger and Mel Ferrer make a fine sparring duo. This is one of Granger's best performances - he makes Andre Moreau eminently likeable, while Ferrer is properly smarmy as his noble nemesis. And boy, do sparks fly between Granger and Parker in their romantic scenes! Parker is wonderful throughout - this is some of her best screen work. Supporting performances by Robert Coote, Henry Wilcoxen and Lewis Stone are also excellent (Stone appeared in Rex Ingram's spectacular 1923 version, playing what was essentially the Ferrer role).

The film's climactic 7-minute sword fight is justly famous and spectacularly staged and photogaphed, but there is much else to enjoy - the Commedia dell'arte sketches are amusingly played, and throughout the film is one of Victor Young's most gorgeously melodious scores, with beautiful themes for the main characters and an incredibly beautiful 'revelation' theme which precedes and ends the famous sword-fight (which itself has no musical underscoring at all). That his magnificent SCARAMOUCHE score didn't even receive an Oscar NOMINATION is a gross oversight!

There's hardly a French accent in sight, and the story has been considerably simplified from the original Sabatini novel and Ingram's film, though the basic plot-line and character motivations remain the same - in fact, the French Revolution sub-plot has been dropped almost entirely, though the film's trailer and production shots in circulation hint that it was originally given more screen-time.

The DVD extra's (2 trailers, an interview with Ferrer) are good, but I really wanted more - perhaps interviews with the 2 leading ladies as well - but believe me, I'm not complaining - this film took forever to get to VHS video and, given the studios resistance to spending much $$$ to get older films in shape for DVD, we're lucky they've honored us with this one already!

This one's a DON'T-MISS!!!!!
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A genuinely intelligent swashbuckler., April 27, 2001
This review is from: Scaramouche [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Admirers of 'Scaramouche' tend to exult in its action sequences, especially the 'longest ever' sword sequence; these are terrific, but it should be noted that they are also mocked within the film - e.g. the 'duel' between Andre and Lenore in the caravan with pots instead of sabres. What is just as interesting is the way the film takes the familiar swashbuckler trajectory - an essentially decent man is forced outside of society and must overcome a number of obstacles and tests before he is restored - and completely subverted. This is achieved by the use of theatre in the play (director Sidney was raised by travelling players, and the tavern scenes have a vividness rare in Hollywood), both as a source of fragmenting identity, and as a metaphor for the way the working class infiltrated, and eventually overcame the aristocracy (as the troupe move from a provincial tavern to a huge Parisian theatre) - we are on the eve of the French Revolution. The film IS 'lavish', but this is to mistake period detail with the much more fertile 'theatrical' artifice, which reflects the film's themes. Immense fun.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crème de la crème of swashbucklers, July 9, 2000
By 
Edward (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Scaramouche [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This lavish and witty adventure was based (very loosely) on the once-popular novel by Rafael Sabatini. It had been filmed before as a silent, much more faithful to the original. This Technicolor "talkie" takes liberties -- and has a lot more fun, despite its themes of revenge and hopeless love. There's even a Napoleonic sight gag in the final shot. The cast is ideal: Stewart Granger is rugged yet suave as the cynical hero and Mel Ferrer is appropriately icy as his aristocratic nemesis. (Ferrer is dressed in whites and silvers, Granger in warm colors.) Granger is loved by both Janet Leigh and Eleanor Parker, the former a sweet Bourbon, the latter a sexy coquette. To complicate matters, Miss Leigh is adored by both Granger and Ferrer. (One contemporary critic sighed: "It's quite a plot!") The third female is Nina Foch, the most elegant Marie Antoinette you'll ever see. Unfortunately, her role was partially cut in the final editing. The picture moves on several levels. At !the beginning, Granger's character André Moreau ("Born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad", to quote Sabatini's famous first sentence) is a careless man who knows nothing about politics and cannot use a sword. In seeking vengeance for his friend's death, however, he joins the forces of liberté, égalité, fraternité; and, studying with masters, he becomes the most dangerous swordsman in France. Hiding from the authorities, he takes up with a seedy group of traveling players and, under his influence, it becomes a brilliant commedia dell'arte success (hence the title).The climatic duel takes place in a glittering Parisian theatre, the antagonists moving from the boxes, down a broad staircase, through the crowded auditorium, and onto the stage itself. All this to a dashing Victor Young score. One viewer has called "Scaramouche" a no-music musical. Actually, M~G~M originally meant this remake to be a musical starring Gene Kelly. The director George Sidney alternated between musicals and "straight" films. It isn't flawless: One of Ferrer's victims gets the fatal thrust twice in the opening sequence, once in long shot, then in close up. And don't dwell too long on the "surprise" ending (a variation of Sabatini's) or you may wonder why the marquis has to be introduced to the queen's protégée at the beginning. He would have known her or at least her name for years.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best swordfight in all movies!, September 15, 2004
By 
R. Christian (Palm Springs, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Scaramouche (DVD)
Okay, so this is far more than just that swordfight... it's a knockout in technicolor cinematography... and it's beautifully restored. The actors are all terrific, the story is great adventure, and ... well... it's just dear to so many of us that remember it when it came out so long ago that it's just great to see it looking so fresh... and it's complete entertainment from start to finish. I wish movies were made like this today.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Fun!, March 1, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Scaramouche (DVD)
Finally, it's out on DVD!

Eleanor Parker was never so beautiful as in this movie. A Technicolor Babe for sure! Janet Leigh ain't bad either. OH, and the guys are hot as well!

Witty dialogue, super costumes and oh, yeah, there's that sword fight!!

Despite a few continuity glitches, this movie is fun for all!! Highly recommended for older kids too. I think I was 12 when I first saw this movie!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scaramouche - a classic adventure/comedy, August 14, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Scaramouche [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Scaramouche is one of the finest films yet made, not in a highbrow art house sense, in a pure entertainment sense. The underlyingthemes of loyalty, equity and "the chances of life" are woven through the film and joined to the awakening spirit of the Pre Revolutionary French people. First the fun! Did I say this film is Fun!! There are many genuinely funny sight gags as well as some very witty dialogue. However, the primary thing that everyone remembers about this film are the sword fights, including the longest (and the best one) ever filmed. The climax of the film is a sword fight between two deadly enemies that even against today's high standards for special effects is very realistic and thrilling. The other neat thing is the casting of every highly attractive woman in Hollywood at the time. I had never appreciated how glamorous Janet Leigh was until I saw this film and Eleanor Parker looks stunning as an actress (in that time a courtesan with a day job).
Plot The film traces the how one chance meeting can completely change the course of lives bringing death, love, loss and ultimately atonement. Aside from revenge for the murder of your brother, there is a new twist on the boy meets girl, loses girl plot. Andre Moreau (Stewart Granger) begins the film as a man who knows how to have a good time. Events push him to take up a quest for justice; this literally turns his life upside down revealing the "fighter" inside the "lover". This quest forces him to explore his roots and makes him appreciate the utter contradictions which life sometimes throws at you.
The negatives. Lets face it all films have them (even Citizen Kane has weak spots). Andre has a sword fight with his enemy, which should have been fatal, and one or two more than lucky escapes. But, even though these scenes are a stretch they do help set up the final confrontation.
Finally, I recommend this film to anyone. I know you will enjoy it! Hopefully, the DVD will be released soon so I can get a good copy of it. I have nearly worn out the video tape!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Swordfights in movies ever!!!, December 10, 2003
This review is from: Scaramouche (DVD)
One of the few instances where the movie is far better than the book which inspired it, this version of 'Scaramouche' has some of the most fantastic sword fights ever put on film.
A favorite of my childhood, it is still in my 'top ten' list of adventure movies; Hyperkinetic, humorous, it never gets dull.
Stewart Granger never has been better, even as in other favorites of mine as 'Prisoner of Zenda' or 'North to Alaska'. Mel Ferrer is the suavest villain you can get, Eleanor Parker never has been so attractive, and Janet Leigh is a vision of Heaven.
Why the current adventure movies are not so enjoyable anymore?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than the"smirk with a dirk", September 1, 2006
By 
Noel Bjorndahl "Golden Years" (Woodford, New South Wales Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Scaramouche (DVD)
The boy in me continues to love the swash and buckle genre of films. By the 50s, when I was growing up, Errol Flynn's heyday was long gone; I saw him only in pale imitations of former glories like The Master of Ballantrae and Against All Flags at the tail-end of his career. It was only the revival of Adventures of Robin Hood, The Sea Hawk et al on television that finally made me aware that he was the greatest swashbuckler of them all.In the meantime, the only version of Robin Hood I was familiar with was Disney's (quite decent) account with Richard Todd and Joan Rice, bur neither actor set the world on fire for me as the legendary figures; matinee substitutes and re-runs spawned a few 40s and 50s imitations with Cornel Wilde turning up in the Son of...legendary heroes like Robin Hood and the Musketeers, but these, too, seemed like less than the real thing.

There was always the ubiquitous Burt Lancaster in his "Smilin' Burt" phase, too. I usually found Lancaster's acrobatics authentic and pretty heady stuff but a little too knowingly self-conscious to be completely believable (His Majesty O'Keefe, The Flame and the Arrow and The Crimson Pirate were all deliciously enjoyable romps, but the last-mentioned especially was a little too close to parody).

Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis and Alan Ladd all turned up in historical adventures of one kind or another but I liked each of these performers much better in other genres (Hudson in Sirk melodramas, Curtis in comedy, Ladd in westerns).

However, at age 15, I caught the 1952 version of Scaramouche at a local matinee. Suddenly I became aware that Stewart Grasnger was the only actor around in the 50s capable of taking over the Flynn mantle. In this film, I discovered his flair, notwithstanding the trademark smirk, was beyond question and carried more conviction than Lancaster's or any of the other candidates for that matter.

Here again were great romantic moments being carried off with a stylish swagger recalling Flynn and De Havilland. I was captivated by his recitation of the "Aphrodite in a ditch" doggerel to wide-eyed Janet leigh as well as his bald-faced manipulation of fiery Eleanor Parker as his gypsy lover.

His swordplay, too, ranked with the best competition in the genre-from his first halting encounter with aristocratic villain Mel ferrer to the seven and a half minute climactic duel in the theatre where he at last, in true flamboyant mode, dishes out a well-deserved comeuppance to the man (Ferrer) who turns out to be his brother.

Director George Sidney, a past master of this kind of material (The Three Musketeers-Gene Kelly version), plunders Sabatini's tale set in France on the eve of the revolution for all its worth: Sidney had also made a number of distinguished MGM musicals-including The Harvey Girls and Show Boat, and choreographically stages his set-pieces like musical numbers which include lots of breakneck-paced horse riding and stirring action set around misty rural estates. Janet Leigh, with whom Granger falls immediately in love and who may or may not be his sister, is perfect as the innocent flower waiting to be plucked. Eleanor Parker as the experienced woman who becomes Leigh's co-conspirator delivers an all stops out portrait of a woman scorned, eyes blazing and long red tresses billowing.

The late eighteenth century period costumes and set designs have a kind of genre verisimilitude that constantly delights the eye. Victor Young's score is lush and memorable. And the Commedia dell'arte pantomime into which Granger is literally plunged becomes the focal point for some opulently staged and extended theatre, including a lot of very funny slapstick (in the original sense of the term). This film retains its freshness and delight in the present DVD rendering, from the insouciance of its opening epigraph ("He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad") to its perverse final moments showing Eleanor Parker with her surprising new amatory conquest.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "But Who Is Scaramouche? And Why Does He Hide His Face Behind a Mask?", May 25, 2008
This review is from: Scaramouche (DVD)
Red-headed Eleanore Parker asks this question to a masked Stewart Granger onstage, when the latter unintentionally joins a tatty traveling troupe of commedia dell'arte actors. She kisses him; recognizes him; and slaps him in the face! Then the rest of the film focuses upon the quest of Andre Moreau (Granger) not only for revenge upon the Count Noel des Maines (Mel Ferrer)--the greatest swordsman in France--for killing his brother, but also in search for his true identity. During the process, Moreau, who plays Scaramouche in the play-within-the-movie, is such a success that the dubious fortunes of the traveling players improve immensely, and they are finally invited to play in Paris before the King and Queen. Meanwhile, Andre takes fencing lessons, and with hard work, he becomes the greatest swordsman in France. In fact, the last part of the movie (which I saw at least a dozen times as a kid) depicts what I think has to be one of the greatest swashbuckling fencing matches ever choreographed and filmed.

I was fortunate enough to be in Paris when "Scaramouche" was re-released in the theatre in the 1990s, and therefore, I saw it in all its restored glory on the big screen. But it is just as good on your DVD player. "Scaramouche," which also features Janet Leigh and Nina Foche as Marie Antoinette, is elegantly costumed and magnificent to view. It represents the best of the Good Old Big Studio movies!
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Scaramouche
Scaramouche by George Sidney (DVD - 2012)
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