Scaramouche, der galante Marquis
In pre-revolutionary France, incendiary pamphlets are firing up the populace. When the Marquis de Maynes slays the pamphleteer in a duel, he makes a mortal enemy of the writer’s foster brother, André Moreau. Taking refuge with a troupe of travelling players behind the mask of the fool “Scaramouche,” Moreau dedicates himself to learning swordplay. But it will be difficult for Moreau to challenge the marquis since the nobleman is courting the woman Moreau believes to be his sister … The film is a swashbuckler with two faces. While the commedia dell’arte scenes are awash in face paint to create the necessary sense of burlesque, muted colours are used to lend the dramatic passages a realistic look, which reaches its high point in the decisive swordfight. Shown in “real time,” the two duellists are dressed in black and completely devoid of colour. Meanwhile, the battle of colours reaches its acme in the scenes of a power struggle in France’s national assembly, where colourfully dressed nobles in powdered wigs face off against bareheaded representatives of the common people in dark suits. It appears failing to apply sufficient rouge to one’s cheeks is enough to provoke a duel.
by George Sidney
with Stewart Granger, Eleanor Parker, Janet Leigh
USA 1952 115’