Photo of the Day

Isabelle (Geneviève Grad) tries to make a point at Duc de Vallombreuse (Gérard Barray) in CAPTAIN FRACASSE

I recently watched this film, in French. Honestly, the beginning is without a doubt the most boring, depressing beginning I've ever seen for a Swashbuckler. It wasn't a fun film to watch (even with Louis de Funès in it) and at the 30 minute mark I wanted to stop but I decided I'd watch all of it regardless and fortunately things did pick up and the action (swordfights galore!) is excellent even though the super serious tone from the start lingered on. Geneviève's role is basically playing a Damsel-in-Distress 24/7. It's not a very flattering role and not that different to the one she played in HERO OF BABYLON but she came across as more real in the latter film. Jean Marais is the star of the film and he looks way too old to play such roles (his bad wig didn't help). As for Gérard Barray well he's absolutely FANTASTIC in this. He reminds me of Timothy Dalton but a warmer, more approachable Dalton even when he plays the villain. Barray made several Swashbucklers during the PEPLUM explosion. He was a natural for the genre. Aside from the suicide inducing start and Jean Marais miscast, this is a pretty solid effort. Director Pierre Gaspard-Huit, who also directed the equally somber and unfun SCHEHERAZADE, is definitely not my favorite director. Lighten up, dude!

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