Monday, November 18, 2019

By the Gods!

Gordon Scott and Gianna Maria Canale are rivals and lovers in THE LION OF ST. MARK (1963)

This is one of the best Gordon Scott productions...or is it a Gianna Maria Canale film? Regardless, the movie is tops. The cinematography is lush. The score by Carlo Rustichelli is excellent and bold. The cast, which includes Rik Battaglia and Franca Bettoia, is strong. The story is set in Venice and the locations are very nice. Scott is the son of the Doge, who moonlights as the masked avenger. Pirates are terrorizing Venice and the Adriatic coast and the masked 'Lion of St-Mark' gets involved. Is he friend or foe? Canale is part of the pirates who is captured by Venetian forces and Scott frees her (by buying her freedom), telling the men who captured her that he'll personally take care of her case but the two fall for each other and instead releases her, with a promise the two would meet again.

My only (minor) complaint about the movie is the use of some dilapidated locations, which were most likely not dilapidated hundreds ago but were when the movie was shot. These locations were mostly used for large scale fight scenes. But the interior sets are beautiful. Of all the 'Masked Avenger' movies made during the Golden Era, this is one of the best.

1 comment:

Scott Ochiltree said...

Gianna as a highly skilled swordswoman is one of my favorite scenes in the first class swashbuckler.

The fight ends with her escaping by diving into the water.