On Guard (1997)

Genres - Adventure  |   Sub-Genres - Costume Adventure, Swashbuckler  |   Release Date - Oct 11, 2002 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 128 min.  |   Countries - France, Germany, Italy  |  
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This period swashbuckler, set during the years 1699 to 1716, is the seventh screen adaptation of Paul Feval's 1857 serialized novel. Trained in circus stunts and fencing, Lagardere (Daniel Auteuil) becomes the bodyguard of the Duke of Nevers (Vincent Perez), whose cousin is the greedy Gonzague (Luchini). Nevers learns he is a father and plans to marry Blanche de Caylus (Claire Nebout) in order to raise an heir. Gonzague dispatches assassins to kill Nevers, Blanche, and their baby. Dying, Nevers turns the child over to Lagardere, asking him to gain revenge on his killers. The infant is a girl, and Lagardere and the child hide amidst an Italian troupe of actors. Years pass, and the young Aurore (Marie Gillain) grows up believing Lagardere is her father. When the actors arrive in Paris 16 years after Nevers death, Lagardere at last sets the stage for revenge. Swordfight choreography by Michel Carliez, son of the fight expert who trained Jean Marais for the 1959 film of Le Bossu. Shown at the 1997 Acapulco French Film Festival and the 1997 Bastia Festival of Mediterranean Cinema.

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Keywords

aristocracy, assassination, bodyguard, cousin, father, greed, marriage, murder, revenge