Under the Red Robe (1923)

Genres - Adventure  |  
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An epic, 13-reel costume drama produced by William Randolph Hearst's Cosmopolitan productions -- and it doesn't star his mistress, Marion Davies! Based on the novel by Stanley Weyman, this film was said to be the first to cost 1.5 million dollars to produce (a real fortune in those days). It starred newcomer John Charles Thomas, whose claim to fame was as a singer, not an actor. Luckily he had a number of seasoned players to back him up. Cardinal Richelieu (Robert B. Mantell) has just become Prime Minister under King Louis XIII of France (Ian MacLaren). Gil de Berault (Thomas) has gotten involved in a duel against Richelieu's orders, but the Prime Minister offers to save his life if he captures de Cocheforet (Otto Krueger), who is plotting against the king. Gil succeeds in his mission, but he falls in love with de Cocheforet's sister, Renee (Alma Reubens), so he lets him go and returns empty-handed. In the meantime Richelieu has been dismissed because of the machinations of the Duke of Orleans (William Powell, who often played villains in his early film days). Gil is able to prove that the duke is a traitor and Richelieu is restored to power. For Gil's service to the crown, he is given his freedom and allowed to marry Renee.

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bad-guy, good-guy, power, swashbuckler