Le secret du chevalier d'Eon (1959)

Genres - Adventure  |   Sub-Genres - Costume Adventure  |   Run Time - 82 min.  |   Countries - France , Italy   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Director Jacqueline Audry spent her career swimming against the current in the male-dominated film industry, a female director making movies, like this one set in the 17th century, with female leads. In this curious story, a young girl has had to pose as a male all her life because her uncle would only give her father his inheritance if his lone offspring was male. Aside from the potential for humor in that situation alone, the young woman/man later finds herself enlisted in the French army. France and Prussia are in competition for a treaty with the Czarina of Russia, and the young soldier is secretly sent to the Czarina with a note from the French king, meant to trump the Prussians. The Czarina herself is quite a trip, with interesting issues raised by the dual identity of the hero/heroine.