Scaramouche (1952)

113-115 mins | Swashbuckler | 27 June 1952

Director:

George Sidney

Producer:

Carey Wilson

Cinematographer:

Charles Rosher

Editor:

James E. Newcom

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Hans Peters

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The opening title card reads: "'He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.'--Sabatini." According to a Sep 1938 HR news item, M-G-M had planned to film a new version of Rafael Sabatini's novel as early as 1939. Pre-production did not actively begin, however, until late Dec 1950. According to HR news items in Jan and Feb 1951, Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor were both considered for the "female lead" in the film. According to modern sources, Gardner was to portray "Lenore," while Taylor would have been cast as "Aline."
       Contemporary news items also reported that Stewart Granger was initially to play a dual role, "Andre" and "Noel," and that M-G-M had planned to shoot the film in Paris. Modern sources indicate that Fernando Lamas and Ricardo Montalban were at one time considered for the two leads. HR news items include Patricia Hawks, Crane Wilbur, Edith Happy, Joey Nichols and Conrad Martin in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. In late Aug 1951, cameraman Robert Surtees took over filming for about two weeks from Charles Rosher when Rosher had to leave to check on hurricane damage to his Jamaica residence.
       According to various news items, portions of the film were shot on location in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park and in Monterey, CA. It was also reported that atmospheric backgrounds were shot on the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands off the English coast, but that footage did not appear in the released film. According to items in the HR column "The ... More Less

The opening title card reads: "'He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.'--Sabatini." According to a Sep 1938 HR news item, M-G-M had planned to film a new version of Rafael Sabatini's novel as early as 1939. Pre-production did not actively begin, however, until late Dec 1950. According to HR news items in Jan and Feb 1951, Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor were both considered for the "female lead" in the film. According to modern sources, Gardner was to portray "Lenore," while Taylor would have been cast as "Aline."
       Contemporary news items also reported that Stewart Granger was initially to play a dual role, "Andre" and "Noel," and that M-G-M had planned to shoot the film in Paris. Modern sources indicate that Fernando Lamas and Ricardo Montalban were at one time considered for the two leads. HR news items include Patricia Hawks, Crane Wilbur, Edith Happy, Joey Nichols and Conrad Martin in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. In late Aug 1951, cameraman Robert Surtees took over filming for about two weeks from Charles Rosher when Rosher had to leave to check on hurricane damage to his Jamaica residence.
       According to various news items, portions of the film were shot on location in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park and in Monterey, CA. It was also reported that atmospheric backgrounds were shot on the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands off the English coast, but that footage did not appear in the released film. According to items in the HR column "The Rambling Reporter," the final cost of the film was $3.5 million and the jewels worn by Nina Foch as "Marie Antoinette" were the same as those worn by Norma Shearer in title role of the 1938 M-G-M film Marie Antoinette (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ). At the end of the film, "Lenore" walks off with a man dressed as a young Napoleon Bonaparte, but Napoleon's name is not mentioned. According to a news item, the actor who appeared in the role, Aram Katcher, also appeared as Napoleon in a commercial film produced for Western Sugar Beet Producers. Dancer and choreographer Barrie Chase, who became Astaire's dance partner on several popular television programs, beginning with the multiple-Emmy-winning 1958 special An Evening with Fred Astaire , made her motion picture debut in Scaramouche .
       Other filmed versions of the Sabatini novel include a 1923 Metro production directed by Rex Ingram, starring Ramon Novarro, Alice Terry and Lewis Stone. Stone, who appeared as "Georges de Valmorin" in the 1952 film, appeared as "The Marquis de la Tour d'Azyr" in the 1923 version. A Spanish adaptation of Sabatini's novel was made in 1964 under the title The Adventures of Scaramouche , directed by Antonio Isasi Isasmendi and starring Gérard Barray. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
17 May 1952.
---
Box Office
24 May 1952.
---
Daily Variety
12 May 52
p. 3.
Film Daily
12 May 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Sep 38
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jan 51
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jan 51
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jan 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Feb 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Feb 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
3 May 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jun 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jul 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Aug 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Aug 51
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Aug 51
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Aug 51
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Aug 51
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Aug 51
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Aug 51
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Aug 51
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Sep 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Sep 51
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Sep 51
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Nov 51
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Nov 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Nov 51
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Nov 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
12 May 52
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
17 May 52
pp. 1365-66.
New York Times
8 May 52
p. 37.
New York Times
9 May 52
p. 20.
Newsweek
19 May 1952.
---
Variety
14 May 52
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Fill-in dir of photog
Asst cam
Asst cam
Gaffer
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Props
Props
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Mont seq
DANCE
Dance dir
MAKEUP
Hair styles des
Makeup created by
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Unit mgr
Scr supv
Tech adv
"Plays within plays" creator
Fenching coach
Fencing partner for Stewart Granger
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
Technicolor col consultant
Technicolor consultant
Technicolor consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini (Boston, 1921).
DETAILS
Release Date:
27 June 1952
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 8 May 1952
Production Date:
24 August--late November 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
7 May 1952
Copyright Number:
LP1704
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
113-115
Length(in feet):
10,307
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15626
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In eighteenth century France, Queen Marie Antoinette asks her devoted cousin Noel, the Marquis de Maynes, to find the true identity of Marcus Rufus, author of a pamphlet extolling "equality--liberty--fraternity." Noel, who is France's greatest, but most ruthless, swordsman, readily agrees. The queen also asks Noel to select a bride, and suggests her protégée, Aline de Gavrillac, whose beauty and spirit charm Noel. Meanwhile, in the forest, Andre Moreau, a handsome ne'er-do-well, goes to see his sweetheart Lenore, an actress with Gaston Binet's troupe. After learning that Lenore has grown tired of waiting and gone to Paris to marry a wealthy man, Andre follows her. Disguised as a coachman, Andre abducts Lenore and her fiancé. After convincing Lenore to marry him, Andre goes to meet his best friend, Philippe de Valmorin. Learning that Philippe is in trouble, Andre drives the coach to the Valmorin house and discovers that Philippe is Marcus Rufus. Soldiers ransacked the house but did not find Philippe, who was hidden by his kindly parents, Georges and Isabelle. Andre, who was reared by the Valmorins, helps Philippe escape by switching coats with him so the soldiers think that Philippe is the coachman. Andre then agrees to get money for Philippe and arranges to meet him in the forest. Andre goes to his lawyer, Fabian, and asks for an advance on his allowance, but Fabian tells him that there are no longer provisions for him. Andre, who was born out of wedlock, demands to know his father's identity and Fabian reveals that the man is the Count de Gavrillac of Normandy. After Andre meets Philippe, the two ... +


In eighteenth century France, Queen Marie Antoinette asks her devoted cousin Noel, the Marquis de Maynes, to find the true identity of Marcus Rufus, author of a pamphlet extolling "equality--liberty--fraternity." Noel, who is France's greatest, but most ruthless, swordsman, readily agrees. The queen also asks Noel to select a bride, and suggests her protégée, Aline de Gavrillac, whose beauty and spirit charm Noel. Meanwhile, in the forest, Andre Moreau, a handsome ne'er-do-well, goes to see his sweetheart Lenore, an actress with Gaston Binet's troupe. After learning that Lenore has grown tired of waiting and gone to Paris to marry a wealthy man, Andre follows her. Disguised as a coachman, Andre abducts Lenore and her fiancé. After convincing Lenore to marry him, Andre goes to meet his best friend, Philippe de Valmorin. Learning that Philippe is in trouble, Andre drives the coach to the Valmorin house and discovers that Philippe is Marcus Rufus. Soldiers ransacked the house but did not find Philippe, who was hidden by his kindly parents, Georges and Isabelle. Andre, who was reared by the Valmorins, helps Philippe escape by switching coats with him so the soldiers think that Philippe is the coachman. Andre then agrees to get money for Philippe and arranges to meet him in the forest. Andre goes to his lawyer, Fabian, and asks for an advance on his allowance, but Fabian tells him that there are no longer provisions for him. Andre, who was born out of wedlock, demands to know his father's identity and Fabian reveals that the man is the Count de Gavrillac of Normandy. After Andre meets Philippe, the two travel to Normandy, and near the Gavrillac estate, encounter Aline, whose carriage has a broken wheel. Not knowing who she is, Andre is immediately attracted to her, and when the wheel is fixed, he jumps into her carriage and says that he loves her. When he learns her identity, he quickly cools, thus confusing the equally smitten Aline. At the estate, when they find that the count has died, Andre leaves the grieving Aline. Later, at a nearby inn, Philippe is recognized by one of Noel's men, the Chevalier de Chabrillaine, and accused of being Marcus Rufus. Noel, who is also at the inn, seems to defend Philippe, but soon insults his lineage, even though he is from one of France's noblest families. Philippe then strikes Noel with a glove, precipitating a duel. He is no match for Noel and is run through before Andre can free himself from Chabrillaine. Because Andre is not a swordsman, he grabs a pistol and shoots at Noel, but only wounds him. As Andre jumps on his horse and rides away, he promises one day to kill Noel with Philippe's sword. With Chabrillaine's soldiers in pursuit, Andre rides to the Gavrillac estate and sees Aline in the garden. When soldiers approach, she hides Andre and he is able to ride into town, where Binet's troupe is performing. Hiding in the basement of the theater, Andre comes face to face with a drunken actor known as "Scaramouche," who wears a mask because he is disfigured. As the soldiers search for Andre, they happen onto the troupe's performance. Andre, who exchanged clothes with Scaramouche, is pushed onstage, and the soldiers are so delighted with his comic antics with Lenore that Chabrillaine asks to meet Scaramouche. By use of the stage's trap door and a quick change, Andre hides while the real Scaramouche is unmasked. After Chabrillaine and his men leave, Lenore, who recognized Andre after their onstage kiss, angrily threatens to throw him out, because he left her in Paris. When Andre sees the real Scaramouche with the pamphlet, he asks where it came from and is told that it was from Noel's sword master, Doutreval. Andre soon sneaks onto the de Maynes estate and convinces Doutreval to tutor him by saying that he is a friend of Marcus Rufus. In the following weeks, Andre receives lessons from Doutreval by day, while in the evenings he becomes the star of Binet's troupe. Lenore, who thinks that Andre's frequent absences are to see a woman, becomes suspicious when he refuses an offer to go with the troupe to Paris. One day, while getting a lesson from Doutreval, Andre is seen by Noel, who accuses Doutreval of treachery. Andre saves his teacher by saying that he was duped, then Noel draws his sword. He has the advantage over Andre until Aline arrives and momentarily distracts him, thus enabling Andre to escape through a secret passageway. There Andre encounters Doutreval, who tells him that only Perigore, a Parisian master, can further instruct him. Soon the troupe becomes the toast of Paris and Lenore is pursued by several officers, including Chabrillaine. When Andre learns that Noel and Aline are to be married, Lenore thinks that Andre's hatred of Noel is solely because of Aline. When she realizes that Andre plans to kill Noel, who is now Aline's guardian, because of Philippe, she secretly tells Aline. On the morning of the intended ambush, Aline rides out to meet Andre, thus preventing the duel. She tells him that they are in love with each other, but he vehemently denies it. When Andre returns to Lenore's dressing room, he finds Dr. Dubuque, a patriot who has seen him at Perigore's and wants him to take a vacancy in the French Assembly. Andre agrees and, at the next session, joins the Assembly without fear, as all seated members are immune from arrest. For several days, Andre is challenged to duels by Noel's supporters, but each time is victorious. Lenore and Aline have secretly arranged with the sympathetic queen to send Noel away on official business so he is unaware of Andre's presence. On the evening of Noel's return, Aline distracts him from the news by flirting and cajoling him into taking her out. Chabrillaine suggests seeing Binet's troupe, and during the performance, Aline recognizes the masked Lenore and Andre, but says nothing. When Andre sees Noel in the audience and stops to introduce him, Aline pretends to faint and asks to go home, but Andre confronts Noel by removing his mask. The two men then fight furiously throughout the theater, but when Andre has Noel at sword's point, he cannot bring himself to kill Noel and runs away. Later that night, Andre is sulking on the empty stage when he is approached by Georges. Andre feels that he has betrayed Philippe's memory, but Georges reveals that Count de Gavrillac was not his father, but was only covering for the late Count de Maynes. While Georges expounds that instinct prevented Andre from killing his own brother, Andre happily realizes that Aline is not his sister. Lenore, who has overheard everything, says that Aline is the marrying kind, which she is not, and kisses Andre goodbye. Soon Aline and Andre are married and Lenore goes off with a short new suitor, a brooding young corporal. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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