Mask of the Avenger (1951)

83 mins | Adventure | July 1951

Writer:

Jesse Lasky Jr.

Producer:

Hunt Stromberg

Cinematographer:

Charles "Bud" Lawton

Editor:

Jerome Thoms

Production Designer:

Harold MacArthur

Production Company:

Columbia Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

According to HR news items, Irving Pichel was hired first as director and began work on the film, but was replaced in late Oct 1950 by Phil Karlson when Pichel accidentally injured his foot. Jody Lawrence, a former "Aquacade" swimmer, made her film debut in Mask of the Avenger ... More Less

According to HR news items, Irving Pichel was hired first as director and began work on the film, but was replaced in late Oct 1950 by Phil Karlson when Pichel accidentally injured his foot. Jody Lawrence, a former "Aquacade" swimmer, made her film debut in Mask of the Avenger . More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
30 Jun 1951.
---
Daily Variety
27 Jun 51
p. 3.
Film Daily
27 Jun 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Sep 50
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Oct 50
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Oct 50
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Oct 50
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Nov 50
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jun 51
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
30 Jun 1951.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
30 Jun 51
p. 913.
New York Times
27 Jun 51
p. 25.
Variety
27 Jun 51
p. 9.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styles
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col asst
DETAILS
Release Date:
July 1951
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 26 June 1951
Production Date:
early October--early November 1950
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
1 July 1951
Copyright Number:
LP1028
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
83
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
14618
SYNOPSIS

In 1848, in Casamare, Italy, at the statue of the revered Count of Monte Cristo, military governor Commander Viovanni Larocca announces the expulsion of the invading Austrian army. Later at Count Dimorna's luxurious castle, Larocca discovers the count has evidence that large transfers of money were made to a personal Swiss account in Larocca's name. Fearing exposure, Larocca murders Dimorna and makes it appear as if the count committed suicide upon being discovered a traitor. Upon returning home on leave, the count's son, young Captain Renato Dimorna, receives a cool reception from the townsfolk, to his bewilderment. When he is attacked for being a traitor's son, Larocca comes to his aid, taking him to the Dimorna castle, now the commander's headquarters. Renato, whose leg is injured, recovers in his old room while remaining watchful of the commander and his suspicious second-in-command, Colardi. Meanwhile, Jacopo, a local boy, visits Maria D'Orsini and her friend, Rollo D'Antorras, to inform them of Renato's return. That evening Maria visits Renato, but is dismayed by his solicitude toward Larocca. After returning home, however, Maria tells her faithful old companion Zio that she believes Renato is being held prisoner against his will. Later, Renato, who is feigning the seriousness of his injury, sneaks into a hidden passageway to eavesdrop on Larocca while the commander makes arrangements to sell the city's art collection to merchant Signor Donner. After Donner departs, Renato overhears Larocca order Colardi to arrest Rollo and his family. Later that night the sword at the Monte Cristo statue vanishes, and as Colardi's soldiers bring Rollo into town under arrest, a mysterious masked figure attacks them, declaring himself the ghost of Monte ... +


In 1848, in Casamare, Italy, at the statue of the revered Count of Monte Cristo, military governor Commander Viovanni Larocca announces the expulsion of the invading Austrian army. Later at Count Dimorna's luxurious castle, Larocca discovers the count has evidence that large transfers of money were made to a personal Swiss account in Larocca's name. Fearing exposure, Larocca murders Dimorna and makes it appear as if the count committed suicide upon being discovered a traitor. Upon returning home on leave, the count's son, young Captain Renato Dimorna, receives a cool reception from the townsfolk, to his bewilderment. When he is attacked for being a traitor's son, Larocca comes to his aid, taking him to the Dimorna castle, now the commander's headquarters. Renato, whose leg is injured, recovers in his old room while remaining watchful of the commander and his suspicious second-in-command, Colardi. Meanwhile, Jacopo, a local boy, visits Maria D'Orsini and her friend, Rollo D'Antorras, to inform them of Renato's return. That evening Maria visits Renato, but is dismayed by his solicitude toward Larocca. After returning home, however, Maria tells her faithful old companion Zio that she believes Renato is being held prisoner against his will. Later, Renato, who is feigning the seriousness of his injury, sneaks into a hidden passageway to eavesdrop on Larocca while the commander makes arrangements to sell the city's art collection to merchant Signor Donner. After Donner departs, Renato overhears Larocca order Colardi to arrest Rollo and his family. Later that night the sword at the Monte Cristo statue vanishes, and as Colardi's soldiers bring Rollo into town under arrest, a mysterious masked figure attacks them, declaring himself the ghost of Monte Cristo. Rollo flees to Maria's, where he tells her about his parents' murder and his strange rescue. Meanwhile, Larocca and an armed guard search the D'Orsini estate and discover Rollo, but the masked figure arrives and battles the guard, before taking Rollo, Maria and Zio to the forest. There, Maria realizes the masked man is Renato, who declares his intention to expose Larocca and avenge his father. By a prearranged plan, Maria dresses as The Avenger and rides into the castle courtyard to divert the soldiers, allowing Renato to get back into his room. Later, after Larocca makes the final deal with Donner, The Avenger stops the merchant's carriage and takes the signed agreement. Sneaking back into the castle and his father's study, Renato breaks open Larocca's trunk and finds a ledger with coded information. He is caught by Colardi and a scuffle breaks out. Renato knocks Colardi unconscious and leaves Larocca's agreement crumpled in his hand. After Larocca finds Colardi, he kills him. Back in the forest, Renato and the group decode the ledger message, which instructs Renato to go to a small cove near Rollo's family estate. There he watches Larocca meet two small boats from an Austrian ship anchored off shore. Renato follows Larocca and the Austrians to the garrison, where Larocca tricks the Italian guard into surrendering their arms and the Austrians take over the fort. Renato returns to tell the group he believes an invasion is imminent. Rollo convinces Renato he must remain to discover the invasion date and he and Zio ride off to bring troops. Before morning, Rollo and Zio are caught and killed by Larocca's guard and Maria is taken prisoner. Renato is arrested at the castle and placed in the tower under Maria's cell. When Larocca pleads with Maria to leave for Switzerland with him, she learns the invasion will be the next day and tells Renato. Knowing there is no time to ride for the army, Renato hopes to rouse the townspeople to retake the fort and shell the ships in the cove. Maria distracts Larocca while Renato, as The Avenger, escapes and rides into town to convince the skeptical townspeople. When Larocca arrives and reveals The Avenger's identity, the people are in doubt until Jacopo rings the church bell signaling the arrival of the Austrian fleet. As the townspeople storm the fort, Renato realizes Larocca has fled with Maria. He intercepts their carriage and duels with Larocca and, with Maria's help, kills the commander. The townspeople stave off the Austrian ships, saving Casamare and Italy. +

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

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