And boy, they're great duels, especially the lengthy final battle between our hero Andre Moreau and his nemesis the Marquis de Maynes. Stewart Granger is a witty, surprisingly light piece of beefcake as Moreau, who ends up hiding out in a commedia dell'arte troupe in pre-Revolutionary France as the titular character. Eleanor Parker, lovely and funny, is his actress love interest while Janet Leigh is his noblewoman crush. As Moreau's best friend, Oscar Goldman from The Six Million Dollar Man, has been murdered in a one-sided duel by the evil Establishment swordsman Marquis, Moreau must seek instruction in fencing while avoiding the government's search for him.
It's all frothy and colourful as Hell, with the sword-fight choreography allowed to play out in surprisingly long takes that often actually involve the actual actors. No quick-cutting, modern action movie gibberish for this film! Both Granger and Oscar Goldman seem to be about ten years too old for their parts, but then that was often the case in the 1940's and 1950's. In all, Scaramouche is genuinely rousing and fun. Highly recommended.