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Le Bossu - The King's Avenger [DVD] [1960]


Price: £3.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Jean Marais, Bourvil
  • Directors: Andre Hunebelle
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Cest La Vie
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Jan. 2004
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000DINLX
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,853 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

The court of Louis XIV, a story of intrigue, assassination and revenge. The first and most famous version of Paul Feval’s classic swashbuckling novel. Starring Jean Marais (La Belle Et Le Bete, L’Aigle A Deux Tetes, Orphee, Les Miserables) and Bourvil (Le Cercle Rouge, The Stud, The Longest Day, La Traversee De Paris) directed with flair by Andre Hunnabelle (Fantomas, Captain Blood). A film with much swash and buckle, sword fights and subterfuge all mixed into a fabulous, colourful romp. One of the all-time great sword fighting spectacles, a great cast and terrific performances all come together to create an epic tale of the cut and thrust of revenge and honour.

Review

A pacey and polished picture that's never anything less than sabre-rattling entertainment --Radio Times

Magnificent --Sunday Express --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 Jan. 2008
Format: DVD
From the DVD case of the movie under its French title, Le Bossu (The Hunchback), which is more satisfyingly overwrought than I could manage: When his great friend the Duke of Nevers is slain in a dastardly assassination plot by the Count Gonzague, fencing master Lagardere swears he will avenge the Duke's death and take care of the Duke's beloved orphaned daughter, Aurore. Sixteen years later, after secretly hiding with a touring theater group and raising the baby to young womanhood, Lagardere returns to the sumptuous Parisian courts to honor his deadly oath. Disguising himself as Gonzague's hunchback manservant, Lagardere infiltrates the Count's entourage and waits for his moment to strike and triumph over the traitorous forces of evil.

This is a first-rate swashbuckler that takes place in 18th century France. There's great sword play, a strong story, cunning disguises, some effective villains and a terrific acting job by Daniel Auteuil as Lagardere. The other actors are no slouches either, and there is a small but funny and effective part by Phillipe Noiret as an aging and selfishly charming Duke of Orleans.

Auteuil is an extraordinary actor with ordinary looks. Check out his role as Yves Montand's nephew in Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring, then see him as the captain in The Widow of St. Pierre, then see him in this. Completely different roles and completely believable performances.

Some might be a bit squeamish toward the end at the sight of a 16-year-old crumpet passionately kissing a fortyish man. In this case, the man also has been her guardian and has taken care of her for nearly all of those years...and they live happily ever after. Ah, the French.

The DVD looks great. This is a movie worth getting if you like sword play, wit, heiresses restored to their fortunes and justice winning out.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 18 Dec. 2010
Format: DVD
Philippe de Broca's 1997 version of Le Bossu (aka On Guard), an oft-filmed warhorse of French cinema, is probably the best of the bunch. Daniel Auteuil is the sword-for-hire who finds himself sworn to avenge the death of Vincent Perez's amiably pompous aristocrat and to restore his daughter to her inheritance, purloined by Perez's evil cousin (Fabrice Lucini). Shades of Scaramouche ensue as they hide out with a group of travelling players, Auteuil working his way into Lucini's confidence by disguising himself as a hunchback (many businessmen used to hire hunchbacks because it was believed lucky to touch their humps or sign contracts on their backs!). The first half is a little awkward in tone, with Auteuil overdoing the youthful enthusiasm a bit (he's better at doleful than happy), but the second half is pure joy, filled with swordfights, rescues and good old fashioned sentimentality. Vincent Perez has fun sending up his swashbuckling image and even the usually one note Lucini rallies in the second half as he gets to wallow in his own villainy. De Broca's direction has much more panache and wit this time round than in his other classic swashbuckler, Cartouche, the script is extremely witty and Philippe Sarde's score even finds room for a few in-jokes, from the inclusion of a song from his own score to The Judge and the Assassin in a street scene to a wonderfully sentimental use of Cavaleria Rusticana. Good old-fashioned entertainment in the very best sense.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By H.Hogg on 12 Oct. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
With so many modern film-makers (especially in the US) having forgotten the basics that make a movie interesting (clear and credible plotting, in-depth characterisation, an empathetic protagonist, tension, pace and a satisfying and well-timed ending for example) it is a real joy to find the art of good old fashioned story-telling alive, well, and apparently thriving, in France.

Le Bossu (The Hunchback) is a visual treat - a great, escapist 'Sunday Afternoon' movie, set in colourful 18th century France. Georgeous location photography and sumptuous costumes dress a rich stage, but the focus stays firmly on the characters and the highs and lows of their struggles, especially that of Auteuil's dashing Lagardere (Somewhat misleadingly, the hunchback of the title) as he tries to clear his name, avenge the murder of his friend the Duc de Nevers and care for his orphaned daughter, heiress to the huge fortune stolen by arch villain, the slimy Count Gonzague.

The pace is taughtly kept, the story peppered with swash-buckling sword fights (often hilarious as well as dazzlingly fast) evil plots and cunning counter measures, nail-biting escapes and adrenaline-pumping pursuits. The supply of black-cloaked baddies, all despatched with aplomb by Lagardere, is seemingly endless. But the plot telescopes neatly down to the finale, which arrives with a satisfying sense of inevitability as the tireless hero closes in on the villains.

Cynics would say that this is a fairy-tale, with cartoon-character bad-guys and an impossibly noble hero, whose sword play and just-in time heroics ressemble the impossible coolness of Spaghetti Western leads. But since when did cynics know how to have fun? And this is a hugely enjoyable movie, a great sprawling feast of adventure, action and romance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By IP on 16 Dec. 2014
Format: DVD
The perfect gift for all movie enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
France, 1699. Count Gonzague (Luchini) stands to inherit a fortune from his cousin, the Duc de Nevers (Perez), but not if the dashing duke produces an heir before Gonzague can bump him off. Lagardère (Auteuil), a promising young swordsman, is paid to do the dirty deed, but instead wins the Duke's trust when he warns him of a cowardly ambush. The pair then set off from Paris to provincial Caylus, where a one-night stand has given Nevers a child by the daughter of a local nobleman. A wedding beckons, but not before Gonzague unleashes his worst, leaving Lagardère holding the baby, and swearing vengeance on those who sought to bloody such a happy day.

This is a swashbuckler in the classic mode, and rather good at that. De Broca displays a veteran's assurance in knowing that too much tongue-in-cheek irony would devalue the cut and thrust of a traditional well turned plot. Luchini makes an exquisite villain, Perez a delightful none too bright aristo, and the reliably wonderful Auteuil simply eats up costume changes, romantic longing and breathtaking swordplay alike - all played absolutely straight. Not to be missed.
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