Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB
Alternate title: Swords of Blood
France/Italy, 1962. Filmsonor, Les Films Ariane, Mondex Films, Vides Cinematografica. Screenplay by Daniel Boulanger, Philippe de Broca, Charles Spaak. Cinematography by Christian Matras. Produced by Georges Dancigers, Alexandre Mnouchkine. Music by Georges Delerue. Production Design by Francois de Lamothe. Costume Design by Rosine Delamare. Film Editing by Laurence Mery-Clark.
Silly adventure film by Philippe de Broca that will please fans of the stars, here at the height of their beauty. Jean-Paul Belmondo is the dashing, roguish swordsman who abandons the army with his friends and becomes a king of thieves, challenging the reigning lord of criminals and taking over his band of merry men. Becoming the French Robin Hood, Belmondo’s Cartouche strikes fear in the heart of every rich person travelling by carriage with a chest of valuables throughout the country, and along the way picks up a gorgeous gypsy girl (Claudia Cardinale) who becomes his main companion. Trouble even bigger than criminal mayhem is afoot, however, when Cartouche’s ambitions have him falling in love with an aristocratic woman at the same time. It’s pure fluff, but it is plushly produced, enjoyable fluff and features the manic energy and style that de Broca brought to his comedies, though without the smart sophistication that made That Man From Rio so memorable.