Metro Pictures Corporation

Drama Adventure
124 min     6.962     1923     USA


A law student becomes an outlaw French revolutionary when he decides to avenge the unjust killing of his friend. To get close to the aristocrat who has killed his friend, the student adopts the identity of Scaramouche the clown.


CinemaSerf wrote:
Much as with his sterling adaptation of "The Prisoner of Zenda" from a year earlier, Rex Ingram has chosen a super story and re-united some of that cast to create a cracking adaptation of Sabatini's story of power and revolution. When the proud young "Philippe de Vilmorin" (Otto Matieson) ends up on the wrong side of a duel with the expert swordsman, the cruel "Marquis de la Tour" (Lewis Stone) his friend "Moreau" (Ramon Novarro) vows to avenge this needless death. An empty promise at this stage, but as the story develops he hones his skills with a rapier, and uses his new guise as "Scaramouche" with a travelling theatre to earn the adulation and respect of the people - and to sow the seeds of discontent with the corrupt rule of the nobility. His election to the chamber of deputies marks the final step in his search for vengeance, as he puts his new found fencing skills to good use eliminating some of the pompous aristocrats before a final duel with "La Tour". There is plenty of romance along the way - with our hero in love with childhood sweetheart "Aline" (Alice Terry) and with theatre tomboy "Climène" (Edith Allen). All the ingredients are here for a super story of intrigue, betrayal, corruption and of love with plenty of action and more than a few twists as the story gathers pace. Novarro is very good in the title role - his mastery of the characterful stage performances as well as that of the more earnest "Moreau" is enjoyable, as is the contribution from Stone as his nemesis. The sets and costumes are sumptuous, and the film engrossing for just over two hours. Oddly enough, although I certainly enjoyed the 1952 version too - I think that this might just edge it.