The story takes place in medieval France. Poet-rogue Francois Villon, sentenced to hang by King Louis XI for writing derogatory verses about him, is offered a temporary reprieve. His hanging will be postponed for 24 hours, and in that time he must defeat the invading Burgundians and win the love of the beautiful Katherine.
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Having previously portrayed Adolf Hitler in 1951’s The Desert Fox, Luther Adler once more dons the postage-stamp moustache of Der Fuhrer in The Magic Face. This time, however, Adler essays a dual role, playing both Hitler and a famed theatrical impersonator known as Janus the Great. While performing in Vienna, Janus attracts the attention of Hitler, who makes a play for Janus’ wife Vera. When Janus protests, he is beaten and thrown into prison by the gestapo. Janus escapes and vows to destroy Hitler and to that end poses as the German leader, the better to bollix up the Nazi war plans.
Two young people are finally able to marry, but the war intervenes almost immediately and the husband never returns from it. The wife, however, lives on like an ever-reviving phoenix through her destructive experiences.
Naples, 1959. Renato Caccioppoli, university professor in pure mathematics, is a disillusioned and tormented man who lives the last days of his life. Grandson of Bakunin on his mother’s side, interned in a psychiatric hospital for his anti-fascist acts, abandoned by his wife, and now become estranged from his own Communist Party comrades and his University collaborators, he lives his life with disenchanted detachment until his last act, suicide.
The story, based on an ancient legend, concerns Hagbard, the son of a slain Norse king. Seeking revenge against the rival clan responsible for the killing, Hagbard calms down long enough to establish a truce. He also falls in love with Signe, daughter of his onetime enemy. Signe’s former beau, sizzling with jealousy, breaks the truce and makes it appear that Hagbard was responsible. The young prince escapes, but returns disguised as a woman to his beloved Signe.
Jan Kadar plays a Czech partisan fighter in the waning days of the war. Just as peace is declared, Kadar is shot in the spine and sent to the hospital emergency ward. As he fades in and out of consciousness, he recalls the events that led to his participation in the underground.
A follow-up to the highly successful Bolero, this lively romantic drama stars George Raft as Joe Martin, a Cuban-American dancer who lives and works in Havana with his lovely partner Goldie Allen until a bad case of varicose veins forces impacts his career.
Mystery writer Marian Carstairs is hard at work trying to finish her latest novel. Her three children meanwhile are entertaining themselves trying to solve a murder in their own neighborhood. In between gathering clues, the kids play matchmaker by trying to fix up their widowed mom with the handsome detective investigating the case.