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Film historians Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta draw from their own extensive historical research into the life of John Gilbert to provide a full-length audio essay on Bardelys the Magnificent
Rediscovering John Gilbert - a brand-new thirty-minute documentary supplement, featuring an on-camera interview with John Gilbert's daughter and biographer, Leatrice Gilbert Fountain
200+ Image slide show
Bardelys the Magnificent The Rafael Sabatini swashbuckler Bardelys the Magnificent served as an excellent vehicle for MGM's top male star John Gilbert. Set during the regime of France's King Louis XIII, the story concerns a bold young braggart named Bardelys (Gilbert), whose sexual conquests have become legendary. When informed that there is at least one member of Louis' court who will not succumb to Bardelys' charms, our hero wagers that he will able to melt this "ice princess," a regal beauty named Roxelanne de Lavedas (Eleanor Boardman). But before he can concentrate his efforts on Roxelanne, Bardelys agrees to deliver some important diplomatic documents on behalf of a dying man named Lesperon. When it turns out that Lesperon was a traitor to the throne, Bardelys is sentenced to hang. In the final scenes, our hero desperately tries to escape his fate, while Roxelanne tearfully prepares to marry the only man who can clear Bardelys' name. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Monte Cristo aka The Count of Monte Cristo Much of John Gilbert's early work as a leading man was done at the Fox Studios. He made nineteen pictures for the company, but only two are still in existence -- this adaptation of the Alexandre Dumas novel, and 1923's Cameo Kirby. As Edmond Danton, and later as the Count of Monte Cristo, Gilbert at times seems too mannered -- a habit that he would have to watch throughout his career. Danton is dragged away from his wedding feast with Countess Mercedes (Estelle Taylor) and falsely imprisoned in the Chateau d'If. He swears to wreak vengeance on those who wronged him, if he ever escapes. Eventually he is able to dig his way out, and with another prisoner, he goes to the island of Monte Cristo, where he finds an immense treasure. He returns home as the Count of Monte Cristo and, as he promised, proceeds to destroy all his enemies. Featured in a supporting role is Renee Adorée, who would star with Gilbert in several of his pictures, most notably The Big Parade. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi