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The Gallant Blade

The Gallant Blade(1948)

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In 1648, crippled by famine and poverty, the French people rejoice at the end of the Thirty Years War. Mordore, the Marshall of France, views peace as a threat to his personal ambitions, however, and planning to plunder Spain, orders General Cadeau to march his troops to the Spanish border. Cadeau, the hero who led the French to victory, now desires only peace and decides to travel incognito to Paris to dissuade Mordore from implementing his plan. Before leaving with his trusted aide, Lt. David Picard, Cadeau presents David with his sword, a family heirloom known as "the gallant blade." En route to Paris, David is smitten by the beautiful spy Nanon de Lartigues, Mordore's sweetheart, when he stops at her county house. When Mordore refuses to yield, Cadeau threatens to deliver a proclamation advocating peace and demands an audience with the Queen. After setting a meeting for midnight, Mordore arranges to assassinate Cadeau as he drives to the palace. To carry out his scheme, Mordore asks Nanon to detain David, thus leaving Cadeau unguarded. When David tells Nanon of Mordore's plans for war, she realizes that Cadeau's life is in danger and sends David to save him. After David rescues Cadeau, Mordore locates them and places Cadeau under "protective arrest." Before he is captured, however, Cadeau instructs David to flee with the proclamation, a threat to Mordore's government, and deliver it to the sympathetic General de la Garance. In the streets of Paris, David joins the members of the underground movement seeking to save France from further wars. Nanon, meanwhile, finally realizing that Mordore is a traitor to France, renounces her allegiance to him. Disguised as a peasant, David seeks Nanon's help in escaping the guarded walls of Paris. After telling David that Cadeau is being held at the fortress of Vernac, Nanon disguises David as her footman and escorts him out of the city. In the countryside, David rendezvous with Sgt. Martine and other members of the resistance. Having been alerted to David's plans by Nanon's greedy aunt, Madame Chauvignac, Mordore sends his soldiers to ambush him. After retrieving the proclamation from David's body, Mordore's men leave him for dead. Upon learning of her aunt's treason and David's presumed death, Nanon, who has fallen in love with David, vows to continue his work. Nursed by Sgt. Martine, David recovers and goes to tell Garance of Mordore's treachery. Afterward, David meets Nanon, whom he thinks betrayed him. When Nanon informs David that Garance is Mordore's ally and that Mordore plans to kill Cadeau the next day as he travels from Versac to headquarters, David decides he must trust her. After Nanon presents David with her ring, guaranteeing free passage, he and his men pose as the honor guard sent to accompany Cadeau and enter the fortress. When the real guard arrives, David and his men battle the soldiers and free Cadeau. At headquarters, meanwhile, Mordore prematurely announces Cadeau's death and appoints Garance as the new head of the army. On his return to Paris, Modore stops to visit Nanon at her country estate where he learns of Cadeau's escape and Nanon's duplicity. Modore is about to strangle Nanon when David arrives, engages him in a duel and gravely injures him. After promoting David to colonel, a victorious Cadeau marches to Paris to see the queen, David and Nanon at his side.