The Mark of the Renegade (1951) Poster

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Decent swashbuckler set in 19th century California , being well played by two great Latin Lovers : Ricardo Montalban and Gilbert Rolnad .
ma-cortes21 February 2018
It is set in 1825 in the Spanish California , an undercover pirate who has a facial scar called Marcos Zappa (Ricardo Montalban who usually appears bare-chested ) is blackmailed by the crooked Pedro Garcia (Gilbert Roland) to expose a tough rival . He plans to have Marcos seduce and marry Manuela (Cyd Charisse) , the daughter of his contender, Jose De Marquez (Antonio Moreno) . But Manuela is already engaged to be married to Miguel De Gandara (Armando Silvestre) . Meantime , Anita Gonzales (Andrea King) is jealous of the Marco's attentions for her , as she carries out a merciless vendetta . Later on , the cunning Pedro in order to facilitate his own ascension to power intends to expose Marquez in a scandal and implicating to shirtless Marcos in the mess .

Adventure movie plenty of noisy action , thrills , spectacular dancing and moving swordplay . Director Hugo Fregonese does a good job of capturing the sunny environment , including marvelous ccalifornia landscapes , as well as breathtaking duels , go riding and gorgeous scenarios . It is glossy and sleek ; in spite of efforts towards authenticity , the film falls short on a real recreation of the Spanish California . Stars Ricardo Montalban who plays a rugged pirate forced to a dangerous asignment and his nemesis , Gilbert Roland , as a traitor with extreme ambition whose schemes result to be emperor of California . Here Ricardo attempts to win the heroine's ,-gorgeous Cyd Charisse- , hand in marriage from her betrothed engagement . Cyd plays spendidly as Manuela who is attracted to Marcos/Montalban but not sure if she should trust him . Both of them perform an impressive and overwhelming dancing that turns out to be the highlight of the movie . The main star Ricardo was hired by MGM where he routinely ignited "Latin Lover" sparks opposite such prime female stars as Cyd Charisse, Shelley Winters, Anne Bancroft, Pier Angeli, Laraine Day and Esther Williams . Montalban starred a lot of films of all kinds of genres , Noir , Musical , Western , Wartime , thriller , such as : Mystery Street , Neptuno's daughter , Beyond the wide Missouri , Battleground . And adventures as : Semiramis, The Saracen blade , The Son of the Sheik, El Zorro , The Black pirate , among others . His most famous role was as Khan in ¨Star Trek 2 , the wrath of Khan¨ . Fine acting all around, especially from the support cast that included some of the best secondaries of the period as J. Carrol Naish , George Tobias , Antonio Moreno, Backus , Andrea King , Robert Warwick , Robert Cornthwaite , Armando Silvestre . It packs a colorful and shimmering cineenmatography in Technicolor by Charles P. Boyle . Thrilling and atmospheric musical score by Frank Skinner .

The motion picture ¨The mark of the renegade¨ was professionally directed by Hugo Fregonese , though ha some flaws and gaps . Direction by Fregonese maintains a steady pace and is partially as good in interiors as in outdoor action scenes . Hugo Fregonese is familiar remember the Argentine director for his Hollywood work , that began with One Way Street in 1950 and included some biggies such as Blowing Wild (1953), his biggest hit . Fregonese started in Argentina, and Pampa Bárbara , first version , is the first first film he directed he is listed as co- director with Lucas Demare . He had done his apprenticeship with Demare as assistant director in two previous films. Hugo was an Argentina director who emigrated to Hollywood, then became technical adviser on latino themes at Columbia Studios in Hollywood, and subsequently under contract at Universal from 1950 to 1952 filming ¨Man in the attic¨ with Jack Palance , ¨Blowing wild¨with Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck , ¨Decameron Nights¨with Joan Fontaine , ¨Harry Black and the tiger¨with Stewart Granger . Spent the rest of the decade in Europe directing Euro-westerns as ¨Apache's last battle¨ , this ¨Savage Pampas¨ and potboilers as "The Death Ray of Dr. Mabuse" , Terror as "Dracula vs. Frankenstein" before finishing his career back in the country of his birth . Rating : 6.5/10 , acceptable and passable . Worthwhile seeing for luxurious scenarios and breathtaking outdoors along with the wonderful dance between Montalban and Charisse .
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highly recommended
moshn200228 October 2005
Unlike decole's comment I was fascinated by this movie. The highlights of the movie is the dance of Ricardo with Cyd CH. I find this dance to be the MOST SENSUAL dance I have ever seen on the screen, and this is even more impressing and exciting then ANTHONY DEXTER's dance " LA COMPERSITA" in VALENTINO. RICARDO MONTALBAN does use several ( not enough as far as I am concerned) opportunities to showoff his AMAZING awesome sexy body , but when he dances with Cyd the sensual dance, after being " seduced" by her, he is well dressed as a distinguished Spanish Gentelman. THe posters and L.Cs of the movie showed RICARDO fighting, and dancing , shirtless in some very irritating poses but actually these scenes are rare and therefor I was some disappointed, because my expectations were higher. BUt, remembering that it was filmed in the beginning of the 50th, even those shirtless pix were a venture. I highly recommend MARK of the RENEGADE, mainly for the dance and for the magnificent appearance of RICARDO MONTALBAN who is an Excellent Latin LOVER ( and hunk ) mosh
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THE MARK OF THE RENEGADE (Hugo Fregonese, 1951) ***
Bunuel19765 May 2011
This proved to be another film I was only vaguely familiar with that, however, resulted in a solid adventure effort: it is a mix of Western and Zorro-like swashbuckler (based, in fact, on a novel by the man who invented that popular avenging figure i.e. Johnston McCulley!) – though the hero's features are only partially hidden here and they are so in order to conceal the branding of the letter 'r' for 'renegade' on his forehead!

The film is immeasurably aided by a splendid gallery of actors: Ricardo Montalban (showing off his virility by frequently baring his chest and, early on, eating perhaps the longest meal this side of Asterix!), Cyd Charisse (the star teaming thus necessitating a gratuitous but vigorous flamenco number!), J. Carroll Naish (playing an ambiguous part), Gilbert Roland (the dashing villain), Andrea King (from THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS {1946}, also with Naish), George Tobias (cast against type as a scowling buccaneer) and Antonio Moreno (as Charisse's eminent father).

The plot deals with Montalban being blackmailed by Roland (who knows of his facial scar) to win the heroine's hand in marriage from her betrothed ostensibly because he bears Moreno a grudge, but really in order to facilitate his own ascension to power (since he fully intends to expose the protagonist soon after and thus implicating Moreno in a scandal)! The narrative is quite complex, with Naish (by turns brutish and helpful towards Montalban and sometimes downright comical), King (Roland's girl but nevertheless jealous of the hero's attentions for Charisse!) and Tobias (who plagues the star, his old nemesis, intermittently throughout and, especially, when the latter comes into money, wants a piece of the action too!) also figuring heavily. Typically, Roland shrouds his true nature behind a veneer of respectability – his cover eventually blown off by a meek priest during the highly satisfying climax, which also comes with a revelation as to Montalban's (redemptive) role in all of this!

The film offers color, action and romance in spades throughout its briskly-paced 77 minutes but, unfortunately, the viewing was hampered by the battered state the print was in and the muffled quality of the soundtrack…so much so that I had to rewatch the ending (despite the late hour in which I screened this) in order to get all the twists offered the denouement! For the record, I had already admired Hugo Fregonese's work on BLOWING WILD (1953) and THE RAID (1954) and, after yet another satisfactory viewing of his, I am looking forward to sampling the other 8 movies currently lying in my unwatched pile!
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Lame adventure, lots of strange undertones
dcole-24 September 2004
As a swashbuckler, this is fairly lame. The whole thing is never believable, with an air of lightness that just about always says "can you believe this????" The script makes absolutely no sense. But Montalban is charming in the lead and I'm always grateful to see Gilbert Roland and J. Carrol Naish at work. But what's really odd about this movie are the homo-erotic undertones. Montalban frequently has his shirt off -- more often around men than women. There's more sexual tension between Montalban and Gilbert Roland than there is between him and Cyd Charisse. The men are always trying to top one another -- and they seem more hurt by betrayal than the women. Add in all the pointy objects they keep poking at one another... well, I don't want to make too big a deal about it, but it is odd.
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