Marius fled from his homeland years ago and has become a philosophy instructor and fencing teacher at a private school in Switzerland. One of his pupils is the son of the dictator of Marius...
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Marius fled from his homeland years ago and has become a philosophy instructor and fencing teacher at a private school in Switzerland. One of his pupils is the son of the dictator of Marius native land. One day in class, the boy accuses his teacher of cowardice. (UCLA Archives)
Goodyear Theatre: A SWORD FOR MARIUS (TV) (Arthur Hiller, 1959) ***
A recently-included Cable channel has shown several episodes from a dramatic TV series of the late 1950s, entitled "Turn Of Fate", featuring a host of stars (such as Charles Boyer, Jack Lemmon, David Niven and Robert Ryan); it was also known by other names such as the one given here, for this is another such entry (though acquired through ulterior sources). The plot tells of a College Professor of Philosophy (James Mason) who, it transpires, had fled a dictatorial regime: however, fate catches up with him after one of his students turns out to be the son of that country's tyrant – who arrogantly determines to make the elder man's existence difficult and confronts him at every given opportunity, particularly during fencing classes! Further complications arise when the boy falls for Mason's daughter; after having maintained his cool at (if not submitting entirely to) the brash young man's provocations, the Professor engages in a duel with the student and, inevitably, teaches him a lesson – and, of course, the latter leaves humiliated (without even giving the girl a second thought). I have amassed quite a few of these "Turn Of Fate" episodes, but this is actually the first I have watched – and it looks like a solid i.e. exemplary entry and, though undermined by Fabrizio Mioni's overbearing successor to the totalitarian legacy, it is effortlessly sustained by the sheer intelligence of a star who is always worth watching.
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