Angélique and the Sultan

Angélique and the SultanThe last installment of the Angélique saga is one of the better ones — good news for anyone diving into the entire five-film series. Set mainly in Morocco, where the abducted Angélique (Michèle Mercier) seems doomed to live as an unwilling member of the Sultan’s harem, the film once again relegates once-proud Angélique to the status of damsel-in-distress, but at least there are interesting goings-on elsewhere, as her husband Joffrey de Peyrac (Robert Hossein) — better known these days as the dread pirate Rescatore — leaves a trail of blood behind him as he struggles to discover her whereabouts. There’s some solid pirate action, a daring prison break, and a nighttime escape from the Sultan’s castle, and if Angélique’s has been somewhat subdued, at least she’s still spirited. Much is made of religious conflict, with Angélique refusing to renounce her faith to satisfy her captors, and earning the allegiance of a strapping blond Christian that the Sultan never quite decides to execute. The standout character this time around is Osman Ferradji (Jean-Claude Pascal), the Moroccan king’s right-hand man who is tasked, finally and unsuccessfully, with the taming of Angélique. Unsatisfying as the end of an epic, but a decent enough adventure yarn in its own right.

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