The French La Tour de Nesle (The Tower of Nesle) was the third Alexandre Dumas adaptation to be released in the first six weeks of 1955. Like the previous The Queen Margot, the film was scripted by the legendary Abel Gance, who also directed after a 12-year absence from the screen. The somewhat mystical story concerns a sensuous Queen (Silvana Pampani) who delights in luring noblemen to their doom. For this purpose, she has constructed a high tower, where she has imprisoned herself and two equally lovely lasses. Charmed by the naked trio, the noblemen are wined, dined, romanced--and then brutally murdered. Will Buridan (Pierre Brasseur), the film's nominal hero, escape this grisly fate? There's a surprising denouement in store for the wicked queen, not to mention the audience. Though not as innovative and elaborate as Gance's silent masterpiece Napoleon, La Tour de Nesle is nonetheless a lavish recreation of a long-past time and place.
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