A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Melchior Gaston Ferrer aka Noel, Marquis de Maynes
Thursday, June 05, 2008

In 1952 I saw the film Scaramouche in Buenos Aires. My mother loved Stewart Granger and I was much too young to appreciate the charms of Eleanor Parker. I had nightmares that evening because the villain, played by Mel Ferrer was a terrific Noel, Marquis de Maynes. He had these intense cold eyes, and was a deadly effiecient sworsdman. To this day I remember that dialogue between Marquis de Maynes and Marie Antoinette (Nina Foch):

Marie Antoinette: I am angry with you, sir.
Noel, Marquis de Maynes: Angry, Your Majesty?
Marie Antoinette: Very angry! You know why, of course.
Noel, Marquis de Maynes: Could it be for fighting Count de Talles?
Marie Antoinette: Among others.
Noel, Marquis de Maynes: I only scratched him a little.
Marie Antoinette: They say you crippled him for life.
Marie Antoinette: And five minutes later,you killed the Baron Marblaux.
Noel, Marquis de Maynes: An unfortunate accident. He ran into my sword.

And who could possibly forget that super long and super fantastic fencing duel to the death) between Mel Ferrer and Stewart Granger?

In 1986 my Vancouver Magazine cover of Allan Fotheringham gazing on his daughter Francesca got me a Western Magazine Award for best magazine cover. The award came with a nice amount of cash. People asked me how I had come up with the idea. My answer, Bert Stern, always drew blanks.

Here is Bert Stern's cover of Audrey Hepburn and new husband (they had just gotten married in Paris) Mel Ferrer.

Mel Ferrer died yesterday at age 90. Just thinking of his role of Marquis de Maynes makes me shudder. Had I known then (1952) what I know now I would have shouted, "Don't kill him, Andre Moreau, he has to marry Audrey Hepburn one day." Only one person would have disagreed with me. Milady, played by Lana Turner in the Three Musketeers.


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