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Chevalier 2022 Honest Movie Review




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I was expecting much more from this movie.
It was shorter than I anticipated, and the full interesting life story of the Chevalier was not only cut off poorly, but also inaccurate in many places – which is typical of most Hollywood box-office history movies.

One myth in particular during the movie end screen finale;
The Chevalier DID NOT lead a 1000 strong all-Black cavalry unit. This important historical error is spreading far and wide by other reviewers.

The actual unit was successfully petitioned into existence by Julian Raimond ( a quadroon) through the French government officials in September of 1792.
This unit was the size of a company – initially drawing in one hundred free Blacks mostly from the Caribbean French colonies.
Two months later the unit was expanded to the size of 700 troops; but these were MOSTLY white troops.

The Chevalier led in fact, a regiment of 700+ troops of whites(mostly) and Blacks.
That in itself is significant, because most European armies would never have have ‘coloreds’ lead white troops. It was often referred to as the Legion Ste.Georges
One major exception to this was ‘Gannibal’ the great Black army commander in Russia, in the early 18th century.

Though he sometimes led the unit in important actions, the unit itself was prone to poor discipline and desertions, and The Chevalier himself was often AWOL, and suspect in misappropriation of government funding of the unit.

It’s a shame the movie never explored this part of the Chevalier’s life as this was the beginning of his end in an inglorious style.
The movie missed showing other stellar Black characters of the time – activists and abolitionists, and even the great French hero-general Dumas (born in Haiti) who was taught in weapon skills by the older Chevalier; and Dumas was second in command of the St.Georges Legion until reassigned to commanding infantry divisions as a General.

It was an interesting movie to watch, but it got lost in too much distortion and creativity, and too short on a life so interesting.
His life ended very sadly – it should’ve been added, even if anti-climactic, it was more suitably real than the dizzy unreal movie ending.
More could have been put in at the movie start to show the barbaric slave plantocracy system, which provided astounding wealth to the French nobility.

Also – in the movie, the Chevalier looks like a young-ish manly stud around Marie Antoinette, but by 1790 he was 45 years old.

And the pronunciation by English and Americans of ‘Bologne’ is somewhat laughably off; typically it’s being pronounced as Boo-lawn-euh, (or spelled by the NY Times as ‘BOUlogne’)…. it’s pronounced properly more like Buh-LOIN-Nh.

Liborio Conti

For more information resources related to the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era, visit