On Guard (French: Le Bossu) is a 1997 French swashbuckler film directed by Philippe de Broca and starring Daniel Auteuil, Fabrice Luchini, Vincent Perez, and Marie Gillain. Adapted from the 1858 historical novel Le Bossu by Paul Féval, the film is about a skilled swordsman named Lagardère who is befriended by the Duke of Nevers. When the duke is attacked by his evil cousin Gonzague, the duke in his dying moments asks Lagardère to avenge him and look after his infant daughter. The film had 2,385,688 admissions in France and grossed $96,750 in the United States. On Guard received the César Award for Best Costume Design, and eight César Award Nominations for Best Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Music, and Best Production Design in 1998. The film also received a BAFTA Film Award Nomination for Best Film in 1999.
In 1700 in Nevers, France, a skilled swordsman named Lagardère (Daniel Auteuil) challenges Duke Philippe de Nevers (Vincent Pérez) to a friendly duel in order to learn his secret lethal maneuver known as the "Nevers Attack". Nevers agrees and quickly dispatches the upstart whom he soon befriends. Nevers learns that he has a "son" by Blanche de Caylus—a fact previously concealed by his cousin and would-be heir, the wicked Comte de Gonzague (Fabrice Luchini). That night Nevers escapes an assassination attempt by Gonzague's men.