Maria Montez was accorded top billing in this film by contractual agreement, although she is in the picture only long enough to take a bath in a tricky 17th century bathtub while sipping coffee with Charles Stuart and delivering dialogue in a barely-understandable French-accent. This is the second major film released within a short period with King Charles II as a primary character, and Charles here and Charles (George Sanders) in "Forever Amber" are two very varied approaches to the same character. This one takes place prior to the beginning of "Forever Amber" when Charles II and his followers are hiding out in Holland from Oliver Cromwell's puritan Round Heads. Being temporarily at liberty (or unemployed), Charles takes a day job at the farm/estate of Katie, and falls in love with her. Meanwhile he eludes his enemies by agility, enterprise and sword play, some of the latter performed while riding the blades of a Dutch windmill. He is summoned back to the throne and has to leave ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
This is probably the least appreciated of the series of masterpieces Max Ophüls made in his too-short stay in Hollywood. Superficially it is a fairly silly, light-hearted historical romp, and it is enjoyable enough on that level. But this only throws into sharper relief the expressive mastery of Ophüls' style - by the end of the movie a single elegant camera move is enough to turn the mood to high tragedy. This is sublime filmmaking.
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