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|Index||38 reviews in total|
54 out of 55 people found the following review useful:
Don Flynn De Marana, 20 May 2009
Author: jpdoherty from Ireland
The most eagerly awaited Flynn movie has at last made it to DVD!
Unavailable for some years except on a VHS tape and an obscure over
priced Korean disc it, thankfully, is back in the Warner Bros. stable
where it belongs. The wait was worth it for the disc is simply
pluperfect! With rich vibrant three-strip Technicolor and sharply
defined images it is a joy to behold! Flynn is terrific in the title
role of the great lover and roue. Not withstanding perhaps a nod to the
actor's own lifestyle the part was nevertheless taylor made for him.
And although it was said at the time that he was slowing down and that
he hit the booze while filming there is no evidence of it on screen.
The great swashbuckler cuts a fine figure in his many fabulous costume
changes throughout the picture. These costumes - designed by the great
Travilla - won the 1948 Acadamy Award for best costume design.
The supporting cast were well chosen too! Robert Douglas is great as Flynn's adversary - the evil Duke DeLorca. His dark eyes blackened even more to make him look that bit extra villainous. Alan Hale is once again Flynn's faithful sidekick but after 12 movies this was to be their final picture together. He died the following year. The female lead is taken by the beautiful Swedish actress Vivica Lindfors. Here she plays Margaret Queen of Spain and the one true love of Juan. Lindfors' final film was "Stargate" in 1994! She died in 1995 at the age of 75.
"The Adventures of Don Juan" is well directed by Vincent Sherman and is probably his best remembered movie. The atmosphere, the colour and the sets in the court scenes are really very impressive. But now and then the film gets a little bogged down with some palace intrigue until the picture's famous set piece - the brilliantly staged sword-fight on the magnificent palace staircase. It ranks as one of the cinema's finest duels and Flynn will always be remembered for it even though that amazing leap with the knife was performed by stuntman and B picture actor Jock Mahoney.
Then, of course there is the music by Max Steiner - one of his very best scores! Particularly splendid is his music for Juan's Parade into London with its masterful use of bells and chimes. Also the wistful Ballade which accompanies Juan on his many and various balcony climbings, the driving action music for the fight in the palace and the gorgeous love theme for the scenes with Juan and the Queen especially for the sequence near the end. Here the theme is heard in full bloom as the lovers say farewell to each other forever ("I shall be the only one who knew, for just a little while, that there was no Queen"). Interestingly Flynn's usual swashbuckling composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold - who had served him brilliantly on past successes such as "Captain Blood", "The Adventures Of Robin Hood" and "The Sea Hawk" -was originally slated to score "The Adventures Of Don Juan" as far back as 1945, but by the time the picture went into production the esteemed composer had left Hollywood and returned to his birthplace Vienna. As brilliant a composer as Korngold was it's difficult to imagine he would have topped Steiner's exceptional score. But alas we will never know!
So quite a wonderful disc all round with good extras consisting of a commentary by director the late Vincent Sherman and Flynn authority Rudy Behlmer, a trailer and some instantly forgettable old fashioned shorts but the movie is all, so enjoy. En Garde!
38 out of 49 people found the following review useful:
A colorful costumed adventure... highly recommended., 17 June 2000
Author: ironside (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Mexico
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The film opens in 17-Century Europe...
After many shameful incidents, Don Juan is forced to return to Spain where he discovers a country without life, driven to war, and a King in petticoat with a dissatisfied Queen...
But, despite of all the court's intrigues, Don Juan saves the lovely Queen and the confused King Philip III (Romney Brent) from the treacherous schemes of a malicious minister, the great Duke De Lorca and his puppeteers Raymond Burr & Douglas Kennedy...
His farewell scene with the Queen of Spain remembered me "Prisoner of Zenda."
Don Juan, wisely, persuades the Queen that her duties lies with her people, and after kissing her, he says: "I shall be the only one who knew that for a little while there was no Queen."
Flynn had the flair and style to play, with elegance, the charming manipulator, gaining admiration through his charisma, talents and abilities, seducing loving maidens, coming against angry husbands, causing a striking impression on the tall, dark, beautiful Queen...
Challenging the mighty Duke De Lorca, he makes his point as the loyal and devoted friend to the crown, when he declared: "Some men prefer the conquest of beauty to the conquest of a throne."
Viveca Lindfors plays a generous Queen who fights for peace and works for the welfare of her people... She is brave enough before an impertinent traitor who dreams to be a future king... She is a passionate young woman before Don Juan, her eventual true love...
Robert Douglas played a stupendous villain in many adventure films, crossing swords with great stars (Burt Lancaster, Cornel Wilde and Robert Taylor). As Duke De Lorca, he was a very ambitious minister with a hand of steel... "I'm Spain!, he expressed once... His declaration remembered me Vincent Price in "The Three Musketeers," when he states, in his role of Cardinal Richelieu, "I'm France!"
The duel between De Lorca ("I warned you, Señor, this time I shall cut deeply.") and Don Juan ("This time, I'm wearing my old clothes.") is exciting and stylish...
With humorous moments displayed by the sympathetic dwarf actor Jerry Austin (Don Sebastian) and with a splendid exhibition of young swordsmen, lovely ladies, secret plots, drinking escapades, swords clashing, furious fights, and with a great complementary score by Max Steiner, "The Adventures of Don Juan" is a great entertaining swashbuckler, highly recommended...
34 out of 45 people found the following review useful:
Errol Flynn Shines As Legendary Lover!, 12 August 2003
Author: Ben Burgraff (cariart) from Las Vegas, Nevada
THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN was intended as something of a 'comeback'
film for Warner Bros. resident 'bad boy', combining the heroic elements
of 'ROBIN HOOD' and 'THE SEA HAWK' with Errol Flynn's well-established
(by 1948) reputation as a hell-raising womanizer. Unfortunately, the
color production, Flynn's first swashbuckler in nearly a decade, was
not a box office hit, but the comic adventure is today embraced by his
many fans as one of his best roles!
It was not an easy film to make, as Flynn's carousing and disappearances (officially called 'sicknesses') stretched the filming, and forced frequent reshooting. Director Vincent Sherman, cinematographer Elwood Bredell, and editor Alan Crosland often had to 'cut-and-paste' snippets of many takes to achieve a decent performance from the star, and careful lighting had to be used to play down the increasingly obvious effects of the star's hedonistic lifestyle. (The closing scene, featuring then wife Nora Eddington, was shot nearly a year before the remainder of the film, and the change in the Flynn's physical appearance is clearly evident.) At 38, the star, who always hated being called a 'pretty boy' (to the extent that his home had few mirrors) was aging rapidly.
All this being said, Flynn tried to give the film the best he could. It had been a landmark film for his friend/mentor John Barrymore, in the first Warners' film with sound, employed for music and special effects only, in 1926 (THE JAZZ SINGER would introduce 'talkies' a year later). It reunited him with friend and frequent costar Alan Hale, who, at 56, was still a popular character actor, and whose son, Alan Jr., was starting to make his mark around town (he would eventually be best known as the Skipper in 'Gilligan's Island'). The script for DON JUAN, in development since 1939, passed through many hands, including uncredited help by William Faulkner and Robert Florey, with the end result being marvelously tongue-in-cheek. The score, by the legendary Max Steiner, became an instant classic, and would be reused, years later, in George Hamilton's ZORRO, THE GAY BLADE. This was a film which, despite Errol Flynn's self-destructive lifestyle, had enough talent involved to still stand up as one of the better films of the 1940s.
The plot involves roué Don Juan, tossed out of England after breaking up a 'diplomatic' wedding (a VERY funny scene), returning home to Spain to find evil Duke de Lorca (the sublimely nasty Robert Douglas) controlling weak King Phillip, and taxing the population to near starvation, with only the beautiful Queen Margaret standing in his way. Flynn quickly dispatches a de Lorca press gang, earning the Count's hatred, and the Queen's attention...and Don Juan finds himself truly falling in love, for the first time, with the youthful monarch (played by the radiant Viveca Lindfors). Assigned as a fencing master at the Academy, the legendary lover draws the ire of the Queen by stating his feelings for her, then is manipulated into another disastrous diplomatic blunder, involving, of course, another woman. On the run, he discovers de Lorca's ultimate scheme (manipulating the Crown into war), and with the help of the students of the Academy, he must save the King and Queen.
Featuring a great early appearance by Raymond Burr (as a de Lorca henchman), and a stirring final duel between Flynn and Douglas (expanded from the 1926 version, and featuring an astonishing climactic stairway jump, performed by stuntman and future 'Tarzan' Jock Mahoney), THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN is a gloriously adventuresome romp. Sadly, it didn't save Flynn's flagging career, but it certainly has earned a place among his classic films!
15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Charming, Witty and Delightful Adventure, 9 November 2007
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In the end of the Seventeenth Century, Don Juan de Marana (Errol Flynn)
is repatriated from London to Madrid after a serious diplomatic scandal
caused by his affair with a British fiancée on the Eve of her marriage
with a Spanish noble. The Spanish ambassador in London Count de Polan
(Robert Warwick) sends a recommendation letter to his friend Queen
Margaret (Viveca Lindfors) to give an opportunity in the court to
rehabilitate Don Juan from the gossips and rumors about his love
affairs, and he is hired as instructor of the art of fencing in the
Spanish Academy. He secretly falls in love for Queen Margareth but
becomes loyal to her and her irresponsible and weak husband, King
Phillip III (Romney Brent). Don Juan discovers the plan of the
Machiavellian Duke de Lorca (Robert Douglas) that intends to declare
war to England and rules Spain. With the support of his friends, Don
Juan defends the Queen, the King and Count de Polan against Duke de
Lorca and his men.
"The Adventures of Don Juan" is a charming, witty and delightful adventure full of romance and comedy. Unfortunately the cinema industry forgot how to make awesome movies like this one without the need of sex scenes or gore and sadism. The athletic Errol Flynn is amazing, fighting with foil and seducing the women in the story and the audiences in the real world, using intelligent and witty lines. The gorgeous Viveca Lindfors performs a queen with stylish elegance and class. The traitor Robert Douglas is the perfect villain, with treachery, ambition and Machiavellism. In the end, this movie is highly recommended for the whole family as a great entertainment. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): "As Aventuras de Don Juan" ("The Adventures of Don Juan")
19 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
Superb Flynn Swashbuckler, 7 November 2005
Author: orsino44 from United States
They truly don't make 'em like this anymore (more's the pity). Errol Flynn plays the role he spent his whole life "training" for -- Don Juan -- in this spectacular Warner Brothers adventure film. There is so much to recommend this film; it's a shame American audiences didn't respond to it the way European audiences did at its initial release. Flynn does his best work in years as Don Juan, ably supported by perennial sidekick Alan Hale and Robert Douglas as the evil Duke De Lorca. The costumes are amazing, the sets splendid, the Technicolor never looked better -- but to top it all off, the swordplay, choreographed by the legendary maestro Fred Cavens (Adventures of Robin Hood, The Mark of Zorro) is second to none. From the brief duels with jealous husbands to the scenes in the fencing academy to the final rapier and dagger brawl (capped by a spectacular leap performed by stuntman Jock Mahoney) the sword work here is awesome. (btw, historical fencing fans should note the use of Thibaults' Mysterious Circle on the wall of the fencing school, completely appropriate since this is the Spanish school of rapier play). Future Perry Mason Raymond Burr has a memorable role as one of the villains in this court intrigue adventure, and Viveca Lindfors is excellent as the Queen, but it is Flynn, with his wit, panache and blade skill, who dominates, just as it should be. For terrific entertainment in the classic Hollywood tradition, take a look at The Adventures of Don Juan! UPDATE 2/9/07 This film will soon be available on a new DVD in the second Errol Flynn collection box set, along with another good Flynn film, The Dawn Patrol.
23 out of 35 people found the following review useful:
My second favorite movie of all, 14 May 1999
Author: JARA-3 from Boca Raton, FL
If you love swashbucklers, period movies, buddy movies, or Errol Flynn, you must love this movie. For swashbuckling, you have a series of wonderful fight scenes, each one convincing, each one a delight. For period movies, the costumes are excellent and the history just accurate enough to be useful, but not so accurate as to be dull. Flynn and Hale are perfectly matched foils here, with Hale getting some of the wittiest lines in the movie. And this is Flynn's perfect part, still ladykiller enough to carry off the love scenes, still fit enough to persuade as the great duellist. Watch it.
15 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
A fitting final Warner swashbuckler for Flynn..., 5 August 2001
Author: Neil Doyle from U.S.A.
Errol Flynn, at 38, was not exactly as dashingly handsome as he was in his
earliest triumph ('The Adventures of Robin Hood') for his life style had
begun taking a physical toll on his health. But he looks in good shape (for
the most part, except for some tell-tale closeups) and carries off the role
with his usual zest, good humor and athletic grace.
He still has a good sidekick in Alan Hale who gets some witty banter with Flynn throughout the fast-moving film. Victor Sherman directs the tongue-in-cheek adventure tale with great style. All of the court intrigue and swashbuckling derring-do is photographed in gorgeous technicolor and accented by a lush pseudo-Spanish Max Steiner score. Fine bits of villainy supplied by Robert Douglas and Raymond Burr and some high spirited romance from women like Viveca Lindfors (at the peak of her physical beauty) and Ann Rutherford.
For fans of Flynn films, this is one of his best. None of it can be taken seriously, but that's part of the fun. From the wry opening to the sly closing scene, this is a pure delight if you're seeking escapist adventure photographed in some of the best color cinematography ever seen.
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Don Juan's True Love, 22 May 2008
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
Like his swashbuckling predecessor Douglas Fairbanks, Errol Flynn
tackled the part of Don Juan in his late years, he was 39 when he made
this film for Warner Brothers. Like Fairbanks, Flynn plays an older and
wiser famous lover who's getting a bit bored by it all. Not unlike the
real life Errol Flynn.
The Adventures Of Don Juan finds Tirso De Molina's famous lover sent home after a couple of escapades in the newly formed Kingdom of Great Britain. King Philip III and Queen Margaret give our hero a chance to redeem himself by teaching at the royal fencing academy.
He's up to his neck in trouble soon enough, but not the kind of trouble Flynn's usually in. The first minister Robert Douglas is planning a move against the Queen who he sees as his main obstacle for total power in the kingdom. And the great lover starts behaving more like Sir Lancelot and less like Don Juan where Queen Margaret as played by Viveca Lindfors is concerned.
Although Philip III was not the great ruler his father Philip II was, by no means was he as big a fool as Romney Brent plays him. The real Queen Margaret who was his Hapsburg cousin did in fact have considerable influence over domestic and foreign policy in Spain.
The Adventures of Don Juan was given a sumptuous production and won an Oscar for Costume Design and was nominated for Art&Set Design. I think the film's best asset besides Errol Flynn is Max Steiner's music. As Flynn films usually are well scored, this one even stands out among that group.
The Adventures of Don Juan marked the thirteenth and last film that Alan Hale made with Errol Flynn. If Alan Hale or Frank McHugh did not appear in Warner Brothers production it didn't seem quite right. Jack Warner kept those two guys busiest of all at his studio.
Although Errol was getting older and his hedonistic living was starting to show, the part calling for an older and wiser Don Juan was well suited for him. One wishes he'd done the role back in the middle Thirties as a young man however.
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Delightful!, 15 September 2007
Author: hahnell from Canada
I expected to see Flynn looking out of shape, trying to relive his past
glories in this 1948 film. Instead it turns out that in The Adventures
of Don Juan, not only is our hero still swashbuckling up a storm and
almost as handsome as ever -- let's not forget, ten years and many
events have now elapsed since Robin Hood -- but he is also man enough
to laugh at himself along with the audience. The role of Don Juan could
not be carried off by many actors, and casting Flynn in this role could
easily end up being farcical. Instead, he pulls off the role with
humour and grace.
And he still looks excellent in tights! More than good enough for me.
16 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
splendid romp - Flynn still cutting the mustard, 30 June 1999
Author: David McDaid from United Kingdom
Don Juan really was Flynn's last big budget extravaganza, and it really is a sumptous production. If ever any one was born to play Don Juan then it was Flynn. Solid support from Viveca Lindfors, Robert Douglas and Alan Hale. The film is up there with Robin Hood and its a shame that it is not more widely seen today. Enjoy.
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