Convicted murderess Valerie Carns (Ann Blyth) is being transported to Norwich to be executed when a flood strands her and her guards at a convent hospital. Nurse Sister Mary (Claudette ... See full summary »
A reluctant gunslinger tires of having to defend himself at every cow town he visits, so he adopts an alias and continues his wandering. At an outpost run by a father and young son, he gets... See full summary »
Charles Marquis Warren
Set in the early '40s, a San Francisco prostitute is run out of town just as the second World War has begun to intensify. Mamie settles down in Hawaii, hoping to start a new life. Though ... See full summary »
Country squire Henry Maurier is patient with his wife Emily, a neurotic invalid, but her brother surprises Henry with his young mistress Doris. The same night, Emily dies of her chronic ... See full summary »
Loosely traces the life of tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921). He loves Musetta, in his home town of Naples, and then Dorothy, the daughter of one of the Metropolitan Opera's patrons. Caruso ... See full summary »
A top salesman with a U.K. toy firm foolishly brings an expensive watch back from a German trip for his wife's birthday. This is illegal in 1950's Britain and when Customs discover the ... See full summary »
In 1220, a small band of English crusaders arrives at Samarkand in Central Asia, just as the city and its ruling princess are threatened by the hordes of Genghis Khan. Lovely Princess Shalimar hopes to thwart the conqueror by guile, while Sir Guy wants to put up a brave (if ultimately hopeless) fight. Despite a mutual attraction, their conflicting projects threaten any hope of success either might have had alone. Fast-moving; bears little relation to history. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I was only vaguely familiar with this colorful (albeit low-budgeted) epic from Universal dealing with Samarcand's resistance to the onslaught of the titular army, commandeered by the legendary Genghis Khan. The plot is unusual in that their come-uppance occurs largely through a woman's shrewdness; in fact, while the expected skirmishes are certainly there, the hero is not very flatteringly depicted: he is boorish Crusader David Farrar who arrives upon the scene with his men (chief among them a pre-stardom Richard Egan) presumptuously intent on taking charge of the situation since the city is ruled by a girl (Ann Blyth, petite but effective nonetheless in portraying her character's iron-willed disposition)!
Her plan is to have the Khan's two envoys (one of them his own son) clash when she offers herself to one of them as ransom for the city's deliverance!; while an accompanying Shaman (played by genre regular George Macready, but almost unrecognizable behind the almond-eyed make-up!) tries to calm the waters and make them see the wiliness of her proposal, like Farrar himself, they are too obstinate and proud to act sensibly! Typically, the protagonists themselves start off on the wrong foot (early on, he admonishes Blyth's male subjects for even accepting to be subservient to a member of the opposite sex and, what is more, openly considers her suggestions of what action is to be taken as "half-witted"!) but, before long, predictably (or, if you like, as dictated by Hollywood in those times) they find they cannot live without one another!
For good measure, Blyth's castle is fitted with a variety of secret passages which are, subsequently, often resorted to in order to save the battered hide of Farrar's knights (needless to say, though brute force takes the upper hand at first, eventually it has to accede to the hidden powers and not just the obvious physical attributes that a female, invariably, is better equipped to supply)! In the end, the Khan decides that Samarcand is not for him (thanks also to a prophecy that forbids him personally physical entrance into the city?) and takes it on the lam. The film looks good (belying its humble pedigree) and, at just 73 minutes, certainly does not overstay its welcome; however, the repetition pertaining to Farrar's pig-headedness and the two deluded romantic contenders' squabbling does tax one's patience somewhat on occasion...
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