Roistering sea captain Jonathan Clark, who poaches seal pelts from Russian Alaska, meets and woos Russian countess Marina in 1850 San Francisco. Events separate them, but after an exciting ... See full summary »
Marsha Mitchell, a traveling dress model, stops in a southern town to see her sister who has married a Ku Klux Klansman. Marsha sees the KKK commit a murder and helps District Attorney Burt Rainey in bringing the criminals to justice.
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 »
Peanuts White, a burlesque comic, is recruited by U.S. agents to impersonate international spy Eric Augustine (whom White resembles) in a mission to purchase a million-dollar microfilm in ... See full summary »
During the early days of the Korean War, U.S. Army colonel Steve Janowski is one of the military advisers training the South Korean army and he's tasked with evacuating American civilians from the war zone.
Steve Cochran plays the slick, debonair owner of a notorious gossip magazine who is anxious to break a big scandal to reverse a recent decline in sales. He zeroes in on children's ... 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 »
The famous "Dreyfus Case" where a Jewish captain in the French Army is falsely accused of treason. He is sentenced to imprisonment on Devil's Island. When the real traitor is found 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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