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Franklin J. Schaffner
The caliph of Baghdad must go into hiding with a group of traveling performers when his brother usurps the throne. Both brothers desire a beautiful dancing girl, who is torn between power and true love.
During the 1900 Boxer Rebellion against foreigners in China, U.S. Marine Major Matt Lewis, aided by British Consul Sir Arthur Robertson, devises a strategy to keep the rebels at bay until an international military relief force arrives.
Harum (Rock Hudson) is a fearless man of the people who comes to Bagdad to avenge the murder of his father and meets Krairuzan (Piper Laurie), a princess disguised as a commoner, working against a plot by a band of evil schemers trying to do away with her father, the Caliph. She gives Harum a golden sword which, in his hands, makes him invincible. Harum uses the sword in the name of justice and is doing quite well until a duplicate sword is placed in his scabbard during one of his off-guard moments, and he winds up in chains. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
'Tis said that marriage calms the tempestuous nature. He who now watches over her as his charge would cherish her as his wife. Granted my son is not gifted in speech or manners, but he is of noble birth and as a warrior, second to none.
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When Universal Pictures made those Arabian Nights films with Jon Hall, Sabu, and Maria Montez in the Forties a lot of expensive period sets were built on that lot. The rule is get use of them, so even after Universal became Universal-International in the Fifties with a crop of new leading men like Jeff Chandler, Tony Curtis, and Rock Hudson they still kept cranking out those old tales set in the Caliphate of Old Bagdad.
This film is a reworking of the Christian Sword and the Stone legend into the Arabian Nights. Haroun of Basra played by Rock Hudson comes upon his dying father in an ambushed caravan and he's given a mission to find the murderer who is also trying to stir up trouble between Basra and Bagdad.
While on the mission he comes upon a magic sword in a marketplace and discovers he's invincible with it. He also comes upon the Caliph's daughter the blond Piper Laurie who likes to roam the streets of Bagdad incognito to sample public opinion and get a taste of adventure to the annoyance of her father Edgar Barrier.
But there's treason afoot in the palace with Grand Vizier George MacReady and son Gene Evans who want the throne for themselves. Evans wants to marry for it which bothers his mistress Kathleen Hughes a lot.
During the course of the film the magic sword is stolen from Hudson and later when Evans was trying to use it, he rammed it into the palace wall and no one can get it from the stone foundation. I'll give you one guess who can.
The Golden Blade is the average Universal Arabian Nights epic with a lot of gaudy color cinematography, with a bigger budget you'd think it was a DeMille film. No better or worse than some of what Universal was putting out in those years. I'm sure Piper Laurie felt the same as Maureen O'Hara did in these kind of films, Maureen in her memoirs realized how ridiculous a redhead was in the Middle East.
George Macready was one of the best movie villains ever in just about any kind of genre be it western, noir, sand and sandal, you name it. He does a wonderful job mouthing some lines that were quite frankly ridiculous with earnest conviction.
By the way if you were to make a golden blade it would not be much use to you if it weren't enchanted. As any geologist will tell you, gold is the softest and most malleable of metals, remember in the days of gold coin people would bite into it to see if it was genuine and if the coin had teeth marks, you knew it was good.
The Golden Blade is entertaining enough and not to be taken too seriously.
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