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The Master of Ballantrae (1953)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 858 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 4 critic

Two noble Scottish brothers deliberately take opposite sides when Bonnie Prince Charlie returns to claim the throne of Scotland in order to preserve the family fortune.

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(screenplay), (additional dialogue), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Master of Ballantrae (1953)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Anthony Steel ...
Beatrice Campbell ...
Yvonne Furneaux ...
Felix Aylmer ...
Mervyn Johns ...
Charles Goldner ...
Mendoza
Ralph Truman ...
Maj. Clarendon
Francis De Wolff ...
Matthew Bull (as Francis de Wolff)
Jacques Berthier ...
Capt. Arnaud
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Storyline

Buckle on your swashes for this swashbuckling adventure with a highlander who fought for Bonnie Prince Charlie who, after various escapades, becomes a pirate. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Declare your allegiance - or answer to his blade ! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 August 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Robert Louis Stevenson's The Master of Ballantrae  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 43-year-old Errol Flynn was generally felt to look too old to play the dashing young hero of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel. Although Flynn was wearing heavy make up, in the close ups he appeared about a decade older than his actual age. See more »

Goofs

As Arnaud's ship approaches land the lookout shouts "Land on the starboard bow!" (ie to the right) yet he is pointing to the port side (ie left). A cut to the deck shows Capt Arnaud training his telescope to port instead of starboard. See more »

Quotes

Col. Francis Burke: I could see by the look of defeat about you that you were one of the amateurs.
See more »

Connections

Version of Il signore di Ballantrae (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE (William Keighley, 1953) **1/2
22 March 2007 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Errol Flynn's 1950s work has always been taken for granted as being inferior to the star's output during his period of glory (1935-45); personally, I've always liked AGAINST ALL FLAGS (1952), which is forthcoming on DVD from Universal: now that I've caught up with this one, I can safely say that it too emerges as a very adequate addition to his string of popular swashbucklers.

The appeal of the film is actually two-fold: apart from being a typical Flynn vehicle, it's based on a classic adventure novel by Robert Louis Stevenson; incidentally, not having read the original, I was surprised the narrative took the star from the highlands to (the more familiar territory of) the high seas – where he's involved with many a colorful character, at least three women, and even a usurping sibling. Perhaps to account for Flynn's age (he was 44 at the time), his character isn't quite as agile as in earlier adventures – given that he's wounded some three times during the course of the film; that said, as already mentioned, his attraction to females remains undimmed (though, in perhaps another sign of maturity, he never actually strays from his devotion to fiancée Beatrice Campbell) – ditto his wit, especially when it becomes necessary to put-down some gruff and pompous adversary.

This lively costumer is competently helmed by Keighley, a regular throughout Flynn's heyday, and deals with the 18th century struggle by the Scots to break free from British rule and elect Bonnie Prince Charlie as their sovereign. Besides, the film is boosted by an array of British players (including Anthony Steel as Flynn's over-eager brother, Felix Aylmer, Mervyn Johns, Ralph Truman, Francis de Wolff and, especially, Roger Livesey – cast against type as the star's fun-loving Irish sidekick, a role usually filled by Alan Hale); the Warners DVD I watched, then, really does justice to the film's gorgeous color cinematography (courtesy of the great Jack Cardiff).

Ultimately, while no classic, THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE is a pleasant romp and, at this stage, I wouldn't mind checking out the rest of Flynn's ventures in similar vein: actually, I only have three more to go – THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN FABIAN (1951), CROSSED SWORDS (1954) and THE DARK AVENGER (1955) – but their low-profile (and, in the case of the first two, their European backing) doesn't augur well for the films' imminent availability...


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