Colonel John Wister, on duty with the British army in the desert region of Dubik, returns to England on leave. There he falls in love with Julia Ashton, who cares deeply for him but ... See full summary »
Union officer Kerry Bradford escapes from Confederate Prison and is set to Virginia City in Nevada. Once there he finds that the former commander of his prison Vance Irby is planning to send $5 million in gold to save the Confederacy.
It is Venice, 1900, and Fenella is engaged to composer Caryl Dubrok until she hears that an unmarried woman named Gemma and child is staying with a composer named Dubrok. So the engagement ... See full summary »
Geoffrey Thorpe, a buccaneer, is hired by Queen Elizabeth I to nag the Spanish Armada. The Armada is waiting for the attack on England and Thorpe surprises them with attacks on their galleons where he shows his skills on the sword.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
[Watching Burke being kissed by several girls]
Burke, come on!
Col. Francis Burke:
Would you have me leave these poor, lonesome bits of depravity? I'm about to enrich the lives and experience of them!
See more »
I wasn't expecting too much of this later Errol Flynn vehicle, especially as it was taking on one of my favourite authors, my fellow-countryman Robert Louis Stevenson. However, while some of my fears were justified, on the whole I was well satisfied with this irreverent, knockabout swashbuckler.
It probably helps that it's years and years since I read the novel plus the movie also gained big "brownie-points" with me for not calling my countrymen "Scotchmen" and basically by filling up any pauses in the story with big action set-pieces, so that any gripes I may have had about authenticity and truth to source evaporated.
On the down side, there's no question that old Errol was getting on a bit, especially for this type of part. He seems far too old to be his brother's brother, if you follow me, never mind the rakish playboy figure he cuts at the start of the movie. That said, he's still undoubtedly a handsome man, in reasonable shape and still able to leap aboard a pirate ship or engage in a sword-fight to the death with almost the old panache. He's well supported by Roger Livesey who hams it up royally as an Irish adventurer (does anyone in this movie speak in their native dialect?).
On the debit side are devices like the stentorian-voiced announcer who makes "voice of God" interjections it seems every 15 minutes, the complete lack of suspense at Flynn's two supposed early demises (as if...!) and I can't resist saying it after all, the complete lack of even one authentic Scottish accent - Flynn doesn't even try. (I've checked the cast-list and not one is Scots-born!)
But with Jack Cardiff's sparkling photography (every frame seems bathed in an almost Rubens-ian like golden-light), some good if not "Robin Hood" - vintage sword-play and similarly good if not "Captain Blood" - vintage action on the pirate-ship, the movie proceeds with the pace of a page-turning Stevenson novel and before you know it you're at the finish as Flynn, Livesey (and Beatrice Campbell as his lover Lady Alison) evade the English Army's hangman's rope (hurrah!) and make their dramatic escape over the hills and far away.
A bit two for the price of one then, pirate action coupled with a historical-costume swashbuckler. Personally I rather enjoyed it and will consciously now not avoid, as I have been doing, Flynn's post-war work. More "used-to-be" than "has-been" and there is a difference.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?