Based on the book of the same name by Frank Yerby. Pietro is an orphan who is raised by a family friend in 15th century Italy. When the friend is killed by the same nasty baron who murdered... See full summary »
Based on the book of the same name by Frank Yerby. Pietro is an orphan who is raised by a family friend in 15th century Italy. When the friend is killed by the same nasty baron who murdered Pietro's father as he led the peasants in revolt against the baron's tyranny, Pietro vows vengeance against the entire family. This will prove difficult, since he's been in love with the daughter of the nasty baron since he was a child and wants to marry her. Written by
Marta Dawes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Like the Saracen Blade, Castle always just bounces back
Like other films in this era of Katzman-Castle production, there is an emphasis on tableau (symmetrical composition of mise-en-scene within the framing of a static camera positioned with frontality as the dominant). Castle outdoes himself this outing as he adds a new element to his beleaguered stylistic system - suture! The shot-reverse-shots are not only naively constructed and overt but poorly placed in relation to the plot progression. As a result, there is a stagnant pace. I pity that a talented director such as William Castle found himself bound to applying two stylistic systems for different films. The Saracen Blade is a 1954 release - and one of eight Castle films released that year! If the authorial voice seems mute perhaps it was a result of the man being overworked. The script doesn't help as the narrative is relayed with tween 'dear-diary' precision and crossing-guard intuition. If only this film wore a bright reflective 'X' it might become self-aware and develop a set of compensatory unique qualities. As it stands, the film hunches and limps. Despite each sequence taken individually having the flavor of a bad porno, there is no passion infused into character relationships. All the characters seem sickeningly smug about the conflicts that befall them (I suppose from the perspective of the production everything would have been looking up as it couldn't conceivably get any worse). But fear not, for Castle would soon break free from a bunk system of mechanical and mass reproduction in the guise of historical action-drama storytelling in order to forge the better parts of a stylistic system that he had been struggling to express for most of his career (When Stranger Marry had most of the elements already in place).
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