|Index||5 reviews in total|
Geez, I read the review by emuir-1 and almost passed on this movie.
That would have been a bad mistake.
All the points made, that illustrated flaws in the movie, were based on ignorance.
First, there is a word 'demure' that apparently isn't in that reviewer's vocabulary along with a historical understanding of its meaning.
Ladies of that time period did not look directly at a gentleman's face for very long.
Politically correct? Nope. Reality? Yes.
And the joke about bad breath shows extreme ignorance. The tooth brush had yet to be invented. Shakespeare wrote of the 'sweet breath of youth' which refers to the fact that people who didn't have ANY oral hygiene regime had rotting teeth and EVERY adult had a mouth that smelled like a sewer. So she wouldn't have been faking - not wanting to be so close as to breathe in his breath. Lastly, I saw NO scenes where she is playing to the camera instead of acting her part she just doesn't stare lovingly into his eyes while looking him square in the face.
While this might not go down in history as the best movie ever made I found all of the criticisms to be unjustified.
Just as THE VIRGIN QUEEN (1955) dealt with Queen Elizabeth I's 'relationship' with Sir Walter Raleigh, this one involves her similar association with another well-known historical figure i.e. Sir Francis Drake. Unlike that film, however, which was done in lavish Hollywood terms, the title under review was a low-grade European venture, freely mixing the expected court intrigue and sea-faring stretches with elements of the swashbuckler genre, irrelevant romantic interludes and even instances of broad comedy (the discovery of potatoes, for instance, is attributed to a squaw's infatuation with Drake's right-hand man!). The brew proves uninspiring (despite interesting credentials, the best of which emerges to be Franco Mannino's rousing score) but undeniably entertaining in an unassuming way. Casting, too, is slightly above-average for this type of outing with Rod Taylor (who had had an uncredited bit in the afore-mentioned THE VIRGIN QUEEN) a reasonably effective Drake, Keith Michell as his virile sidekick, Irene Worth as Elizabeth, Arturo (BLACK Sunday ) Dominici as a Spanish ambassador, and there's even Terence Hill (still billed under his real name of Mario Girotti) as a conspirator and Michell's rival for the hands of one of the Queen's ladies-in-waiting.
I Never saw the Italian version of "Seven Seas to Calais" but the
English version aired on AMC and was delightful. I wish I could find it
somewhere on DVD its definitely worth the purchase. Fairly Young Rod
Taylor & Keith Mitchell are awesome in this one and completely in the
vain of 'The Virgin Queen' & 'Sea Hawk' but with Captain Draco
attacking the Spanish treasure fleet's sailors plundering the
Not to mention If hearing someone mention the words 'princess potato' or yell out "Mr Marsh!" doesn't at least put smile on your face after seeing this film... I don't know what will.
I also have to mention this film inspired me to read up on Sir Francis Drake to which I am grateful.
Rod Taylor essays the role of Sir Francis Drake in Seven Seas To
Calais, a tale of piracy and politics in the Elizabethan Age. Sometimes
those two professions were blended quite a bit.
A good deal of this has been gone over in the two films that Flora Robson did playing Queen Elizabeth I, Fire Over England and The Sea Hawk. In this film we get Sir Francis Drake's round the world voyage picking up all kinds of loot for the British crown, stolen from the Spanish who would be using it to finance their great Armada to crush those Protestant upstarts over on that island kingdom. We also have the plot to assassinate Elizabeth and put her Catholic kinsmen Mary Queen of Scots on the English throne. That's woven into the film where Drake's aid Keith Michell woos lady in waiting Edy Vessel. But she doesn't like the fact that he's off having all kinds of adventures. While Michell's away, Vessel is courted by Sir Thomas Babington played by Terence Hill before he went into spaghetti westerns who gets her involved in the plot against Elizabeth. Babington was a real life figure whose capture and confession by that other real life figure Francis Walsingham turned up the whole plot that led to Mary Stuart's execution.
Action and intrigue are the hallmarks of Seven Seas To Calais. But I fear a lot of it is rehashed from those old classics which were done a lot better.
This film ranks (no pun intended) with the worst excesses of the Italian
made spectaculars. A blonde leading lady who cannot act to save her life,
handsome hunks, glorious costumes and scenery and at least 2,000 extras in
every scene. The story hopskotches around with no continuity and nothing to
tie scenes together, as if a reel or two had been lost. One minute they
frolicking with American Indians in a Disney style village, next minute
are at the court of Good Queen Bess. History takes a time warp.
To be fair, it still has a long way to go before it ranks with "The Norseman" but it tries. Most amusing is the way the love interest, Arabella, constantly turns her face away from the hero and toward the camera during the romantic scenes, as if the handsome hero had bad breath. What a waste of two good Australian actors, Keith Michell and Rod Taylor.
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