|Index||3 reviews in total|
Anthony Quinn and Rita Hayworth give us their usual excellent level of
acting, and Rosanna Schiaffino as Arlette is wonderful. The script has
holes but that is more than made up by the wonderful performances of the
actors and the beautiful locations. A sometimes underrated movie that is
Anthony Quinn plays a pawn in a Napoleonic game of world chess. The high seas action is sometimes overshadowed by his relationships on shore and both make for captivating viewing.
I would recommend this movie.
Given a very limited distribution (despite the people involved) this
international production remains, even now, an obscure (and
unappetizing) historical piece; not all that much of a surprise,
however, since it just isn't very good either as drama, adventure, or
as an adaptation of the Joseph Conrad novel.
Director Young was an expert at action (having pretty much cemented the style of the James Bond extravaganzas); however, this is a largely talky and stodgy affair which, perhaps in keeping with the film's very title, doesn't seem to know where it's headed! Ennio Morricone provides the suitably melancholic music; the main cast seems impressive on paper but, for the most part, it has very little to work with here resulting in generally awkward performances. The titular seafaring character is played by Anthony Quinn a veteran of (much better) pirate sagas, such as the prime THE BLACK SWAN (1942), the vintage AGAINST ALL FLAGS (1952; with which I should be re-acquainting myself over the next week-end, incidentally) and the similarly meaningful but more successful A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA (1965) whose exploits, typically for the larger-than-life actor, end in self-sacrifice (albeit a recurring motif in the author's fatalistic work as well, as can be judged from the likes of "Heart Of Darkness" and "Lord Jim").
Rosanna Schiaffino has the most difficult and self-conscious part as the unstable yet voluptuous woman (whose odd behavior is eventually explained in a brief flashback) protected by Quinn from harassment by the locals and the lustful attentions of her ageing 'guardian'. For an actress who had been the personification of allure and glamour, Rita Hayworth is here saddled with an unenviable frumpy look and, even worse, a thankless characterization (by the way, she and Quinn had last appeared together 26 years previously in BLOOD AND SAND )! Richard Johnson's earnest officer, then, supplies belated antagonism to Quinn in the fields of both romance and patriotic duty (the setting is post-Revolutionary France).
Anthony Quinn is ready and able, but he has nothing to do in THE ROVER, an alternately boring and confusing adaptation of the novel. You won't care what happens to him or anyone else in the movie. Movie has a beautiful score by Ennio Morricone, but it seems to have been made for a totally different movie, with the music frequently inappropriate for the scenes it plays in
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