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Davey Haggart is quite certain of his paternity (even if nobody else is) and determined to emulate his father, a notorious rogue and highwayman. This includes breaking a man out of Stirling jail, holding up the stagecoach, and robbing the Duke of Argyll, among other feats. Unfortunately, he is handicapped by the fact that his childhood playmate Annie is equally determined to track him down and save his soul... Written by
Pleasant but ultimately disappointing comedy from Huston about a highwayman named Davey (John Hurt) who wants to be like his father even though his father got killed for his lifestyle. Davey goes on one adventure after another as he gets closer and closer to danger but thankfully the woman (Pamela Franklin) who loves him is constantly showing up to save him. Apparently this film had two different previews, both disasters yet Huston refused to edit the film so the producer had to do it for him. This, in return, set Huston off who pretty much disowned the version that was eventually released and seen here. I don't believe Huston's version has ever been released or seen since those two previews but one has to wonder if anything longer than what's here could have been taken by anyone. I should say, anyone but Huston because while watching this comedy I couldn't help but imagine Huston sitting in his chair, smoking a cigar and laughing his butt off at everything on the screen. The movie remains pleasant from start to finish because of Hurt's fine performance and the loving care that obviously went into making it but in the end there's just not enough laughs. The movie is technically impressive and I really did love the pacing and style that Huston made it. The movie has an old-fashioned look that perfectly suits the situations and the pacing is fast just like the main character. Hurt is obviously having a lot of fun in the film as he's perfectly fine as the dashing young man who won't stop until someone else stops him. Franklin isn't too bad either and we get Nigel Davenport and Ronald Fraser turning in fine work. Look quick for Huston's daughter Angelica. This film was based on a true story and I couldn't help but think the book probably had a lot of stuff that didn't make it into the movie but I also figured a lot of it might not have worked and just got cut out. Either way, this is an interesting piece from Huston but the lack of laughs pretty much kill it.
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