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Royal Flash (1975)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,335 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 26 critic

Ne'er-do-well Harry Flashman is coerced by Otto von Bismark into impersonating a prince.

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(screenplay), (novel), 1 more credit »
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Title: Royal Flash (1975)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Henry Cooper ...
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Richard Pearson ...
Dutchy Chamberlain
Alan Howland ...
Dutchy Chamberlain
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Storyline

Captain Harry Flashman of the British army is a cad, a coward, and a lecher who always seems to come off inadvertently heroic. While romancing renowned courtesan Lola Montes, Harry is recruited against his will by Otto von Bismarck to substitute for a lookalike Prussian prince ostensibly in order to help Bismarck enlarge his hold over German duchies. But Bismarck has something more sinister in mind for both Harry and the prince. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The greatest swordsman of them all! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

October 1975 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

El cobarde heroico  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1970, Richard Lester had planned to make a film of "Flashman", the first of George Macdonald Fraser's novels, from a screenplay by Charles Wood and Frank Muir and with John Alderton in the title role. Because of expense, it was canceled with only days to go before the start of shooting. Half a decade later, having collaborated with Fraser on his two "Musketeers" films with huge success, Lester tried to reactivate the project, but found it easier to set up a film of Fraser's second novel, "Royal Flash", perhaps because the story is a parody of "The Prisoner Of Zenda", which had been filmed several times with great popularity. Even so, United Artists went cold on the idea shortly before filming was due to begin, but this time Lester was able successfully to transfer the project to Twentieth Century Fox. However, the film proved a critical and box-office failure, and was cut from a running time of 118 minutes to 96 minutes for general release in Britain (which accounts for certain well-known actors either not appearing or doing so only very briefly). See more »

Goofs

At c.47 minutes Flashman strikes a red ball with his cue. However, in all variants of billiards the cue-ball is white. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Harry Flashman: So, the last thing I have to tell you young fellows is this: play up and play the game, honor your queen and country, mind what your masters tell you, say your prayers each night, keep your minds and your bodies clean, take a cold bath each day, and you'll find you can always look the world in the eye like an English gentleman.
[audience members concurs, muttering "Here, here"]
Harry Flashman: Now my lads, I'm just a simple soldier.
[Audience members murmer objections and so does the headmaster]
Harry Flashman: Yes...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Spun-off from Tom Brown's School Days (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Eisel und Bleselle
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauß
Arranged by Ken Thorne
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Captures the spirit of the most underrated novel series ever.
9 October 1999 | by (Kansas City, Missouri) – See all my reviews

This is a fun flick. I've always liked the humorous fighting style that director Richard Lester brings to his films (The Three Musketeers/Superman I and II/Robin and Marion). This rollicking tale has a dash of that as well as the comic timing of Malcolm McDowell and the grandiose aspirations to rip off "The Prisoner of Zenda" in roundabout fashion.

Royal Flash is an adaptation of the second novel of George MacDonald Frasier's hilarious historical fiction series about the 19th century British officer Harry Flashman, an admitted rogue and coward who always seems to end up smelling like roses. By placing Flashman in settings right out of history and populating his stories with real historical figures Mr Frasier has found the perfect way to inform as he entertains.

The film follows Flashman from a torrid affair with the sadistic Lola Montez to a chance meeting with Otto von Bismark before sending him on a wild journey to a small European province where he's forced to imitate a prince and marry a princess and...

Royal Flash is a good movie and I wish it had reached a wider audience so that I could have seen more of Harry Flashman on the screen. It is one of the weaker novels in the series, but plays well on film. McDowell is a perfect fit and the great Oliver Reed makes a convincing and intimidating Bismark.

8.5 out of 10, but I'm admittedly biased. Seek out the movie, then read the books. Or vice-versa. You won't be disappointed.


28 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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