|Index||6 reviews in total|
The movie is based on historical events , in 15th century England ,
during ¨Two Roses War¨ , ¨ Red Rose (York) ¨ ruled by Edward IV and
Richard III followers and ¨ White Rose (Lancaster) ¨ Henry VI followers
who vanquish them . The film deal with a dashing outlaw (Steve Chase)
named Black Arrow facing off a villainous count (Oliver Reed) and
underlings (Donald Pleasance and Aldo Sambrell) . While the civil war
is being fought between two rival houses who want the throne , the
count tries to marry his pupil (Georgia Slow) confronting his nephew
(Benedict Taylor) . As the starring joins the outlaws led by the Black
Arrow to seek vengeance and justice .
It's a colorful film and highly agreeable entry in the swashbuckler and adventure genre . The story is adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson's novel with several fine action scenes and stimulating final . The picture offers loads of struggles , fencing duels , fights and thrills to both children and adults . Sweepingly and glimmer photographed by cameraman John Cabrera . Lively and spectacular musical score by Stanley Myers . The movie is a remake for television of the Gordon Douglas classic film starred by Louis Hayward , George McReady and Janet Blair . This was the only time Walt Disney Productions released a film by exploitation producer Harry Allan Towers , being a British/Spanish co-production . The motion picture was professionally directed by John Hough . Rating: 5,5 . Mediocre but entertaining and amusing . Well worth seeing.
It was earlier made into a film in black-and-white in 1948 with George Macready as an impressing Sir Daniel in a stylish Hollywood version, which has served as a basis for the modern version with Oliver Reed as a much more brutal bully, but this version excels the earlier one in many ways. It is more convincingly 15th century, it is down to earth with wonderful primitive settings, the music is aptly composed to suit the material, and all the actors are perfect, especially Fernando Rey as a kind of godfather of the whole drama. The story is even more altered from Stevenson than the 1948 version, it is more concentrated and poignant with a grand finale in the cathedral. The problem of the novel is the character of Dick, which is not entirely successful, he is not sympathetic but rather controversial, but Benedict Taylor is perfect in the role. The character of Sir Oliver Oates is also improved by Donald Pleasance, and Stephan Chase makes a very likable and logical Black Arrow. Although the alterations from Stevenson do not improve the book, they make out a splendid complement to a book, which Stevenson himself was never quite happy with.
Set during the War of the Roses, the Black Arrow is a Robin Hood like figure, with a loyal following, who is waging a guerrilla war against Sir Daniel. Oliver Reed fairly makes the movie with his portrayal of Sir Daniel. Donald Pleasence gives a great performance also, as his weaselly accomplice, Oates. Sir Daniel successfully gains guardianship of the Black Arrow's daughter, the Lady Joanna, and schemes to also get control of the extensive land holdings she is heir to. She is headstrong and resourceful, if politically naive, with no intention of submitting to Sir Daniel. The Earl of Warwick, played by Fernando Rey, has a classic line near the movie's climax: "Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done." Definitely worth seeing, full of action, drama, and great acting. Disney should re-release it in DVD.
If you can find this film it is fun to watch. One of the few Disney Live actions worth owning in my opinion. Not brilliant mind you but it is a lot of fun and there is certainly much much worse out there. This is one of my non-toon Disney favorites!
This good story, by Robert Louis Stevenson, is almost well done here,
in what seems to be a British production filmed in Spain.
The leading lady is exotically gorgeous beyond words, reminding me a bit of Ina Balin. The young leading man is also gorgeous, but not very believable as a master fighter.
The title character mostly poses, but the actor portraying him seems totally capable of giving full flesh, if provided a better script.
Ah, then there is "Oates," magnificently played by Donald Pleasance, one of the greatest, most capable actors of the last hundred years. I just can't imagine him ever playing a part wrong.
The chief bad guy, played by Oliver Reed, is as rotten as a villain can be in a TV movie, and the performance is what we would expect from one of the masters.
There are, though, writing and directorial and editorial flaws, and they do detract, at least a bit. There are moments of corn, of misplaced action, and not-well-matching scenes.
Still, suspend your disbelief, admire the amazing beauty of Georgia Slowe, and you can enjoy this version of "The Black Arrow," which is available in a wobbly version at YouTube.
'Black Arrow' is based on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson adventure
tale. Stephen Chase plays the title character, a good-doing and heroic
swashbuckler who tries to avenge his father's murder during the War of
the Roses, a series of wars for control of the throne of England fought
between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of
Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster (associated with a red rose), and
the House of York (whose symbol was a white rose), a conflict that
lasted through many sporadic episodes between 1455 and 1487, and
slightly before and after this period between the two houses.
Though Stephan Chase as Black Arrow carries the bulk of the action, top billing is bestowed upon the film's villains, Oliver Reed (as Sir Daniel Brackley) and Fernando Rey (as the Earl of Warwick).
The Stevenson original was previously adapted for the screen in 1948, with Louis Hayward in the lead. 'Black Arrow' made its TV debut on January 6, 1985. Character-actor Donald Pleasence cast as Oates; Oliver Reed starring as Sir Daniel Brackley and Fernando Rey starring as the Earl of Warwick, to name but a few in a great cast.
You will find no spoilers in this review. For more details of the story line, please refer to the Plot Summary and Synopsis.
I found this film to be a rare, interesting, and very entertaining glimpse into 15th century medieval English life in general, and the conflict of the War of the Roses specifically.
Produced for cable TV by The Disney Channel, it was not a big budget production, but it more than effectively suffices in its story in the swashbuckler and adventure genre, offering several well-done, historically-accurate action scenes including an action-packed finale.
Definitely worth seeing; great acting and replete with action, drama, and historically accurate costumes and weaponry of that era.
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