6.6/10
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The Master of Ballantrae (1953)

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Two noble Scottish brothers deliberately take opposite sides when Bonnie Prince Charlie returns to claim the throne of Scotland in order to preserve the family fortune.

Director:

William Keighley

Writers:

Herb Meadow (screenplay), Harold Medford (additional dialogue)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Errol Flynn ... Jamie Durie
Roger Livesey ... Col. Francis Burke
Anthony Steel ... Henry Durie
Beatrice Campbell Beatrice Campbell ... Lady Alison
Yvonne Furneaux ... Jessie Brown
Felix Aylmer ... Lord Durrisdeer
Mervyn Johns ... MacKellar
Charles Goldner Charles Goldner ... Mendoza
Ralph Truman Ralph Truman ... Maj. Clarendon
Francis De Wolff Francis De Wolff ... Matthew Bull (as Francis de Wolff)
Jacques Berthier Jacques Berthier ... Capt. Arnaud
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Storyline

Buckle on your swashes for this swashbuckling adventure with a highlander who fought for Bonnie Prince Charlie who, after various escapades, becomes a pirate. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A fighter by any code of arms... a rebel for the devil of it ! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 August 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Robert Louis Stevenson's The Master of Ballantrae See more »

Filming Locations:

Palermo, Sicily, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In his 1959 autobiography "My Wicked, Wicked Ways" Errol Flynn described the film as a "horrible flop". See more »

Goofs

Another contributor to this page clearly misheard "larboard" as "starboard". See more »

Quotes

Col. Francis Burke: Jamie, you're a wicked, wicked lad, and harm will come to me reputation for letting you lead me to piracy!
See more »

Connections

Version of The Master of Ballantrae (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

 
While far from Flynn's earlier successes, one of the few bright moments in the latter half of his career
1 September 2007 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

During the 1950s, Errol Flynn was a full-fledged alcoholic who was just counting the days until liquor would eventually take his life. As a result, he looked extremely old and puffy in these films and the overall energy level of the films were very low. Sadly, like Alan Ladd, his career was cut very short because of the drinking.

Despite this, MASTER OF BALLANTRAE is one of only a few shining moments in an otherwise drab decade for Flynn. Now this isn't to say the film is great and I am sure that had Flynn made the film ten or twenty years earlier it would have been better (as often he looked a bit drunk and immobile), but it still was enjoyable and held my interest.

The film is based on a Robert Louis Stevenson novel by the same name--a story very similar to another famous work by Stevenson, "Kidnapped". Like this other tale, they are set in the period immediately following the defeat of the forces of Bonny Prince Charlie after the Battle of Culloden. This time, Flynn plays a brother forced to leave his homeland because those loyal to the Prince were being rounded up and executed. I am actually glad the film left Scotland, as the pirate sequences were exciting (even if the Tortugas look nothing like they do in the film--there are no mountains on these barren islands off the Florida Keys).

In addition to a sluggish but acceptable performance by Flynn, he was very ably supported by Roger Livesey--the only actor in the film who really came off as exciting or three-dimensional.


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