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It is not often that I come across a old historical???? film, that I haven't seen before. Until yesterday "The Castillian" was one such film.
The reason for its obscurity is obvious from the start. Everything about the film is ridiculously bad.
The combat and romance scenes are so terrible that they do make you laugh occasionally, when they are not making you cringe and groan. Such amusement is more than nullified however by the inappropriate theme of islamophobia, that turns history on its head.
In this film the Muslims are presented as aggressive, murderers, rapists and barbarians, at a time when any historian (outside of Spain) will point out that the reverse was true. Muslim Andulsia had in fact been the most civilised culture on the planet before the time of the story. Christian Europe only slowly emerged from its Dark Ages, by acquiring the knowledge that the Andalusian Muslims had previously safeguarded from the destructive forces of Rome.
The bad dubbing also grated. I couldn't find anything at all in the plot, characters or dialogue, that I liked.
This film is sure to be compared with the acclaimed "El Cid". Despite sharing some of this film's major historical falsehoods and strong Christian bias, El Cid does at least not demonise all Muslims. El Cid is in fact a much better film in every way and one I enjoy watching.
Frankie Avalon's next film role was entitled "Operation Bikini", which pretty much sums up what producers felt about his ability to convince in a straight acting part.
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