6.8/10
1,685
18 user 26 critic

Royal Flash (1975)

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

Director:

Richard Lester

Writers:

George MacDonald Fraser (screenplay), George MacDonald Fraser (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Malcolm McDowell ... Captain Harry Flashman
Alan Bates ... Rudi Von Sternberg
Florinda Bolkan ... Lola Montez
Oliver Reed ... Otto von Bismarck
Tom Bell ... De Gautet
Joss Ackland ... Sapten
Christopher Cazenove ... Eric Hansen
Henry Cooper ... John Gully, M.P.
Lionel Jeffries ... Kraftstein
Alastair Sim ... Mr. Greig
Michael Hordern ... Headmaster
Britt Ekland ... Dutchess Irma
Richard Pearson ... Duchy Chamberlain
Alan Howland Alan Howland ... Duchy Chamberlain
Bob Hoskins ... Police Constable
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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:

SWASH - As it's never been buckled before! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1975 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

El cobarde heroico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene in the throne room, just after the wedding, the US Ambassador is introduced as "Cassius Clay". That is the birth name of boxer Muhammad Ali who defeated Henry Cooper, the man who played John Gully MP, the boxer. Muhammed Ali was named Cassius Clay at birth after his father who had been named after another Cassius Clay, who had been a famous Kentucky politician and anti-slavery activist in the mid-nineteenth century and was later named Ambassador to Russia by President Abraham Lincoln. 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

Spoofs The Prisoner of Zenda (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Vorspiel
(uncredited)
Music by Richard Wagner
Arranged by Ken Thorne
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Royal Time at the Movies
22 August 2005 | by BogmeisterSee all my reviews

Director Lester's rollicking comedic follow-up to his two Musketeers movies, this is not quite up there, but still doesn't explain why this is almost an unknown film or worse, an almost lost film. McDowell captures much of the spirit of the notorious, lecherous Capt.Flashman of the books (by G.MacDonald Fraser), a devout coward when pressed, but possessed of so much British insolence and bluff, he gets by quite well. The film lacks much of any other interesting, truly humorous characters, but Oliver Reed is a hoot as the humorless Otto von Bismarck, planning to begin a new Reich in Europe, with Flashman as one of his pawns (this is the mid 19th century, by the way). He and Flashman begin a contentious relationship near the beginning, with Flashman usually taunting him and Otto swearing a retribution. Those are some of the best scenes, including Otto's boxing challenge with real-life boxer Cooper.

Alan Bates, on the other hand, never quite warms to the part as the suave adventurer Rudi, a more polished version of Flashman, always dressed in white and quite dashing. He pops up almost a half hour into the film and maybe is too suave; his scenes lack a certain something, such as the droll atmosphere pervading everything else. Overall, it's an impressive cast, including well-known Brits Tom Bell and Lionel Jeffries hamming it up as Otto's henchmen. But, like Bates, they're not given a chance to really shine, usually relegated to an odd mixture of slapstick and serious threats against Flashman's life. A thinner than we're used to seeing Bob Hoskins shows up briefly near the beginning as a copper. Britt Ekland, as a duchess, also seems to make only a token appearance. McDowell however, even gets a chance to play a second role, that of Flashman's double, a more noble prince. The first half of this picture is really promising, delivering period entertainment; it doesn't quite live up to its promise later, but it's still a royal good time. It's a shame this film is best available only as a DVD-R, if one can find it. Update: new DVD arrived in April, 2007!


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