The Flame and the Arrow

1950

Adventure / Drama

0
IMDb Rating 7.0

Synopsis


Downloaded 461 times
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1080p
1.68G
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English
/
88 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jpdoherty 7

&quot;The Flame &amp; The Arrow&quot; (1950)was one of the last of the great Warner Bros. swashbucklers. From a screenplay by Waldo Salt this hugely enjoyable romp was directed with great flair by Jacques Tourneur. It was originally planned as a vehicle for Errol Flynn but by the time the picture went into production the erstwhile heroic Flynn was past his sell-by date and would be unable for the knockabout antics the part demanded (he had barely got through &quot;The Adventures Of Don Juan&quot; two years previously thanks to many short takes and having doubles perform a lot of his action scenes). Instead, a young and stunningly acrobatic Burt Lancaster was cast as Dardo, a sort of Robin Hood in medieval Italy fighting the oppression of the occupying Hessions.<br/><br/>Produced by Lancaster&#39;s Norma Productions (named after his wife) it was fully fleshed out with a splendid cast. Playing Dardo&#39;s mute friend Piccolo was Nick Cravat - Lancaster&#39;s friend and fellow performer from their circus days.The lovely Virginia Mayo played the love interest Anne of Hess. Robert Douglas is a likable rogue through most of the picture until he gets a taste of power and turns bad and Frank Allenby, looking remarkably like the Great Profile John Barrymore, played the villainous Hawk (the original title of the movie was &quot;The Hawk &amp; The Arrow&quot;).<br/><br/>Lancaster is marvellous to watch! Performing all his own stunts his high flying antics are a joy to behold. No other actor, before or since, would prove to be so agile and provide such a spirited performance! His athletic prowess is outstanding and little wonder he was Warner&#39;s first choice to play the great native American athlete Jim Thorpe in their biographical &quot;Jim Thorpe-All American&quot; (aka &quot;Man Of Bronz&quot;) in 1952. Although he did a kind of follow-up to &quot;The Flame &amp; The Arrow&quot; two years later with the more comical &quot;The Crimson Pirate&quot; it is a shame he then ceased doing this type of movie as we could have tolerated him in quite a few more of them.<br/><br/>Beautifully photographed in colour by the great Ernest Haller the movie has all the hallmarks of Warner&#39;s high production values. Adding greatly to the picture&#39;s proceedings is the wonderful Italianate score by Max Steiner! His ebullient music, like the picture, is a total delight especially his infectious and hum inducing main theme for Dardo scored for mandolins and orchestra and the gorgeous love theme for the scenes with Dardo &amp; the lady Anne. There&#39;s a splendid driving battle theme too! Steiner&#39;s music was nominated for an Acadamy Award but lost out to Franz Waxman&#39;s darker &quot;Sunset Boulevard&quot;.<br/><br/>The picture has transferred extremely well to disc with sharp images and fine colour resolution but quite dispensable are a Merrie Melodies cartoon and a tired Joe McDoakes short. It is also a pity that a documentary of Lancaster was not included.

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Reviewed by xerses13 8

THE FLAME AND THE ARROW is one (1) of those films that every ten (10) years we see and are pleasantly surprised how well it holds up. It is also amazing how it appears and disappears. In the 60&#39;s it was on quite frequently, the 70&#39;s not so. American Movie Classics (AMC) showed it often in the 80&#39;s and it came out on VHS. Now it is been buried again so a new generation of viewers are going to have to wait till it comes out on DVD. I have just watched my 80&#39;s VHS recently so this is based upon it.<br/><br/>It is what other commentators called it ROBIN HOOD JR. That does not mean it is small or poorly made film. Instead you see the full power of a major studio Warner Brothers (WB) behind it. The props and sets many coming from larger films (Adventures of Robin Hood, Elizabeth and Essex, The Adventures of Don Juan) are quite evident and effectively integrated into the story line. Burt Lancaster&#39;s supporting cast consists of the current studio stock company, all professionals. Who knew what to deliver and did so. It had the full Three (3) Strip Technicolor process in all it&#39;s glory and finally Max Steiner&#39;s score. Romantic and rich and appropriate for such a concept. This is a super &#39;B&#39; film and there is no disgrace in that. We have seen plenty of &#39;A&#39; films today that are not half as well done.<br/><br/>It is though Burt Lancaster that is the central focus of the film. His first &#39;independent&#39; production he knew if he did not carry it well it would have failed. Every time he is on the screen he is the focus of attention and fortunately he is on very often. Whether exchanging insults, engaging in acrobatics or romance he is hitting the target every time. He is ably supported by Virginia Mayo as his leading lady. A underrated actress with a attractive and strong physical presence. Lets be frank, does anyone believe that DARDO would fall for some skinny twit like Audrey Hepburn (or today Angelina Jolie) no way. We did not believe that when Sean Connery did in ROBIN AND MARIAN!<br/><br/>So if you can check this selection out. Your library may have a copy (mine does) on VHS. We are sure it will be out sometime on DVD. Lancaster later made another period film THE CRIMSON PIRATE. Not quite as good but still fun, but it seemed to lack the backing. polish and push that WB gave THE FLAME AND THE ARROW.<br/><br/>ADDENDUM; NOW AVAILABLE ON DVD.

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Reviewed by Bunuel1976 7

Lively, colorful period romp in the Warners’ style made in the wake of ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN (1948) – featuring the same villain, Robert Douglas, no less – but actually fashioned after their most successful swashbuckler, THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938).<br/><br/>Burt Lancaster – with his acrobatic training and cheerful countenance in full bloom – is perfect casting for the heroic role of Dardo, a kind of Italian Robin Hood (even down to displaying similar prowess as an archer); Virginia Mayo, then, makes for an ideal heroine – like Olivia De Havilland’s Maid Marian, playing a noble woman who’s gradually drawn to the outlaw’s cause. Again, like the 1938 Robin Hood film, we have two villains: Frank Allenby as a tyrant known as “The Hawk” and the afore-mentioned Douglas as a Marquis; the latter’s role is interesting in that, banished by the former for tax evasion, he manages to infiltrate Lancaster’s band (along with his smart companion, a troubadour played by Norman Lloyd) and outwardly reform – but, when the opportunity arises, proceeds to reveal their plan of attack to Allenby!<br/><br/>Other twists and quirks to the Robin Hood formula (the sharp script was written by Waldo Salt, later an Oscar winner for MIDNIGHT COWBOY [1969]!) are the fact that Lancaster’s wife has left him for Allenby - their spirited son has remained with Lancaster, whom he idolizes, but is eventually captured and thought good manners against his will; when Lancaster imprisons Mayo in exchange for his son’s freedom, he keeps her chained by the neck to a tree!; for no apparent reason other than that he&#39;s able to, one of Lancaster’s men uses his feet to write ransom notes, etc.; Lancaster is sent to the gallows but, here, he gives himself up rather than being captured and actually fakes his own death!; and the climactic struggle inside the castle, which the gang penetrate incognito (this time dressed-up as a band of strolling players). The obligatory swordfight between Lancaster and Douglas, then, is given a novel touch by being partly set in the dark – the only evident nod to the noir style director Tourneur is best-known for! <br/><br/>The film itself received a couple of Oscar nominations for Ernest Haller’s gorgeous cinematography and Max Steiner’s marvelous score (it too bears a striking resemblance to Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s unforgettable work on THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD – as do the castle interiors – but this takes nothing away from the quality of THE FLAME AND THE ARROW itself!). Also worth noting in the cast is Nick Cravat as Lancaster’s mute sidekick: in the star’s days as an acrobat, he had been his partner and would often work with him in films – basically reprising his role here in Lancaster’s next swashbuckler, the seafaring THE CRIMSON PIRATE (1952; incidentally, also surprisingly but vigorously helmed by an expert in film noir, Robert Siodmak). Speaking of the latter, a couple of years back I re-acquainted myself with it via a rental of Warner’s bare-bones DVD edition – but its predecessor/companion piece is, mysteriously, still M.I.A. on disc...

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