The Flame And The Arrow

  • 1950
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Adventure

This was the first of the two costume swashbucklers Lancaster starred in for the production company he formed with Harold Hecht. Lancaster is a mountain man in medieval Lombardy whose wife has left him and their son to become the mistress of Allenby, commander of the Hessian mercenaries who occupy the region. When she decides she wants her son back, Allenby...read more

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This was the first of the two costume swashbucklers Lancaster starred in for the production company he formed with Harold Hecht. Lancaster is a mountain man in medieval Lombardy whose wife has left him and their son to become the mistress of Allenby, commander of the Hessian mercenaries

who occupy the region. When she decides she wants her son back, Allenby sends soldiers to kidnap the boy. Lancaster is wounded fighting them, but when he recovers he kidnaps Allenby's niece, Mayo, who falls in love with her captor. Allenby announces that he will hang a number of hostages if

Lancaster does not surrender and return Mayo, so Lancaster does so and is imprisoned under sentence of death. Some of his friends manage to slip him into a special harness that allows him to fake his hanging, however, and, after duping the guards, Lancaster is smuggled to safety. Later, he and his

cohorts return disguised as a troop of acrobats, and, after doing a marvelous tumbling show, attack the guards and capture the castle. One of Lancaster's most enjoyable vehicles, THE FLAME AND THE ARROW finally established him as a leading man and not just another film noir tough guy. Lancaster

did all his own stunts (apart from a few fight scenes in which he was doubled by Don Turner), many of them alongside Cravat, Lancaster's partner in a circus acrobatic act in the late 1930s, who plays his mute sidekick here. To publicize the film they went on tour, performing some of the acrobatics

they do on screen. Well directed by Tourneur, the film is lightweight but (unlike 1952's THE CRIMSON PIRATE) never veers into self-parody. Many of the sets were left over from THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938) and another Errol Flynn epic, THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN (1948). Oscar nominated for

Best Score and Best Cinematography.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This was the first of the two costume swashbucklers Lancaster starred in for the production company he formed with Harold Hecht. Lancaster is a mountain man in medieval Lombardy whose wife has left him and their son to become the mistress of Allenby, comma… (more)

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