The Flame and the Arrow (1950)

“I learned a long time ago, my lady, never trust a mountain cat when she stops snarling and never trust a woman when your back is turned. ” – Dardo

Number of Times Seen – 1 (23 Feb 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A freedom fighter and his followers try to fend out the Hessians who have conquered their land.

My Take on it – This is a film that I came across by accident and was intrigued by the fact that it stars both Burt Lancaster and Virginia Mayo.

Unfortunately this is a pretty bland and boring Robin Hood doppelganger and they fail to find a way to differentiate the story line from that of the hero of Sherwood Forest.

The action is transplanted from England to Italy but there are far too many similarities between the two stories for it to be a mere coincidence.

Both Lancaster and Mayo are fine in these roles yet neither is as compelling an actor as Errol Flynn or Olivia de Havilland.

The story is far too predictable and doesn’t manage to find a way to keep things more intense and suspenseful.

The action scenes are done well and they are hit or miss with only part of them being exciting while others fall quite short even if they still are competent.

It’s fun to see the various acrobatic moves by some of the characters towards the end but they don’t help make things feel any more poignant or meaningful which is a bit of a shame.

Bottom Line – Really bland Robin Hood doppelganger. Lancaster and mayo are both fine in the lead roles but as great as they both are, they;re not Flynn or de Havilland.  The story moves along in a pretty predictable way and its so easy to spot the various Robin Hood references along the way that shine quite often.  The action scenes are done well and some are more exciting then others, yet things come across quite competently regardless. The acrobatics towards the end are fun to watch but they don’t help make this story any more poignant in what it is trying to do.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Nick Cravat, who plays Piccolo, was an acrobat who was teamed with Burt Lancaster before Lancaster became a star. He appears in many of Lancaster’s movies. In this one, and in The Crimson Pirate (1952), he plays a mute. The reason was that his thick Brooklyn accent, which he could not lose, would have been wildly out of place in such period pieces. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)


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One thought on “The Flame and the Arrow (1950)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1950 | MovieRob

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