Remember when I recommended The crimson pirate because Burt Lancaster was awesomely acrobatic in it? Well, guess what, I found another movie in which you can appreciate his terrific physical skills. It's so cool to see a guy his size having such control and harmony with his body. Oh, wait, yes, the movie has a plot by the way and more actors. It's really entertaining.
In The flame and the arrow (1950; Jacques Torneur) Burt plays a guy named Dardo living in the forest in medieval Lombardy. He's an outlaw with a kid to look after...alone, because his...wife? girlfriend? left him several years ago and ran off with a noble man. The people in the town near the forest want him to fight to free Lombardy and he's only convinced to fight when his kid is taken away, etc. It's very Robin Hood-ish.
Super anecdote: Burt had an amazingly acrobatic partner, Nick Cravat, with whom he worked in nine films (The crimson pirate was one of them). They used to work together in the circus as "Lang & Cravat". According to Imdb, in the two movies I'm mentioning ad-nauseam Cravat's characters were mute because he had a strong Brooklyn accent he couldn't hide. LOL. The interesting thing is that Burt and Nick died the same year, 1994. Partners till the end, uh?
So yeah, this film is really awesome to watch because it has Burt and Nick in it. And they jump, run, ride really fast in horses, jump backwards, climb, walk over a joist, jump forward, etc etc.
Oh, just this week I started noticing Viriginia Mayo. I had seen her in The best years of our life, but on Monday I saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and she was really effective and fun in it (oh, bad news, Ben Stiller is making a remake of that film). In The Flame and the Arrow she plays a noble woman, Burt's prisoner and love interest. My favorite scene from her is when she tries to seduce Nick Cravat and then another guy so they can free her, but they don't pay attention to her.
One of the few things I didn't like, is the fact that they chained the prisoner (made me remember the case of Ingrid Betancourt). The problem is, IMO, the decision to make the scene in a festive mood. I'd prefer they used a tense music in the background in the first scene she's chained, denoting that this was like the dark side of the outlaws, that this wasn't a cool thing to do. A similar situation occurs in The black swan, when Tyrone Power beats Maureen O'Hara at the beginning, and directionally speaking, they don't seem to care. I don't know if details like this distract you too.
Oh, because my reviews are oh-so-serious, I want to end with a praise for Technicolor. I loved Virginia Mayo's red riding hood, it looked gorgeous.
The end. LOL. Thanks for reading!
Youtube Alert! : This movie is available to watch online, in one file.