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Ed D.

For fun swashbucklers there are two fairly forgotten movies from years ago. I remembered them lately because my kids (10 and 8) were watching Pirates of the Carribean and then Field of Dreams. Burt Lancaster made two great movies early on when he was coming off being a circus acrobat. The one I remember was called, "The Crimson Pirate." He and his mute sidekick acrobat their way through the movie evading the king's soldiers and just gleefully monkeying about in the masts and spars of the pirate ships. Then Lancaster made another one that was something like William Tell - set in Northern Italy. But it had the same trapeze like acrobatics in it. Wonderful movies. The local movie stores don't have them and neither does the library up the street. Netflix might.



Your ten year old is wise beyond his years. Gotta love him!

Exiled in New Jersey

In "They Might Be Giants" you know there is magic in the air when Jack Gilford confesses to Sherlock Holmes/Judge Justin Playfair/George C Scott that he always wanted to be The Scarlett Pimpernel and then he launches into that bit of doggerel, but without imitating Leslie Howard. "The Crimson Pirate" was filmed in that garish but glorious Technicolor, which has disappeared over time.

Kevin Wolf

Yes, indeed, the 10-year-old is one smart kid.

I've heard in other quarters that younger viewers truly hate black and white movies. What a shame. I can't imagine why this is so. No movie is "real" so what does it matter if a flick isn't in color?

Imagine The Third Man in color! Yuck.

blue girl

I'll third the 10 year old being a smart one. There's plenty of time for all those new aspects.

Blue Kid's 14 and he'll only now even consider watching a black and white movie. I've never understood it either. They must relate it to the "olden days" or something. The boringest days ever!


Tip for converting color-only viewers to B&W: Raging Bull. Blood and guts all over the place.

Neddie Jingo

By Jove, I've only just now made a connection that it embarrasses me no end I never made before! The Kinks' "Dedicated Follower of Fashion":

They seek him here
They seek him there
In Regent Street
And Leicester Square...

Back to the Classics before my brain shrivels completely. It nearly dropped out of my head at last night's wild Baroness Orczy. (Sorry.)

Actually, last night we didn't have an Orczy at all but watched Preston Sturges' incandescent "Sullivan's Travels," whence the title for "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" They don't make 'em like that anymore. Not that anybody but me cared.


I saw that TV version ages ago, and if memory serves it actually reduced some of the swordplay from the 1935 version. I like that one better but wouldn't show it to a 10-year-old, it is a little too antique! I remember reading an interview with Tony Curtis after he did a TV version of The Count of Monte Cristo, with Richard Chamberlain, saying he hated doing latter-day swashbucklers because nobody knew how to handle a sword any more (he said Chamberlain was an exception).

If the newly double-digit Mannion heir likes the Flynn Robin Hood, I heartily 2nd Ed D.'s suggestion of The Crimson Pirate, also suggest Scaramouche with Stewart Granger--the longest and possibly the best swordfight of all time. Also The Black Swan.

One swordplay movie I would like to see again is Swashbuckler, from 1976. I am quite sure it is no work of art but when I saw it as a kid I enjoyed it a lot. Of course Filmbrain recently had a post about re-viewing Lost Horizon. When he saw it as a kid he was convinced it was the greatest movie ever made. Alas, age withered the hell out of it.

Slightly indignant aside to Mr. Jingo: I care!

Mike Schilling

I love the Musketeers and consider Scaramouche and Captain Blood immense fun, but there is a limit. The Scarlet Pimpernel is plodding, over-ornate, nose-on-your-face obvious, fifth-rate melodrama.

Exiled in New Jersey

There is a two-dvd set of Richard Lester's Three and Four Musketeers with Oliver Reed, Michael York, Richard Chamberlain and Frank Finlay playing the foursome, Raquelle Welch in a priceless comedic role, great villainy from Faye Dunaway, Christopher Lee and Charlton Heston and one heck of a swordfight at the end of Four Ms between Lee and York that shows just how hard swordfighting is physically. Roy Kinnear is also delicious, and Lester directs with his typical panache....what are you waiting for, the ten year old will love it.


Exiled: yes, Swashbuckler was blatantly imitating the Lester films, but didn't duplicate their success.

Mike Schilling

There's a third Lester film called "Return of the Musketeers", based loosely on _Twnety Years After_. For completists only, I'm afraid.

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