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Sunday, May 25, 2008


Errol Flynn’s final Warners pic isn’t the expected dud, but a swift moving reduction of Robert Louis Stevenson’s tale of misalliance between the brothers Ballantrae over King, Country & a wee lassie. (It’s Scotland, don’tcha know.) Vividly shot with great washes of color by Jack Cardiff, on location and some flatly unconvincing studio mock-ups, helmer Wm Keighley called it quits after dashing this off a bit too brusquely. The plotting is rushed toward the end, but hold on for a grand battle right in the middle of a dress ball. There’s little use trying to see past Flynn’s aging body & bloated face, but he remains better company than Robert Taylor doing similar duty just a bit South on IVANHOE. Taylor had better players on board, especially on the distaff side with Liz Taylor & Joan Fontaine; all Flynn got was Roger Livesey in the old Alan Hale comrade/sidekick role. Mind you, I’m crazy about Livesey, but still . . . ahem, pretty he ain't.

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