Monday, January 13, 2014

Crossed Swords (1954)

Original title: Il Maestro di Don Giovanni

Directors: Milton Krims, Vittorio Vassarotti

Writer: Milton Krims

Composers: Alessandro Cicognini, Gino Marinuzzi Jr.

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Have You Seen Gina? Italy's Marilyn Monroe...The Hottest New Screen Discovery in Years!

Plot:  Flynn plays a Don Juan-like adventurer named Renzo, who fights and romances his way through all sorts of Italian court intrigue. His principal foe is the wicked coucillor (Lupi) of the Duke of Sivona (Tordi), who intends to oust the Duke and claim Sivona for himself. In between the usual sword duels, Renzo dallies with the Duke's buxom daughter (Lollobrigida).

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

A couple of years ago I watched Flynn in THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE (1953) and his performance was tired.  He was only 44 years old at the time yet he moved like he at least 20 years older.   A year later with this picture, he's got the energy spirit of the man he was a decade earlier. I don't know what happened in that year but here, he's on top of his game and he's as charming, clever and dashing as ever (at least this late in his life).  I thoroughly enjoyed this picture.  The quality of the print was poor, looking like a VHS fullscreen rip. It's a crime this hasn't been released on DVD and in the proper widescreen format.  It's a great little swashbuckling costumer with Flynn trying to bed every single woman he comes across.  I'd like to think this was how he was in real life (during his younger years, I'm sure).  And with that, this movie is hilarious.  Flynn is full of life and vigor as he jumps out of ladies' chamber window after window.  The dialogue is clever and funny and there's lots of swashbuckling action.  This is a highly entertaining romp much like the ones he used to be in during the 30s and 40s and it's refreshing to see Flynn smiling and thrilling and having a blast once again.  Good music score, too. Santa Claus needs to bring me a beautiful widescreen print.

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