Search This Blog

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lydia Bailey (1952)

In the Haiti of 1802, the armies of Napoleon Bonaparte are attempting to reclaim the country which is now free from former French rule. His forces are met with opposition from the black revolutionaries lead by an ex-slave, Toussaint Louverture (Ken Renard). Into this war torn strife, an American attorney (Dale Robertson) arrives to obtain the signature of an American citizen (Anne Francis) residing in Haiti and finds himself fighting alongside the Haitians against the French. This historical adventure from the best seller by Kenneth Roberts suffers from a lackluster leading man as well as what appears to be a limited budget. That aside, the film is a decent historical romance which, for its day, gives its black characters some depth and dignity. Most notably the wonderful black actor William Marshall (BLACULA) as a General in the Haitian army. Despite playing the title character, Francis doesn't have much to do other than look lovely in Travilla's period costumes. The choreography for the native dancing is by the great Jack Cole (GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES). Directed by Jean Negulesco (JOHNNY BELINDA) with a nice score by Hugo Friedhofer. With Charles Korvin, Roy Glenn, Adeline De Walt Reynolds, Juanita Moore in probably her best role until IMITATION OF LIFE and Gladys Holland in a showy role as Napoleon's catty sister.

No comments:

Post a Comment