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Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Dark Avenger (aka The Warriors) (1955)

In 1359 as the Hundred Years War between England and France comes to an end, Edward III (Michael Hordern) returns to England and leaves his son Prince Edward (Errol Flynn) to rule the province of Aquitaine in France. But he is ill prepared when the defeated French noblemen band together led by the Comte De Ville (Peter Finch) and break the truce and attempt to reclaim the province of Aquitaine. A rather cliched and drab tale of knights and castles with moats and lovely damsels in distress that we've seen too many times before. The director Henry Levin (JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH) doesn't bring anything fresh to the swashbuckling genre. An enervated Errol Flynn hasn't aged well (ironically he's 2 years older than Hordern who plays his father) and his former physical brio has long since given way to a debauched shell of a man. He would be dead in 4 years. The cinematographer Guy Green (Lean's GREAT EXPECTATIONS) does what he can in filling up the CinemaScope screen but couldn't he have given us some close ups? Considering Flynn's condition perhaps it's just as well. With Joanne Dru as the requisite damsel in distress, Yvonne Furneaux (LA DOLCE VITA), Christopher Lee and Robert Urquhart.

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