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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Black Arrow (1948)


In 16th century England, a knight (Louis Hayward) returns home from the War of the Roses only to discover his father (Russell Hicks) has been murdered under mysterious circumstances. As he delves into the facts behind his father's killing, he discovers the murderer is close to home. Based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson and directed by Gordon Douglas (TONY ROME). I found this routine swashbuckler from Columbia's programmer factory more enjoyable than I probably should have. There's absolutely nothing special about it and the studio knew it or I suspect they would have shot it in Technicolor instead of B&W. But I found it a great deal of fun and at a running time of an hour and 16 minutes it doesn't wear out its welcome. Hayward was an old hand at this sort of nonsense and glides through it effortlessly, George Macready makes for a suitably nasty villain and Janet Blair makes for a fetching damsel. If you're into this sort of thing and in a generous mood, you should be pleasantly surprised. With Edgar Buchanan, miscast as a 16th century Brit who acts as if he's in a western. Also with Ray Teal and Rhys Williams.

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