For many fans of Errol Flynn, this movie has been a Holy Grail quest, to find a decent print and own it on Dvd.
I for one have been one of those fans who has seen a few varying quality versions over the years, none of which have been easy to enjoy, due to washed out colour,poor definition and generally bad picture quality.
But recently some Italian language prints in Brilliant condition surfaced, and it was only a matter of time and determination from a hard working Dvd company,and a persistant fan who will remain nameless, which resulted in the Dvd i see before me now.
A Good Job has been done in restoring this movie to the quality one could only dream of previously. The Picture is Sharp,the colours vibrant and Jack Cardiff's superb Technicolour Photography simply looks lush, at times the outdoor scenes remind me of the Rich Colours seen in Flynn's classic Masterpiece,The Adventures Of Robin Hood.
As for the film itself, well it isn't without it's flaws, the supporting cast crys out for the quality of Flynns classic supporting stars like Alan Hale and Olivia De Havilland or Basil Rathbone, and most of the Italian cast are dubbed into English. However the dubbing isn't bad and is not distracting or indeed always obvious, in fact the voice actors match the characters well, and do not sound as if they've been recorded seperately in an Aircraft Hangar, which is often the case in dubbed movies.
The plus points of the movie outweigh any minus you may find, for a start Flynn looks great, he obviously got himself fit for the role and lost weight,in fact he looks leaner than he had for a few years and looks a lot healthier than he did in Against All Flags, which was made three years earlier.
Flynn bounces around like an Alley Cat and all done with that famous Twinkle in the eye,he looks happy and energetic and seems to be having a ball making the film.
There are several humorous balcony scenes reminiscent of Don Juan, Screaming ladies, angry pursuing lovers and husbands, and of course a few light hearted Sword duels.
Action highlights are a Tavern Duel which is well staged and culminates with Flynn Duelling on top of some beer barrels, taking a few swigs on the way in a tongue and cheek manner.
As for the love interest,Gina Lollobrigida looks Magnificent,perhaps this helped nurture Flynns enthusiasm for the movie,and what red blooded male could blame him for that ?
The Final climatic Duel is probably Flynn's best from his 1950's run of Swashbuckling roles, it is fast paced,aggressive and Flynn's ability to look totally convincing in a duel, not just in his moves but in facial expression, are example again of what makes this legendary actor stand out from the rest. He had no peers in this type of role, others may have tried and come close, but Flynn excelled and never recieved enough credit for the skill required to be not only a convincing action hero, but a sympathetic one.
This is all helped here by some interesting fast paced mobile camerawork from Jack Cardiff, a style Flynn later used in his Errol Flynn Theatre TV Shows in England in 1956.
If you're a Flynn fan who has always wanted a decent copy of this movie, buy it and put yourself out of years of misery….for any other fans curious enough, you should buy it too and revel in seeing Flynn temporarily, looking back to his best.