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Crossed Swords Dvd Review

14 Dec

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.

— InlikeFlynn

 
 

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  1. Anonymous

    December 14, 2010 at 2:14 am

    If anyone is interested in purchasing this and recieving a $5.00 discount off any other releases from Gozillaflix.com… ( Future releases include rare Flynn material ) Please contact me here,or e-mail me at … bennett19652003@yahoo.co.uk… …i will then provide the special link.
    Please note that I do not work for GozillaFlix.com…, i just pointed them in the right direction as to where they might find a decent quality print to source from to produce a decent looking English language version of this much sought after movie.
    This Link is exclusive to Errol Flynn fans,and not available to purchases made on Amazon.com…
    Regards
    Darren

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  2. Anonymous

    December 28, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I just watched my copy of this DVD the other night, and I really enjoyed it. I agree with the above review of the DVD and film — the picture quality is great, and Errol was his old energetic, swashbuckling self again, a fun role in a fun movie. Thanks to Darren and Gozillaflix for making this DVD of “Crossed Swords” available for us Flynn fans to own.

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  3. Anonymous

    February 22, 2011 at 1:34 am

    I think you bring up an interesting comment about Flynn's appearance in this movie. I have only seen stills from it – but you're right in that he looks really good considering he would have been nearly 44 when the film was made. He does look better than either Against all flags or the Master of Ballantrae – where is seemed to be starting to get heavy in his face and waistline
    However, I believe this was the film where he contracted hepatitis??

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  4. Anonymous

    February 23, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Well i am not sure about the Hepatitis, but you may be right. As for Flynn, by all accounts he was invigorated at the time working away from Hollywood and got himself lean and behaved well during filming. It shows on screen, the old dancing shimmer is back in his eyes, he bounces around like an alley cat and the fight scenes look great, you can see that for most part he didn't use a stand in. The final duel in my opinion is the finest he'd done since Don Juan and is filmed in a great mobile style, it looks exciting and fast paced….Flynns facial acting in this fight scene illustrates why he had no peers in this genre. He doesn't grin his way through it as if the end result is assured, he looks like a man fighting for his life with well acted hatred and respect for his opponent. This is rarely executed well in climatic duels on screen.
    It is well worth getting the Dvd, it has now been reduced in price to $29.95. I managed to persuade the company selling it that the original price was far too high, despite it's collectability.
    It is apparently selling well now, if you are interested in getting a copy e-mail me at bennett19652003@yahoo.co.uk…, i can send you the new link which reflects the price drop.
    Cheers
    Darren

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  5. Anonymous

    February 24, 2011 at 2:30 am

    Good question! I read that he had hepatitis and was transported to a hospital in Naples and then I read he was with hepatitis in a hospital in Zurich. I wonder how often did he have hepatitis and when and where? Yeah – those good old stories about Errol!
    Has anybody any answers?
    This message popped back – I hope it is not double again!

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  6. Anonymous

    February 24, 2011 at 2:48 am

    Hi Darren;
    I ordered the DVD but have not received it as of today. I just hope it comes soon! Can't wait to see a good copy of it. Thanks a lot Darren for all the troubles you had to go through to bring this treasure to us!
    You are a most valued member of this crew! Keep up the good work and find the other lost treasures!
    All the best toy you,
    Tina

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  7. Anonymous

    May 11, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Darren, I have 2 copies from gozillaflix.com… the first was in very good condition which they purchased a few years ago and is as good as a factory copy. Last year they purchased what they said was the finest copy known. I waited over seven months for it to be cleaned up and it is fantastic, it was originally purchased on reel in England. It is stunning and I have written a review for gozillaflix on their website. I will say I have bought “The Adventures of Robin Hood” from them and it has the fight scenes that wound up on the cutting room floor on their copy. Both are stunning. I suspect you may have led them to Crossed Swords…Thanks, larrybradford2@gmail.com…

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