The Flame and the Arrow


Action / Adventure / Drama / History / Romance

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 60%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 3916

Plot summary

October 29, 2022 at 02:13 PM


Jacques Tourneur

Top cast

Burt Lancaster as Dardo Bartoli
Virginia Mayo as Anne de Hesse
Aline MacMahon as Nonna Bartoli
Norman Lloyd as Apollo - The Troubador
720p.BLU 720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
811.28 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 28 min
P/S ...
811.07 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 28 min
P/S 1 / 3
1.47 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 28 min
P/S 2 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by classicsoncall 7 / 10

"You can't make a prince out of a peasant."

My thanks to a couple of prior reviewers for this film in mentioning that Burt Lancaster had an athletic circus career prior to Hollywood. I didn't know that, but it confirms what I thought I saw in the picture, that Lancaster must have been doing a fair share of his own stunts. There were a couple of flips and rolls I wouldn't have expected but it sure looked like he wasn't using a stunt double, so one has to appreciate the gymnastic ability involved.

Story wise, the formula is derivative of "The Adventures of Robin Hood", down to the many sidekicks and romantic interest provided by Virginia Mayo's character, Anne de Hesse, niece to the story's arch-villain, Count Ulrich going by the nickname of 'The Hawk'. The German Count demands his share of taxes from the peasants of Lombardy, though an arranged marriage would smooth things over if his niece married the Marchese Alessandro de Granazia (Robert Douglas), but this is Lancaster's picture, so you know which way this one is going to go. There's a fair share of swashbuckling adventure in the film for a movie that's not about pirates on the high seas, but for that you can catch Lancaster in 1952's "The Crimson Pirate". That's one I'll have to catch in due course.

Unfortunately, there's nothing out of the ordinary in this story, and it arrives at it's rousing conclusion with a flourish as Dardo Bartoli (Lancaster) makes an impossible bow and arrow shot that takes out Count Ulrich as he holds Dardo's son hostage, thereby winning the heart and hand of Anne de Hesse in the process. I should also mention Lancaster's former circus partner Nick Cravat in his role as the silent mute Piccolo. Together they invented a myriad of uses for an all purpose pole that they used to make the save for the Lombardy citizens, even if it looked like they were just clowning around.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 7 / 10

No one steals Burt Lancaster's kid and gets away with it

Both this film and The Crimson Pirate established Burt Lancaster's reputation in the swashbuckling genre. When discussing Lancaster's career even with Oscar nominations and one Oscar for roles vastly different than who he plays in The Flame And The Arrow, I find it fascinating that so many still refer back to these films and label Lancaster a swashbuckling star like Errol Flynn.

Taking place in medieval Lombardy, the province is part of the Holy Roman Empire and they have a particularly evil Hessian provincial governor in Frank Allenby, known as "the Hawk" for his partiality to falconry and for his rapacious designs. Five years before, Allenby just took for himself the bored wife of Burt Lancaster played by Lynne Baggett leaving him to raise their son Gordon Gebert.

Now however Allenby at Baggett's suggestion comes in and takes Gebert away from a wounded Lancaster. Up to this time Lancaster has lived isolated in the mountains. Now he finally decides to join the rebels in revolt against Allenby and the Empire. Nothing like a little child stealing to provide motivation.

Before taking up acting Lancaster and his partner Nick Cravat were circus performers and his natural abilities in that direction made producers want to cast him in films like The Flame And The Arrow. But Lancaster knew his talent and always tried and succeeded in getting better parts. He never did want to have the career of Errol Flynn.

Burt also gets the opportunity to romance Allenby's niece Virginia Mayo who is being offered to a recently impoverished count Robert Douglas in the hopes of peace and unity. Douglas however is working an agenda all his own in The Flame And The Arrow. Mayo is curiously enough the mirror image of Baggett. She's bored with court life and finds certain attractions among the peasants especially the lusty and charismatic Lancaster.

And Burt has the charisma going full blast in this film. As well he would have to, otherwise why would the peasants be following him. It's an expansive part and no one could be as expansive as Burt Lancaster when the part called for it.

The Flame And The Arrow holds up well today. It should as it has a universal theme of a man protecting his child.

Reviewed by MartinHafer 7 / 10

Very entertaining....and a lot like ROBIN HOOD, PART II

While this isn't the best adventure film I have ever seen, it might just be the highest energy film and featured stunts you just won't see in films by Errol Flynn or Ronald Coleman. That's because the star, Burt Lancaster, does most of his own stunts--having been a circus performer in a previous career along with his partner, Nick Cravat! It's obvious that he is one of the most athletic leading men in history and apart from his film, TRAPEZE, it's the most incredible stunt-work you'll see him do on film. A couple years after making this film, Lancaster returned for THE CRIMSON PIRATE--a better film, but one that features less of the athleticism of THE FLAME AND THE ARROW. It is interesting that Lancaster's circus partner, Nick Cravat, also plays his best friend in this film and several others (such as THE CRIMSON PIRATE). Some of their stunt-work together is truly amazing.

As far as the plot goes, it's a reworking of the Robin Hood story, but this time it's set in Lombardy (a region in North-central Italy that includes Milan) and the invaders are Hessians (from the region around Frankfurt, Germany). Apart from that, the story elements are very, very similar. Even the part played by Virginia mayo is a copy of Maid Marian from Robin Hood. However, despite being a bit recycled, the film is exciting and fun--if also a bit like "fluff". Good old fashioned, but not especially deep fun, it's a must for Burt Lancaster films--he's dynamite.

Read more IMDb reviews

No comments yet

Be the first to leave a comment