“A man who knows what he’s dying for only seems to die.”
In medieval Hessian-occupied Italy, an archer named Dardo (Burt Lancaster) loses his son (Gordon Gebert) to his estranged wife (Lynn Baggett), who is cohabitating with Count Ulrich “The Hawk” (Frank Allenby). With the help of his loyal sidekick (Nick Cravat), Dardo kidnaps The Hawk’s niece (Virginia Mayo) for ransom, and attempts to bargain for his son.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Burt Lancaster Films
- Historical Dramas
- Jacques Tourneur Films
- Royalty and Nobility
- Virginia Mayo Films
Jacques Tourneur directed this Waldo Salt-scripted historical adventure flick, co-starring Burt Lancaster and his former circus partner Nick Cravat (the duo would go on to co-star in The Crimson Pirate two years later).
The Flame and the Arrow — the top-grossing film of its year — is prime escapist fare, filmed in Technicolor and featuring both swashbuckling fights and daring acrobatic feats performed by Lancaster and Cravat themselves.
Indeed, it’s easy to see how audiences of the time would appreciate its colorful sense of fun, daring, and rebellion, with beautiful and feisty Virginia Mayo included as well.
With that said, it’s not must-see viewing for all film fanatics, but rather recommended for those who enjoy well-told tales of this time period and genre.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Colorful sets and fight sequences
- Ernest Haller’s cinematography
No, though it’s worthy viewing for fans of swashbucklers.