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 Posted:   Jul 3, 2013 - 10:25 PM   
 By:   philiperic   (Member)

Originally titled IL MAESTRO DI DON GIOVANNI, I just recently watched this rare title on dvd for the firdt time- with an English soundtrack. For a long time , I only had a bad broadcast copy that I could never sit thru - it was so fuzzy.

This dvd has an absolutely beautiful picture - lovingly photographed in Technicolor by Jack Cardiff , location filming in Italy, spectacular costumes by Nino Novarese and a lively score by Alessandro Cicognini . This film is the last good swashbuckler that starred Errol Flynn - and because of rights issues, it has languished in relative obscurity for 50 years - it deserves both a greater visibity and reputation.

It costars Gina Lollobrigida - though dubbed by another actress , she is stunningly beautiful - Cesare Danova and Nadia Gray. I checked the review in Leonard Maltin's guide - he gives it one + a half stars calling it "an unsuccessful attempt to recapture the flavor of 30s swashbucklers... in 16th century Italy .. Flynn (sets out) to save Gina and her father's kingdom." Well, that is NOT the plot of the film at all - it is about an edict that forces any man over 21 to marry so Flynn + Gina's brother - Danova - attempt to elude marriage plus a subplot or two - so if Maltin doesnt know the storyline , how can he critique it?

IMO CS is an somewhat successful attempt to rework the DON JUAN story (which was its title in France + Belgium). It even ends with a decently athletic sword fight like DJ and ROBIN HOOD. If you are a fan of Flynn, you will enjoy this lost treasure -- definitely 3 stars!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 5, 2013 - 9:41 PM   
 By:   philiperic   (Member)

Isnt there someone else who knows this movie?

Bob DiMucci? Manderley?

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2013 - 12:13 AM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

Isnt there someone else who knows this movie?

Bob DiMucci? Manderley?


I've never seen the film, but have always been curious about it. I remember when it came out in 1954.

Did you see it recently? Where?

I believe this film just precedes the aborted Flynn production, THE STORY OF WILLIAM TELL (.....and how I'd love to see the surviving footage from that!!!), and the later LILACS IN THE SPRING/LET'S MAKE UP and THE KING'S RHAPSODY. THE DARK AVENGER/THE WARRIORS must fit in there somewhere, too.

These English (or English/Italian) films with Flynn got only very narrow releases over here in the US and, unfortunately, I missed them all. Maybe one day someone will have a festival of all of the rare early-mid '50s Flynn performances on film.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2013 - 1:37 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

CROSSED SWORDS was shot on location in early 1953 in the eleventh-century village of Lauro, about fifty miles from Naples, Italy. Interiors were shot at Cinecittà Studios, Rome. The film was screenwriter Milton Krims's first and only film as a director. The film was also the first feature film production of J. Barrett Mahon (1921--1999), who later was known as Barry Mahon. Mahon also produced Flynn's final film, the 1960 release CUBAN REBEL GIRLS, as well as producing, directing, and writing dozens of 1960s exploitation films.

CROSSED SWORDS was photographed by noted cinematographer Jack Cardiff (WAR AND PEACE, THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK). The film was scored by Alessandro Cicognini, but the score has never had a release. Soundtrack Collector doesn’t even list the film among Cicognini’s credits. The running time of CROSSED SWORDS is reported in different sources as being between 82 and 89 minutes. The film opened in the U.S. in San Francisco on 26 August 1954.



CROSSED SWORDS is available on a gray market DVD:

http://www.amazon.com/Crossed-Collectors-Digitally-Restored-Lollobrigida/dp/B0048MD8KU/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1373099677&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=crossd+swords+flynn


 
 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2013 - 11:21 PM   
 By:   philiperic   (Member)

Thanks to you both for commenting -

Yes the version I purchased is the one Bob cites on Amazon -- there is also an Italian language version with subtitles on Amazon.uk.co.. Some fan apparently synched the English track to the Italian print - that track is somewhat scratchy but always in synch . Check out the comments on Amazon - I agree 100% with David Bennett's review cited as "most helpful customer review".

If you like Flynn as much as I do, this film is a joy to finally see looking so sumptious.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 9, 2013 - 4:11 PM   
 By:   philiperic   (Member)

Originally titled IL MAESTRO DI DON GIOVANNI, I just recently watched this rare title on dvd for the firdt time- with an English soundtrack. For a long time , I only had a bad broadcast copy that I could never sit thru - it was so fuzzy.

This dvd has an absolutely beautiful picture - lovingly photographed in Technicolor by Jack Cardiff , location filming in Italy, spectacular costumes by Nino Novarese and a lively score by Alessandro Cicognini . This film is the last good swashbuckler that starred Errol Flynn - and because of rights issues, it has languished in relative obscurity for 50 years - it deserves both a greater visibity and reputation.

It costars Gina Lollobrigida - though dubbed by another actress , she is stunningly beautiful - Cesare Danova and Nadia Gray. I checked the review in Leonard Maltin's guide - he gives it one + a half stars calling it "an unsuccessful attempt to recapture the flavor of 30s swashbucklers... in 16th century Italy .. Flynn (sets out) to save Gina and her father's kingdom." Well, that is NOT the plot of the film at all - it is about an edict that forces any man over 21 to marry so Flynn + Gina's brother - Danova - attempt to elude marriage plus a subplot or two - so if Maltin doesnt know the storyline , how can he critique it?

IMO CS is an somewhat successful attempt to rework the DON JUAN story (which was its title in France + Belgium). It even ends with a decently athletic sword fight like DJ and ROBIN HOOD. If you are a fan of Flynn, you will enjoy this lost treasure -- definitely 3 stars!


I was just watching the documentary CAMERAMAN - The Life & Work of Jack Cardiff (I highly recommend this to any fan of classic films) - and in it , Mr. Cardiff mentions that Sophia Loren auditioned for himself and Errol Flynn (presumably for CROSSED SWORD) and Errol saw the test and said -"I dont see anything in this girl at all" and passed on the chance to work with the soon to be world famous Sophia. Oh well, I have great fondness for Gina who often is overshadowed by her fellow countryman, Ms Loren - literally and figuratively. If only the producers of CS had used the lovely lilting voice of Ms Lollo instead of some unknown dubber.

 
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