Da'ud Bob's Movie Review
May 2019 

So there I was, just living my life and minding my own business, when I noticed that someone had made a comment on an old blog post I had written back in March 2009 entitled “Good Movie Heraldry.” The post was about the heraldry in Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V, which was actually pretty well done. But in February 2019 (so a full ten years after I had written that post!) someone (“Unknown”) made the following question and comment: “Has the film "THE WARRIORS" with Errol Flynn and Peter Finch ever been discussed here? Sir John Chandos is even a character as well as Bertrand du Guesclin both with fairly accurate Heraldry.” I allowed as how The Warriors had indeed not been discussed on the blog, and then went out on the web to find a copy to see for myself. Sure enough, it came in the mail a short time later, and I popped it into the DVD machine, and hit “Play.” And so it is that this month, Da’ud Bob reviews for you another Hollywood film with some decent heraldry in it, Errol Flynn’s final swashbuckler, the 1955 film originally released as The Dark Avenger, but known here in the United States under the title The Warriors.

Starring Errol Flynn as Prince Edward of Wales, Joanne Dru as Lady Joan Holland, Peter Finch as the Comte de Ville, Yvonne Furneaux as Marie, Patrick Hold at Sir Ellys, Michael Hordern as King Edward III, Moultrie Kelsall as Sir Burce, Robert Urquhart as Sir Philip, Noel Willman as Bertrand du Guesclin, and Alistair Hunter as Libeau, Rupert Davies as Sir John, as well as Christopher Lee doing an uncredited turn as the French Patrol Captain at tavern, and Patrick McGoohan in an uncredited role as another minor character, the movie is a joint British-American historical adventure taking place in 1359 during the Hundred Years War. The basic plot is described as: “Edward, Prince of Wales, son and heir to his father King Edward III of England, leads an English army to the French province of Aquitaine to protect the inhabitants from the ravages of the French. After defeating the French in battle, the defeated French plot to kill the prince. Failing in this, they kidnap his lady, the lovely Lady Joan Holland. Of course Prince Edward has to ride to the rescue, adopting guises to save his paramour, which ultimately end in him leading his men into one final climactic battle against the French.”

Good Points: The stirring musical score. King Edward III’s cloak. Much of the armor. The Prince of Wales’ tabard. Real chain mail. A written document properly sealed in medieval fashion. The carpet. The banners. The horse barding. The heraldry. You can often tell who is who just from their coats of arms alone. I’ll discuss some good examples of this in my blog post dated May 2, 2019 (https://blog.appletonstudios.com/).

Bad Points: A fair bit of the costuming was 1950s Hollywood. The stiff ermine collar. The ermine tippets. Most of the ladies’ costumes. Fabric “chain mail” coifs. Wearing a real mail coif with nothing under it! (Ouch! Taking that off one’s head would be no fun at all.) Much of the fight choreography. (Well, admittedly, Errol Flynn was getting a little long in the tooth when he did this movie, just four years before his death. Still, in most of the sword fights you could pretty much tell where the next blow was going to be thrown, because the defender already had his sword up to block there.) The explanation of how Edward became the Black Knight, err, Prince. Jousting on horseback at night. (Now that’s a recipe for getting seriously injured!) Some of the heraldry.

Zero breasts. 1/4 gallon of blood. 86 dead bodies. Battle axe fu. Sword fu. Javelin fu. Dagger fu. Lance fu. Mace fu. Stool fu. Arrow fu. Cannon fu. Fire fu. Battering ram fu. Cart rolls. Knights roll. Gratuitous harp. Gratuitous singing and dancing girl. Gratuitous decolletage. An 82 on the Vomit Meter. Two Stars. Da’ud Bob says, “A great movie it ain’t, but as an example of how heraldry can be done (mostly) correctly in the movies, it stands as a shining example. Check it out!”


Upcoming movies and miniseries to watch for!

The Name of the Rose

March 2019 (in Italy and France)

"A monk investigates a series of mysterious deaths at an abbey. Television adaptation (eight episodes) of Umberto Eco's novel The Name of the Rose." John Turturro in the Sean Connery role, Michael Emerson, Rupert Everett, Damian Hardung, Claudio Bigagli.

Really? Yet another remake? Can no one write any original scripts anymore?

No official website that I can find.

Shadow (original title: Ying)
May 3, 2019
Set during China's Three Kingdom's era (AD 220-280). The story of a great king and his people, who will be expelled from their homeland and will aspire to claim it. The king, violent and ambitious, of mysterious methods and motives; his general, a visionary who yearns to win the final battle but needs to prepare his plans in secret; the women of the palace, who struggle to find redemption in a world where they have no place; and a commoner called "Lord of all the world."  Chao Deng, Li Sun, Ryan Zheng, directed by  Yimou Zhang.


The Spanish Princess
May 5, 2019 on Starz

The beautiful Spanish princess, Catherine of Aragon, navigates the royal lineage of England with an eye on the throne. Cable TV miniseries (eight episodes). Charlotte Hope, Aaron Cobham, Elliot Cowan.

No official website that I can find.
All Is Well

May 10, 2019

(May 24, 2019 in Dallas, TX)

“A look at the final days in the life of renowned playwright William Shakespeare.” Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen.


May 24, 2019

Live-action remake of the Disney cartoon version. "A kindhearted street urchin and a power-hungry Grand Vizier vie for a magic lamp that has the power to make their deepest wishes come true."  Will Smith in the Robin Williams role of the Genie, Naomi Scott, Alan Tudyk.


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