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Dr. Van

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Aug 31, 2019
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Van T. Roberts
Hi, I'm Dr. Van. One thing that I share in common with many film fanatics is my choice of guilty pleasures, so I thought that I would enter this group of share some of them with everybody. One of my faves is "The Golden Arrow" (1962) with Tab Hunter and Rossana

American actor Tab Hunter is cast as an Arabian prince in Italian director Antonio Margheriti's fourth film "The Golden Arrow," (*** OUT OF ****) a lavish, sword and sorcery, fantasy yarn about a dashing young gent who sets out to reclaim his rightful position in society after he learns that he is descended from royal blood. Sporting an anachronistic hair-style, Hunter knows nothing about his genuine biological father—the Sultan of Damascus--and remembers only the bandits that raised him from infancy. Scenarists Giorgio Arlorio of "The Mercenary," Augusto Frassinetti & Bruno Vailati of "The Thief of Bagdad," Giorgio Prosperi of "Indiscretion of an American Wife," and Filippo Sanjust of "The Seventh Sword," have cobbled together bits and pieces from other classic tales, such as the Arthurian legend about pulling Excalibur out of a rock, to forge their outrageous, entertaining, but formulaic epic. Hassan (Tab Hunter of "Damned Yankees") plays a man not only seeking to avenge his slain father but also marry an attractive princess and ascend to the throne of Damascus. The slim but muscular Hunter looks fit as a bandit chieftain, and he gets to perform his share of acrobatics in this far-fetch fable. Nevertheless, Hunter's fans may be disappointed to learn that the former teen heartthrob has been dubbed by another actor. Chiefly, the baritone voice of the other actor sounds more appropriate for an individual of his background. Although it is unmistakable everybody has been dubbed, the dubbing matches the lips better than most European adventures in the early 196os.

Hassan and his outcasts manage to enter to palace in Damascus where the festivities are scheduled to occur. A fair-sized crowd has assembled to see who can launch a golden arrow. The golden arrow is indeed unusual. The future ruler of Damascus as well as husband to the princess must be physically able to shoot the magic arrow. Furthermore, the arrow acts like a boomerang because it returns to the archer after it has found its mark. Three noble leaders struggle to let the arrow fly. Sadly, they fail in their efforts. Only one man can send the golden arrow streaking aloft. Hassan masquerades as a nobleman from the Islands of Flame, and he exhibits his uncanny power when he propels the arrow successfully into flight. Hassan exploits this ceremony as an opportunity to kidnap Jamila (Rossana Podestà of "Helen of Troy") and hold her for ransom. Ironically, he becomes so enamored of the princess that he double-crosses his cronies and releases her. The three suitors, the Prince of Bassora (Renato Baldini of "Snow Devils") and two others set out to find Jamila something that no other man can give her. She decides to make one of them her future husband when he brings back that something special. Ultimately, these three men fail, and the worst loser of the three is Bassora. Bassora leads his army against Damascus so he can claim Jamila as his bride. Predictably, Jamila has prayed to Allah, and the god dispatches three genies to help Hassan find the golden arrow and save Damascus from Bassora.

The widescreen cinematography of "Valdez is Coming" lenser Gábor Pogány is absolutely gorgeous. Every composition could easily accommodate a picture postcard. Mario Serandrei's editing is just as good. He doesn't allow shots to linger to the point of boredom. The production designs and set decoration are equally noteworthy. Everything about "The Golden Arrow" except its charming visual effects and formulaic looks really striking. Margheriti directs at a whirlwind pace and his scribes spring surprises often enough to keep these adolescent antics entertaining, though I suspect the depiction of the cultures may be inappropriate. Lastly, composer Mario Nascimbene provides an orchestral soundtrack that underscores each twist, and the theme for the genies is memorable. Some parts of the film were shot on location at Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, Deir el Bahari, in Egypt. The sprawling, large-scale confrontation between Hassan and his genies atop flying carpets bombing the army of the Prince of Bassora is something you don't often see in movies. If you want clean, wholesome, juvenile entertainment, nothing about "The Golden Arrow" should offend you.
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DaveF

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Welcome to HTF, Van! I think you’ll find others of similar enthusiasm and passion for classic movies here.

But a note, I removed your link to your blog. HTF is not a venue for self promotion. If you want to boost your signal, please contact the owners through the forum links to discuss such arrangements. :)

Again, welcome. I look forward to seeing you in the threads!
 

RBailey

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Jun 30, 2009
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525
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John Hall
I saw this movie first run and loved it. The first few times it aired on TNT and later on TCM, it was shown in full frame pan & scan and looked hideous. The widescreen version eventually made it to TCM and I purchased the Blu-ray when it was announced. It looks fabulous.
 

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