Royal Flash

  • Film
  • Period and swashbuckler films
Lester long cherished an ambition to make a film out of George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman books, but once the swashbuckling gets under way, it begins to seem far too much like The Four Musketeers Part III. The director's visual style is as strong and witty as ever, and he does score one bull's-eye with Oliver Reed's Bismarck. But after an opening which promises some kind of riotous comic strip of Victorian England, and a particularly good scene involving a boxing-match, the plot begins to parody itself too overtly and too loosely, finally overreaching itself completely with an endless and unimaginative duel between Bates and McDowell. The film might perhaps get by on its superb visuals and the occasional good gag, but the casting sinks it: whatever Lester's intentions, McDowell and Bolkan are no match for Michael York and Faye Dunaway at this kind of thing.

Release details

Duration: 118 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Richard Lester
Screenwriter: George MacDonald Fraser
Cast: Malcolm McDowell
Alan Bates
Florinda Bolkan
Britt Ekland
Oliver Reed
Lionel Jeffries
Tom Bell
Christopher Cazenove
Joss Ackland
Alastair Sim
Michael Hordern
Roy Kinnear

Average User Rating

3.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
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Sue Ferguson

A brilliant, funny film. Malcolm McDowell is wonderful as cowardly, cheating Flashy. Have seen this over 20 times!

Sue Ferguson

A brilliant, funny film. Malcolm McDowell is wonderful as cowardly, cheating Flashy. Have seen this over 20 times!