The Charge of the Light Brigade

Film

Period and swashbuckler films

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Time Out says

So-so attempt to repeat the success of Lives of a Bengal Lancer, with rousing action on the North-West Frontier embedded in much romantic attitudinising from Flynn and Knowles as brothers in love with the same girl. Switching belatedly to the Crimea, the plot finally justifies the title with a bizarre - but beautifully shot - account of the famous charge (the wicked Rajah causing all the trouble in India, it seems, was in command of the Russian guns).
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Release details

UK release:

1936

Duration:

116 mins

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3.1 / 5

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Fred Widlak

Who'd a thought that a movie titled "The Charge of the Light Brigade" would spend 90% of film's running time in India rather than in Crimea? Showing all the Indian men wearing turbans was about as convincing as the portrayal of tigers by leopards. Even today, life in India is hardly as idyllic as shown in this movie, but such was artistic license in the movie industry of the 1930's. Nonetheless, a wonderful action film of its day.

usman khawaja

errol flynn was the first superstar hollywood produced in its veritable stable of stud horses and here he leads the famed charge against the crimeans which is celebrated here as highest valour without question . the historical blunder and misconsctruction aside ,curtiz did not even get the geography of india right with elephants and tigers in the frontier province,and names like lohara and chukoti mixed with delhi and calcutta , this is the romantic nonsense that was to engulf popular mainstream cinema because a leading man was able to fulfill the audience fantasies despite total incompetence in both reel and real life, flynn was flamboyant ,charming and he made olivia de haviland a star alongside as they were the golden couple of hollywood , here he played the sacrificial lamb to perfection in a sentimental hokum for brotherly love ,patriotic revenge and a gentleman officer in a dashing gold braided uniform , he and gable after him both had a moustache and created box-office mayhem but the fact that lahore becomes lohara and he emarks on a stallion buying mission as a picnic which takes him from india through persia to turkey to the black sea and back in one long ride is so absurd you cannot even laugh at it , add to it the clowns playing the indian natives and it becomes a parody like carry on up the khyber -except that spoof is more accurate in details , olivia is strictly there to kiss flynn from time to time and for two ballroom dances , but one thing is for sure flynn gives a magnificent performance and the production is lavish with every set grander than india itself, the tiger hunt on elephants is spectacular though the tigers are so tame they look like felix the cat, the excursion to bokatum in turkey from calcutta is made to follow the route which annihilated alexanders army on its march back home , paric knowles plays his younger brother who is in love with the same woman and the 2 brothers exchange some very stiff brit upper lip effronteries and affections , the colonial life in india is shown as a paredise as everyone except the evil surat khan is flourishing and content, but the fact that errol carries the day with his acting ,looks and the charge of the cavaliers and lancers might make you overlook all the blunders as hollywood sets off to offset a huge military massacre blunder from the historical sheets , the fact this became the formula to sucess and still is the key to both awards and riches is really just as pathetic as the historical and geographical adventures of this misadventure , - jbz7879 Go Back to Movie Overview »