"Two hundred years ago the great heath of Dorsetshire ran wild and bleak down to the sea. Here in the hidden caves and lonely villages, the smuggling bands plied their trades. And here, one October evening of the year 1757, a small boy came in search of a man whom he believed to be his friend" This is the opening salvo for the MGM adaptation of J. Meade Falkner's novel of the same name. Miklós Rózsa's luscious sweeping score then tones down to let us read and savour, and from here on in we are hooked into this booming colourful adventure. With the makers practically overhauling J. Meade Falkner's novel, it's perhaps unsurprising that fans of the novel have no time for this. Thus if you have read the book and not seen the film then perhaps you best avoid it? Likewise those who are in to swashbuckling as a preferred genre, do not be lulled into the belief that because Stewart Granger is the lead character of Jeremy Fox here, that this is Scaramouche 2, because it has plenty of swash but not enough buckle for those of that persuasion. You witless, gutless misbegotten gallows-bait! Filmed in Cinemascope and Eastman Color, Moonfleet is a hugely enjoyable adventure that encompasses smugglers, rapscallions, wonderfully costumed soldiers, and crucially, an engaging bond between a man and his newly adopted son. The sets and Oceanside location are excellent, and the costumes from Walter Plunkett benefit greatly from the "coulourscope" filming process, Robert H. Plank's photography sharp and a treat for the eyes. Story wise there are plot holes to thrust your épée or foils thru, and goofs that have no place in a production such as this, but if a keg of smuggled brandy and a search for a hidden diamond has you interested? Well this will deliver without a shadow of a doubt. George Sanders, Joan Greenwood and young Jon Whiteley (excellent) join Granger in delighting to the end of this enjoyable piece. Fritz Lang directs and fuses Gothic traits with bravado adventure leanings and the results are very easy on the eye, go on, have a look see. 8/10 Hurrah!
Adventure / Drama
Adventure / Drama
A young orphan is sent to the village of Moonfleet, in Dorset, England to stay with his mother's former lover, who has the facade of a gentleman but is a leader of a gang of swashbuckling bootleggers. The duo went on a treasure hunt.
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September 23, 2019