Flesh & Blood (Flesh+Blood) (The Rose and the Sword) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Flesh & Blood (Flesh+Blood) (The Rose and the Sword) Reviews

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September 15, 2016
could be so much more
August 22, 2016
A highly unusual movie that seems like a dark ages date night adventure tale. What we actually get is a series of plot twists & reversals which eventually expose the true master of circumstances. Raunchy language and situations.
August 21, 2016
i have never seen this movie before and is one of the best movies that i have see so far this year
March 21, 2016
An ambitious and overtly violent tale. Not for everyone, it has an extremely brutal/realistic portrayal of the medieval times that you don't see in movies.
January 5, 2016
You've never heard of this Rutger Hauer/Jennifer Jason Leigh movie for a reason! This is the worst of the 80's sexploitation flicks that could only have passed the censors by thinly masquerading as a medieval period piece. Features over a half dozen nude scenes. 2 featuring simulated rape. One of which- I kid you not- includes Leigh as the typecast "curious virgin" losing her virginity while being gang raped and uttering the line "you think you're hurting me? You're not, because I like it." Sadly,based on a current 79% fresh rating, my review will help promote this pre-NC-17 excrement to date-rapists everywhere that Enc0re has added to it's Movies on Demand(!)
½ August 1, 2015
Pretty gross, and also pretty accidentally silly.
Super Reviewer
½ January 7, 2015
It's mad, but hard to take your eyes from.
September 23, 2014
Mostly trashy fun. Lots of naked Jennifer Jason Leigh also helps.
May 8, 2014
I only actually watched half of this. A bad mix of grim happenings and really bad acting, which is a shame as on paper this film sounds great.
April 26, 2014
Intrigante,Obsceno E Genial.Rutger Hauer É Incrível Nesse Filme.Paul Verhoeven Dirige Esse Ousado E Brilhante Filme
Super Reviewer
½ March 8, 2014
Pretty creepy title for a historical film and one that doesn't exactly mean much if you ask me, although there is plenty of both onscreen so...I prefer 'The Rose and the Sword' which was its alternative title for a time. The story is apparently left over script from the Verhoeven directed Dutch TV series 'Floris' so one could almost say its the movie adaptation of that show.

Gotta be honest I thought this was a fantasy film as this is the first time I've ever seen it, so yes I got it wrong again. This is actually a historical 15th Century Italian period set...errrm hack n slash film? rescue film?...errrr wait, coup d'état film? black plague film?? oh geez. OK OK its a film which involves a lot of rape and pillage with the onset of the black plague and a bit of a rescue somewhere at the end...kinda.

The story revolves around a band of medieval mercs led by Rutger Hauer who were evicted from a city they had just helped siege. The owner of the city, and feudal Lord, promised them looting if they get his city back, but he lied. They get their own back by robbing the rich owner, generally killing his entourage and accidentally taking his sons bride to be. The mercs haul up inside a castle they overthrow and end up defending it from the Lord, his son and their troops.

So this being a Verhoeven film I'm sure you're expecting blood and guts...well as I said you get it. Its in no way as violent as other future films from the Dutch director but its most certainly much darker bleaker and more controversial. The main factors in this film which will shock are the out and out rape sequences of the young bride to be Jennifer Jason Leigh. The male members of the merc team take turns raping her in full view I kid you not, a most unsettling thing to watch I must admit. Not only this but the main character played by Hauer also rapes her but to soften the blow she pretends to enjoy it, this eventually leading to feelings for the character.

This opens up various quandaries for us the viewers as you don't know who you're suppose to be rooting for anymore. The city Lord is obviously untrustworthy because he betrayed the mercs in the first place. His son is also as ruthless as he is but he shows signs of devotion to Leigh's character, but surely Hauer's character is suppose to be the roguish dashing hero? well I guess not. He's certainly dashing in his elegant period set attire, much style and pomp in abundance with those blue eyes and blonde hair, but he kills, he rapes, he pillages and steals. It is indeed the Lords son and surprisingly the Lords honest respectable Commander that you end up getting behind, although it takes most of the film.

Throughout the film there are many slightly unsettling things that take place. One such seen is the birth of a baby to Hauer's character which died in the womb. He merely crams it into a small wooden barrel and they bury it without much thought or ceremony. Its a very harsh scene which is swept aside very quickly just as the characters do in the story. Another is the 'romantic' sequence between Leigh's bride and the Lords son. Only Verhoeven would think to set this kissing scene beneath the dangling rotting bodies of two hanged men. Yeah sure its in the countryside and very picturesque but wow! really? kinda odd.

The band of mercs are a truly disgusting bunch, they have little worries and merely go around killing robbing drinking and raping. The band is made up of a few males including Bruno Kirby and Brion James plus a few women too, one of which has her young son alongside her watching it all. I suppose it is based around semi facts, I don't know but I'm sure back in this era many things happened that today would be seen as horrendous. But back then life was cheap, many people were extremely poor, didn't know any better and didn't live very long anyway, not that that's an excuse really but times were very different.

This film confused me really, it felt very grotesque in places but almost like a fun swashbuckler in others. The use of modern day profanity didn't seem accurate to me and while the high level of nudity is typically Verhoeven, it does add to the realism but also feels a bit too much at times. Also some of the cast like Kirby didn't quite look right in this era and that big siege tower seemed ridiculous. How on earth did they build something that big and mechanically impressive so fast?!.

It all looks great visually and pretty realistic with some nice locations used. At the start Hauer looks badass with his rag bandanna and that sword he wields but alas his character doesn't retain that heroic badassery. Hauer's ragtag team of mercenaries repulse you and in the end you feel they get their comeuppance, including Hauer. The finale is worth the wait but don't expect too much. One thing is for sure, with all the visuals of nudity, plague and chopped up plague ridden dog meat, it will put off eating meat for awhile I reckon. Verhoeven knows how to grab your attention...as if you didn't already know.
½ December 5, 2013
One of the most realistic medieval adventures ever doesn't have a single dull moment.
Super Reviewer
½ November 5, 2013
This is about as far from historically accurate as a period piece can get, but then that's not really the point. If you are willing to forgive the opening scenes, which are a bit awkward and clunky, the rest of the film is marvelous pulpy entertainment. Plus you get to see Rutger Hauer be a badass for two hours . . . if that doesn't sell you on it, I don't know what will.
½ August 25, 2013
Director Paul Verhoeven's first English-language film is something of a reaction to the predominant tendency of films to romanticize the middle ages. This film is full of brutality, disease, poverty, religious zealotry, and general unpleasantness. Unfortunately, the film is a real mixed bag, containing many elements and moments of sheer brilliance (the opening castle siege and subsequent looting is a standout) and other aspects that simply do not work (the worst offense is love story between Rutger Hauer and Jennifer Jason Leigh). The general plot of the film, a band of mercenaries kidnap a a prince after the king backs out on a previous agreement, is solid, but instead of trying to make the main story about mercenary leader Hauer and royalty Leigh, it should have focused more on the mercenaries former ally, Jack Thompson, being forced ala Robert Ryan in "The Wild Bunch" to help hunt them down for the king. Despite that major misstep, the film is still a unique and audacious medieval tale with a good cast that also features Susan Tyrrell, Brion James and Bruno Kirby, a fine score by Basil Poledouris, and some moments of crackling dialogue ("Bless you. Your rewards shall be in heaven." "I'd rather get paid sooner, sir, if you don't mind.").
August 15, 2013
I am a huge Verhoeven fan, but this one is too trashy.... watch once and move on
August 14, 2013
pretty much awesome. rutger hauer owns everyone
½ August 8, 2013
A great flick about the middle ages. Betrayal, violence and disease. RECOMMENDED.
May 12, 2013
You can totally tell this is a Paul Verhoeven, as the great over the top action footage and tons of nudity is his stamp.

I know some prefer Hauer as more of the male lead that the King's son, but I was more on the kid's side. Hauer and his band of crazy religious types made me want to see bad things happened to them, so I really dug the final act.

The effects are pretty good, especially the aspects when anyone caught the plague.

The score seems a tad child based for such an epic film.

And then there's the nudity. I'm damn certain every single female in the cast shows something; even 'Bart Simpson' gets naked. And Jennifer Jason Leigh is gorgeous as is, but every guy should keep her in his prayers after seeing her in this one. Pretty sure she spends LESS time in this film actually covered up.

If you like the idea of a Medieval Basic Instinct, here you go!
March 27, 2013
I saw this movie once and I have been waiting for this to come back on cable but It hasnt, I want to watch this again
March 4, 2013
Very atmospheric early Paul Verhoeven film.
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