The Flame and the Arrow (1950)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The first of actor Burt Lancaster's filmic associations with partner Harold Hecht, The Flame and the Arrow finds Lancaster cast as Dardo, an Italian Robin Hood battling the occupying Hessian troops. Dardo's stake in the matter becomes personal when his former wife Francesca (Lynne Baggett) moves in with Hessian leader Allenby (Robert Douglas). Francesca demands that the Hessians reclaim her son from Dardo; in retaliation, Dardo kidnaps Anne (Virginia Mayo), Allenby's niece. Allenby responds to this by taking several locals as hostages. This can't go on forever, so Dardo surrenders to Allenby and resigns himself to be hanged. Dardo's cronies, an acrobatic troupe headed by Nick Cravat (Lancaster's former circus partner and lifelong crony), rescue all the good people and wipe out the bad.
Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Warner Bros. Pictures

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Burt Lancaster
as Dardo Bartoli
Virginia Mayo
as Anne de Hesse
Robert Douglas
as Marchese Alessandro de Granazia
Aline MacMahon
as Nonna Bartoli
Nick Cravat
as Piccolo
Gordon Gebert
as Rudi Bartoli
Lynne Baggett
as Francesca
Frank Allenby
as Ulrich
Norman Lloyd
as Troubadour
Victor Kilian
as Apothecary
Francis Pierlot
as Papa Pietro
Robin Hughes
as Skinner
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Critic Reviews for The Flame and the Arrow

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (1)

Tourneur, working with a script by Waldo Salt, turns the medieval action-adventure tale into a symbol of the French Resistance in the Second World War and locates its roots in class warfare.

Full Review… | May 12, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

Fun swashbuckler with inventive touches.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Classic Film and Television

Has Burt as acrobatic as you'll ever see him.

Full Review… | December 30, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Early Lancaster in Errol Flynn-type Robin Hood role; great acrobatics, comedy, action.

March 22, 2008

...the actor's first big adventure frolic, and it comes off rather well. (Burt Lancaster Signature Collection)

Full Review… | November 11, 2007
Movie Metropolis

Lancaster swashbuckles with irresistible energy ...

August 18, 2006
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Audience Reviews for The Flame and the Arrow


Don't try curing me. I'm un-curable. A town is about to be invaded by German Hessian troops. A man leads a group of mountain villagers in guerilla warfare in hopes of protecting the town and saving the villagers. Meanwhile, the son of a man who refuses to help the guerilla warfare joins the fray, changing the thought-process of the family. "Never trust a mountain cat when she stops snarling and never trust a woman when your back is turned." Jacques Tourneur, director of Aftermath, Fury River, Frontier Rangers, Nightfall, Wichita, Great Day in the Morning, Days of Glory, and Canyon Passage, delivers The Flame and the Arrow. The storyline for this picture is straightforward but contains some interesting characters and witty dialogue. The acting is excellent and the cast includes Burt Lancaster, Virginia Mayo, Nick Cavat, and Norman Floyd. "A man who knows what he's dying for... only seems to die." I came across this on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and had to DVR this unique plot for a Lancaster picture. This was above average and worth viewing as a fan of classic genre films, but was a bit cliché and a step down from the all time classics. I recommend seeing this once. "The next time I'll take you over my knee and spank you." Grade: B-

Kevin Robbins
Kevin Robbins

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