Royal Flash Reviews
Flashman (McDowell) ends up in german territories that are evolving into a future Germany under the guidance of a young Otto von Bismarck.
Our hero (or at least the guy most things evolve around) is finding himself trapped and tries to flee most of the time and the story has got a few nice twists in the plot regarding who to trust and whp's on who's side really.
Great Fun. McDowell plays the officer bafoon great and others like Oliver Reed and Britt Ekland to that too. We also see Bob Hopkins and Inspector Morse and people from "Ivanhoe" here and there in small roles.
It's not A Clockwork Orange/Oh Lucky Man really, no, it's not, but it's a neat little film
Malcom McDowell is on top form as the cowarldy and roguish Flashman who find himself drawn into the world of shady european politics by Oliver Reed and Alan Bates .
Lester packs his cast with cracking cameos including Lionel Jeffries as a metal handed villain(Who gets some of the films best laughs) A befuddled Alistair Sim and early appearances from Bob Hoskins and David Jason.
The film also has some top notch action including a duel on a Bridge and a final Swordfight between Flashy and one of the villains.
Its a shame that Lester retired from directing as i for one am a huge fan of his films and i feel its time to reappraise his work as a director.
It centres around the perils & adventures of the despicable Harry Flashman (yes, he who made Tom Brown's schooldays such unspeakable hell).
Featuring a stellar cast (including Malcolm McDowell, Alan Bates & Oliver Reed) who play it for laughs more than drama, this slapstick tale of derring-do is faultlessly directed by Richard Lester.
It is patently obvious when watching, just how much fun everybody was having. And this only increases one's enjoyment of the film.
Watch it in the spirit it was intende & I promise that you will enjoy it.
Another slow starter, and with a treadbare plot, but still provides enough entertainment to forgive its flaws. Who wouldn't enjoy a roguish Malcolm McDowell attempting to impersonate a German duke against his will after being kidnapped by a sinister Oliver Reed? Highlight is a side-splitting attempted rescue of the real duke held prisoner in a castle dungeon which includes a memorable comedic swordfight in the spirit of the Elwes vs. Patinkin throwdown later exhibited in The Princess Bride.
Col. Harry Flashman (perfectly played by Malcom MacDowell) is the ultimate anti-hero, being a liar, cheat, a womanizer and an enormous coward, but still manages to land himself into perilous and ultimately history-making adventures and emerge a seeming hero.
What makes the books and this film so much fun are the mixing of historical fact with fiction. Here Flashman crosses paths with such historical figures as Lola Montes and Otto Von Bismark, all the while getting into sword fights, near-death scrapes, and an attempted political coup (the story mirrors Anthony Hope's The Prisoner of Zenda, a fact which is brought up in the book with a wink and a nudge).
Author Fraser (who wrote the scripts for director Lester's Three Musketeers and Four Musketeers films) also wrote the terrific script.