George Waggner for Universal
directed by Roy William Neill
starring Maria Montez, Jon Hall, Douglass Drumbille, Peter Coe, Nigel Bruce, Leo Carrillo, Gale Sondergaard, Curt Bois, Harry Cording, William 'Wee Willie' Davis, Bill Healy, Oliver Blake, Dick Rush, Claire Whitney, Jimmy Aubrey, Lew Harvey, Jack C.Smith, Robert L.Stephenson
story by James P.Hogan, Ralph Stock, screenplay by James M. Cain, James P. Hogan, Gene Lewis, additional dialogue by Joseph Hoffman, music by Edward Ward, special photography by John P. Fulton, makeup by Jack Pierce
Maria Montez & Jon Hall
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Somewhere in Europe, in some indeterminable historical period, a gang
of gypsies travel from town to town to put up shows for the locals. But as
much as the gypsies are liked as entertainers, they are not trusted by
anyone, so when Baron Tovar's (Douglass Dumbrille) find a murdered
official, they immediately blame it on the gypsies. Carla (Maria Montez)
though has seen a stranger (Jon Hall) leaning over the body of the dead
official, and she believes him to be the killer - yet when he joins up
with the gypsies, she refuses to betray him ... love at firswt sight, you
While trying to keep him out of the baron's hands, Carla learns
the stranger, Michael, is not the killer at all but a special investigator
who suspects the baron of foul play and of having killed above official
himself - so this is why the baron wants to get his hands on him.
the baron even captures Michael and the gypsies, but Michael manages to
escape. The baron's interest has shifted to Carla though, as he has found
out she is the actual heiress to the throne he has usurped, and since
she's quite a looker, he decides to marry her. Will she agree? Why yes,
considering the freedom of her people depends on it. Furthermore she
doesn't even know the baron's throne is actually hers ...
there is a grand finale where Michael rushes to the rescue, saves Carla
and the gypsies, the baron gets killed and she is reinstated on the throne
that was always hers, and he remains at her side ...
Nigel Bruce can be
seen in the role of the absent-minded High Sheriff, an amusing performance
even if highly reminiscent of his Dr Watson in the Sherlock
much a piece of kitsch, a movie that attempts to blend the formula of the
Montez-Hall romantic adventures with swashbuckler elements. The outcome is
a rather bland mock-historical that draws a romanticized Europe like right
out of a picturebook as the backdrop for a run-of-the-mill adventure,
that, also due to budgetary restraints, doesn't fully live up to the
story's demands, and Jon Hall as a Errol Flynn-wannabe actually lacks the
charisma to carry his part of the film while Maria Montez isn't enough of
an actress to give her role depth.
That all said, the film is still fun
seen as a piece of forgettable nostalgia - it's just not a very good