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Captain From Castile

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Captain From Castile

Postby Lzcutter » May 20th, 2012, 7:59 pm

On TCM in beautiful Technicolor with a rousing score by Alfred Newman. Tyrone Power, Caesar Romero (yowsa!) and even a likeable Lee J. Cobb with red hair.

At this point, all I can say is WOW!!!

I think Henry King may be one of the most underrated directors of the studio era.
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Re: Captain From Castile

Postby moira finnie » May 20th, 2012, 8:20 pm

Hey, girl, I liked it too...viewtopic.php?f=1&t=734&p=104477#p104477

Maybe Henry King just wasn't hip enough to make the Sarris cut, but he made some great movies. My only wish is that this one needed a bit of tightening up from a smart, sensitive editor. Where's that time machine, Lynn?
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Re: Captain From Castile

Postby kingrat » May 21st, 2012, 7:13 pm

Add me to the list of those who enjoyed CAPTAIN FROM CASTILE. Moira, thanks for your post with the information about Jean Peters, Estela Inda, and Cesar Romero. Glorious Technicolor, some exquisite costumes, stirring music, handsome Tyrone Power. I didn't mind the leisurely pace when there was so much to enjoy looking at and listening to.

And Moira, I laughed myself silly with your comment about Ruth Chatterton--because it's so true!

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Re: Captain From Castile

Postby RedRiver » May 22nd, 2012, 2:12 pm

I may be the biggest Henry King fan ever. Yet, guess what I haven't seen. CAPTAIN FROM CASTILE! Why? How? I'm not sure. We've just never been in the same place at the same time!

I call myself a King fan, but I do confess to a disappointment in his track record. Some films are thoughtful and literate. TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH, THE GUNFIGHTER, the all too rarely seen THE BRAVADOS. One of the Hemingway adapations is good. The ambitious WILSON is not everyone's cup of history. But it's challenging and informative. I like it.

On the other hand...ALEXANDER'S RAGTIME BAND is a musical toothache. Painful to watch. THE BLACK SWAN, dashing and romantic, never really sets sail to my satisfaction. DAVID AND BATHSHEBA is enough to get more than Goliath stoned! JESSE JAMES is fine. TENDER IS THE NIGHT? Not so much. IN OLD CHICAGO is initially intriguing. But it deteriorates into some pretty overt melodrama.

I feel like I'm breaking up with this director! I'm not. I like his work. It's just not as consistent as it could be.

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Re: Captain From Castile

Postby moira finnie » May 22nd, 2012, 2:51 pm

Red, I agree about the misses in this director's work, but I think you might fall back in sync with Henry King if you locate a DVD of Captain From Castile, which you can buy separately, though it was originally part of the Tyrone Power Swashbuckler DVD set issued in 2007. Fox has put out some of the very best of DVDs in the past and this one is really near the top of those I have seen. (I got my copy out of the library). The DVD features the following:

• Commentary on Captain From Castile that is fun to listen to (not tedious or pompous as is sometimes the case) and features a trio of interesting people: knowledgeable film historian Rudy Behlmer, a personable expert on the use of music in film, Jon Burlingame, and producer Nick Redman who has made many documentaries about classic films.

• A beautifully done isolated Score of the Newman music

• Stills Gallery, Advertising Gallery and Theatrical Trailer

• Featurette: Tyrone Power's Leading Ladies (with many of them commenting on the experience of working with the actor)

• Stills Gallery, Advertising Gallery and Theatrical Trailer
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Re: Captain From Castile

Postby RedRiver » May 23rd, 2012, 3:33 pm

Wait a minute. Are we talking about THE CAPTAIN AND TENILLE? I've definitely seen that!

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Re: Captain From Castile

Postby pvitari » May 24th, 2012, 9:55 am

Henry King directed the exquisite silent Tol'able David, so he's high on my list of directors. (Besides, I adore Twelve O'Clock High and The Gunfighter.)

Henry King basically discovered Tyrone Power. Power had had two small roles in 20th Century-Fox films (his brief appearance in Girls Dormitory caused a flurry of fan letters to the studio asking who was that and can we see more of him and if you've ever seen that movie, you'll understand why the fangirls --including Hedda Hopper -- were so excited) but the studio didn't think much of him and was ready to let him go. Power went to King's office and asked for a role -- any role -- and King was impressed with him. He tested him and then insisted Power be cast as the lead in his upcoming film, Lloyds of London, even though Don Ameche was already slated for the lead. This was a big risk building a big-budget costumer around an unknown but it paid off. Lloyds of London was a smash and Power went from unknown to star virtually overnight, and he quickly became 20th Cent.-Fox's most dependable leading man.

Power and King made 11 films together, and 20th Century Fox teamed up Power with King again post-WWII in an effort to kick-start his career. Unfortunately Power gives the least interesting performance in The Razor's Edge (the character as portrayed in Maugham's novel was sandblasted by the studio in order to make him presentable to the Code and general audiences) and he was unable to bring this paper saint to life. On the other hand, he was freaking brilliant in his next film, Nightmare Alley, which although also cleaned up from the book, was still twisted and perverse and in which Power gave the performance of his life, but it was a huge flop (due in part to the studio refusing to publicize it properly; they hated it). So Henry King, costumes, horses, Technicolor and swashbuckling to the rescue! The result was a hit and a beloved swashbuckler that is a sumptuous to behold, with one of American cinema's best musical scores. That said, I've always felt there was something a little indulgent (too long) and a little rote about it, with a weak ending. Cesar Romero (one of Power's best friends) just about steals the film.

Roderick Heath at Ferdy on Films devoted an essay on Captain From Castile which regards it in a post-WWII light and dwells on its strengths, while also noting its flaws.

http://www.ferdyonfilms.com/?p=9704

Hey RedRiver, I love Alexander's Ragtime Band! In fact, it has one of my all-time favorite Tyrone Power moments in it. ;)

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Re: Captain From Castile

Postby Gary J. » May 24th, 2012, 11:07 am

pvitari wrote: Unfortunately Power gives the least interesting performance in The Razor's Edge (the character as portrayed in Maugham's novel was sandblasted by the studio in order to make him presentable to the Code and general audiences) and he was unable to bring this paper saint to life.


I've never read the novel but even Bill Murray's version played the hero as an all-time saint (even though I found it moving).
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Re: Captain From Castile

Postby RedRiver » May 24th, 2012, 1:59 pm

Now Bill Murray is playing Roosevelt? Is that right? Well...he might be good. I might even see it. But I can't say the casting inspires me. Why not Wally Cox as George Washington?

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Re: Captain From Castile

Postby pvitari » May 24th, 2012, 6:29 pm

Larry is pretty saint-like in the book but that doesn't stop him from enjoying a lot of sex, of the sinful, not joined by clergy type. :)

All that was scrubbed from the movie, of course. :)

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Re: Captain From Castile

Postby RedRiver » May 25th, 2012, 2:05 pm

Moira, the library has ordered "Castile" for me. I don't who's more excited. The librarian or me!

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Re: Captain From Castile

Postby RedRiver » July 23rd, 2012, 1:46 pm

It took months for me to get this movie. (See my post above this one.) I hate to say it, but I was disappointed. It's colorful, striking. Like most Henry King films, it's pretty serious. But it takes too long for things to happen. They talk about what to do, what not to do. They level accusations, breed resentments. I wanted to scream, "Do something! Anything!" Lee J. Cobb looked like he'd taken the subway from Flatbush. I didn't buy his redheaded Spaniard at all. For that matter, I didn't believe Cesar Romero, and he is Latin!

I did appreciate the frank spiritual content of the story. It takes courage to address issues of God, faith and salvation while not preaching to the audience. This story treads that line admirably. I respect the mature choices made. The very lack of action that displeased me reflects a willingness to deal in a higher form of drama. But this is not TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH. It's not THE GUNFIGHTER. Those movies maintain a level of excitement that's missing in this commendable, if unsuccessful effort.


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